Welcome to the website for Roanoke College’s intensive learning adventure in Romania, in May 2013 (a.k.a., INQ277/IR277). This course will take you to a fascinating corner of Europe, off the beaten tourist path but sought out by travelers interested in cultural heritage, living traditions, eco lifestyles, byzantine art, the politics of democratic transitions, multiculturalism, and… the legend of Dracula.
This class is about food, because thinking critically about food’s many facets (agri-food policy, food production, food culture, food heritage, food security, food quality, food market etc.) teaches us about the society that produces and consumes said food. In the case of Romania, we are looking at a society that recently transitioned to democracy after almost half a decade of totalitarian rule; a society that even more recently embraced globalization fully by joining the European Union; and a society that is still trying to reconcile the norms and rules of its past with its hopes and dreams for the future.
Along with learning about the politics of food, we will visit several major cities and villages of various sizes in all three provinces of Romania (Wallachia, also known as Muntenia, Transylvania, and Moldova). We will observe (and partake in) both urban and rural living, Romania-style. We will talk to people from many walks of life, including civil society leaders, nuns, policymakers, chefs, and more. We will tour monuments and settlements that have been designated World Heritage Sites for their age, uniqueness, or beauty. And we will also taste some of the local foods.