Margot Finn

Lecturer, University Courses Division

I teach classes on food and the history and philosophy of liberal education. My classes use interdisciplinary topics like food to help students integrate the many different academic disciplines they encounter in their liberal arts degrees and also connect their academic work to their personal lives. I aim to help students develop both critical thinking skills and more informed perspectives on contemporary food debates by examining multiple perspectives on topics like the ecological impact of Organic vs. conventional agriculture and local vs. imported foods, the biology and culture of fatness, and the history of attempts to reform the U.S. food system. In my research, I examine popular beliefs about food and eating in the U.S. from the 1880s to the present. My current book project, Discriminating Taste: How Class Anxiety Created the American Food Revolution, explores how the contemporary food movement has been shaped by class anxieties created by middle-class income stagnation and declining class mobility since 1980. I also serve as a faculty advisor to the Student Food Co. and blog intermittently at soursaltybittersweet.com.