Food Communication

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Disciplinary Sector: 
Cinema, Photography and Television
Second semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

At the end of the course students will learn the characteristics of food communication on television and digital media and their relationship with contemporary cultural imagery. Moreover, they will acquire the critical, analytical and practical tools to understand and communicate food and its culture in contemporary media landscape


The texts mentioned in the bibliography cover not all the topics discussed during the course and lessons will take advantage of video contents like clips and fragments that will be discussed all together. For that reasons, attending classes is highly recommended

Course contents summary

A particular emphasis will be given to the study of the modes through which food is represented and narrated on television, with a focus on chefs and their mythicization, both in scripted (television series) and unscripted (reality shows) television shows. However, the course will also deal with the communication strategies of digital media (especially social networks) in relation to food communication and to chefs/celebrities related to the world of food.

Recommended readings

- Gallio, Nicolò e Marta Martina. Lo spettacolo del cibo: i cooking show nella televisione italiana, ArchetipoLibri, 2014.

- Meglio, Lucio. Sociologia del cibo e dell'alimentazione. Un'introduzione, Seconda Edizione Franco Angeli, 2017

- Menduni, Enrico. I linguaggi della radio e della televisione. Teorie, tecniche, formati, Laterza, 2008, Parte Prima e parte Terza

- Stagi, Luisa. Food porn: L'ossessione del cibo in TV e nei social media, Egea, 2016

Teaching methods

Lectures, for which attendance and active participation students are recommended, delivered with help of Powerpoints and of video-clips.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of two parts, one written and one oral.
A) written assignment: students will have to prepare a written essay (information on essay’s editorial criteria will be available on Elly) of a maximum length of 5,000 words, which will critically analyse a case study picked up from the following categories:
- the methods of representation and storytelling of a famous Italian or international chef;
- the analysis of an unscripted italian or international television show (or, moreover, similar programs compared);
- analysis of a thematic channel programming strategy;
- the analysis of the way by which an Italian or international TV series (or several related series) represents and depicts food;
- analysis of food communication via social media;
- other similar issues;
The essay must present a good degree of analysis and be accompanied by an adequate bibliography (which does not include only web sources).
Please note: Students must upload the essay on Elly maximum 12 days before each round (as indicated on Elly). Papers received after this date will not be considered and will not be evaluated.
Who in the essay will achieve a score lower than 18/30 will be considered rejected and will not be able to access the oral test (three days before the oral test an indication will be given of who will be admitted / not admitted to the oral test )

B) Oral examination: this second part of the exam is an oral examination that aims to probe the acquisition by the students of contents and the ability to express them in an appropriate way. The questions (max. three) will be mainly based on the written essay contents and development