Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Food and drink are central to every human society and each society has their own beliefs and practices surrounding these essentials of life. Food and drink are also at the heart of relations between disparate peoples and are central to global processes including international trade, imperialism and slavery and to global challenges such as climate change. This course will explore how food and drinks, have been used to generate income, bolster prestige and create a sense of home and belonging, as well as the meanings of scarcity of food and drinks and how hunger can be used as a tool of control. Students who complete this course will gain a deeper understanding of the implications of food and drink systems and choices for global history.


Not currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Analyse the major issues in the history of eating and drinking;

2. Evaluate competing historical interpretations, and primary sources on the specific foods and beverages studied;

3. Show an ability to connect food and drinks with major currents in global history;

4. Demonstrate advanced research, writing, information literacy and oral communication skills relevant to history.


The course will examine aspects of global cultures of food and drink as they changed over time. Beginning with the foods and foodways of Indigenous Australians, it will treat the emergence of trans-Atlantic commodities in the early modern period's Columbian exchange, and the establishment of slave-based production systems in the Americas. The emergence of wine as a high status global drink in the nineteenth century will be considered, as will the rise of meat consumption and its environmental implications in the twentieth century. Shifting to a more domestic level, the dissemination of foodways through international migration will be considered. Finally, situations of scarcity will be analysed for what they reveal about global food and drink histories. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be hands on participation, with site visits (actual or virtual), practitioner talks and food and drinks preparation challenges.


Students cannot enrol in this course if they have previously successfully completed HIST3220.

Assumed knowledge

20 units in History at 1000 level or equivalent.

Assessment items

Online Learning Activity: Online multi media presentation (30%)

Essay: Research Essay (40%)

Online Learning Activity: Multiple short online tasks and reflections (30%)

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.