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ITAL 399 Student-Producers Create Cooking Shows based on Historical Italian Cookbooks


See Garvin’s course featured in Around the O‘s story on the LIFT program (June 20, 2019)

In ITAL 399: Mediterranean Foodways, Assistant Professor of Italian Diana Garvin’s students produced their own cooking shows in Italian. They prepared 19thand 20th recipes for tortellini and minestrone, and explained the historical context that determined ingredient choices and preparation methods. In doing so, students learned how to analyze primary sources and navigate digital archives, thus launching their Italian studies at UO into the wider world.

Academia Barilla’s Gastronomic Library provided the course’s digital research site. Students perused historical cookbooks from the Italian Unification, like Pellegrino Artusi’s “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well” (1891) and from the Fascist period, like F.T. Marinetti’s “The Futurist Cookbook” (1932).Then they selected an original recipe, and got cooking. In their shows, Sofia Deiro and Ashley Gray brilliantly connected decreasing cooking times and increased meat consumption with evolving gender roles across Southern Europe. Cristian Jobe and Gabriel Barnatan thoughtfully observed how regional dishes later transformed into national cuisine. Bi-weekly media labs examined filmic techniques of Italian cooking shows from Gambero Rosso and Giallo Zafferano to teach basic film techniques, ultimately preparing ITAL 399 students to serve up a new kind of cooking show with a taste for Italian history.

Garvin at the Wolfsonian Institute (Miami, FL)

Thanks to the research support of the Center for the Study of Women, Professor Garvin will continue to develop new materials for ITAL 399, to be taught again in Winter 2020, as an extension of her book project, “Feeding Fascism: Tabletop Politics in Italy, 1922-1945.”


See some of the students’ work here:

Gabriel and Cristian:

Ashley and Sofia: