For this presentation we will outline our work at the University of Utah’s Asia Campus in Korea designing interdisciplinary courses on food centered on experiential learning. Our goal in the course was to engage a wide range of ESL student majors, from engineering to film, in a complex interactive exploration of the humanities through the lens of food. Within the context of Covid in Korea, we were also tasked with designing experiential learning opportunities for students in a safe and fun hybrid environment. Korea (where our campus is located) is home to one of the highest rates of underemployment and extreme college competition. These forces discourage students from pursuing liberal arts classes outside of their major, for fear that critical thinking will serve more as a distraction from training for their future careers. Our goal in this course was to provide opportunities for students to see how multifaceted their own relationship to food is. In this case, the interactive interdisciplinary curriculum allowed ESL students to learn more about the complex food systems shaping their own lives. Ultimately, the project-focused, labor-based grading system allows for students at all levels to work together on interdisciplinary issues as a medium for community building, from planning outreach programs about our campus food pantry to designing an oral history cookbook. Taken together, our presentation offers insight into how to design labor-based experiential learning opportunities in an interdisciplinary hybrid classroom in ways that can meet the needs of ESL learners.
Dr. Kera Lovell is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Utah, Asia Campus. Lovell earned her PhD in American Studies at Purdue University in 2017. She has taught courses at Purdue University, Ball State University, and the University of Hawai‘i. Her book project that traces an undocumented method of postwar urban protest in which activists challenged police brutality and urban renewal by insurgently converting vacant lots into parks. This project has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Graham Foundation’s research fellowship and the Hoover Institution’s Silas Palmer Fellowship. As part of her broader interdisciplinary research on the relationship between identity, space, and power within the twentieth century, Lovell has published in a variety of outlets, including Women’s Studies Quarterly, American Studies Journal, Black Perspectives, and Gender Issues.
Scott Russell Morris earned a PhD in English at Texas Tech University. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. His main research interest is the history and theory of the personal essay and memoir writing. Inside that specialty he is interested in food and travel writing, recreation and leisure theory, spiritual writing, and development of creativity. His essays have appeared in various publications, including Brevity, The Chattahoochee Review, SLAB, Proximity Magazine, and elsewhere.