Overview and entry requirements
The MA Anthropology of Food programme offers you the opportunity to explore historically and culturally variable foodways, from foraging to industrial food, from Asia, Africa and the Middle East to Europe and the Americas. You will examine the roles that food classification, production, distribution, exchange, cooking and eating play in social organisation, differentiation, religious practice and cultural identity and in mediating our relationships with non-human beings and surroundings. You will also explore the transregional and transnational movements of foods and culinary practices and the role of food in human migrations, as well as the formation of regional and national cuisines.
As a student on the MA in Anthropology of Food, you will study the passage of food from plant to palate, and examine who benefits, and who suffers, from contemporary modes of food production, exchange, preparation and consumption. You will address debates on the impact of contemporary food systems on food safety, dietary health, agrarian livelihoods and environmental sustainability and examine concerns over the alleged demise of family meals, traditional food knowledge and cooking skills.
Food activism, including digital food activism and movements toward sustainable food production and against food waste, and movements advocating fair trade, veganism and vegetarianism are explored in diverse cultural contexts. You will also address initiatives to protect local and artisanal foods, including promotions of heritage foods and food tourism in rural development and nation-building.
The MA programme in Food Anthropology is run in collaboration with the SOAS Food Studies Centre, an interdisciplinary research centre housed in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology. Students on the MA programme attend the Centre’s research seminar (the ‘SOAS Food Forum’) and other Centre events. The SOAS Food Studies Centre offers information about events, including links to recordings of SOAS Food Studies Centre Distinguished Lectures and other resources.
This MA programme has a first-rate graduate employability record, with graduates moving on to find employment in food-related government ministries, international organisations, development and media agencies, or non-governmental associations. Other alumni work in the food, hospitality and tourism industries.
Why study MA Anthropology of Food at SOAS?
- SOAS is ranked 5th in the UK for Anthropology and 16th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings
- draw on the exceptional regional expertise of our academics in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern languages and politics, many of whom have joined us with a practical working knowledge of their disciplines
- thriving community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the world outside of academia
- flexibly structure your programme using our optional modules and/or optional modules from other departments, including the opportunity to learn a regional language
- we are specialists in the delivery of languages; your command of a second language at SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities.
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Applicants for the MA Anthropology of Food may be eligible to apply for Scholarships and Bursaries.
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- Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.
- One calendar year (full-time); two or three years (part-time, daytime only). The expectation in the UK is of continuous study across the year, with break periods used to read and to prepare coursework.
Dr Jakob Klein Convenor