The French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826) once wrote: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” This statement was of course made in a different time, and of course the world looks very different today than it had for Brillat-Savarin.
Using the content of at least three (3) course readings from weeks 4–10, and covering at least two of the three regions of East Asia, discuss whether or not you believe this claim can be applicable to the foodways of East Asia, and why. Explain your reasoning using concrete examples, and take into account the historical changes in East Asian foodways in the past.
Suggestions for thinking about this essay:
What is the underlying logic of this claim? What are its underlying assumptions and limitations?
Today, what potentially still connects “what you eat” to “what you are”?
What are some complications/problems that come from connecting “what you eat” with “what you are”?
How have cuisines and identities shaped each other in the context of East Asia?
Suggestions for writing this essay:
Begin with a short introductory paragraph with a clear thesis statement that describes your position. Also mention which (two or three) regions of East Asia you will discuss, and the readings you will use to support your argument.
Cite our course readings in parenthetical style, by including author last name, page number, and which week it was assigned. For example: (Rath, 121, week 3) If you need to cite outside sources (this is optional), use Chicago citation format.
To make your case more persuasive, it is sometimes useful to consider the opposing side’s arguments. What evidence might your opponents use to disagree with you?
You can use discussions from your conversation report to add support to your argument.
Your essay will be evaluated on:
Your ability to articulate a position/argument relative to this statement, with critical and analytical thinking (25%)
How well you have understood the content of our reading and used them as evidence for your position/argument (50%)
clarity and organization (25%)
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