Carbone teaches in Italy as part of Umass Amherst study abroad program

June 16, 2014

Elena Carbone teaching in an Italian classroom during the "Critical Studies on Food in Italy" program.

This summer Elena Carbone, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Director of the Community-Engaged Research Program (CERP) at the Commonwealth Honors College, has been teaching a course in Rome, Italy as part of the Gustolab Institute’s “Critical Studies on Food in Italy” program. Gustolab is the first Academic Center for Food and Culture Studies in Italy, and partners with UMass Amherst in offering the program each summer. Titled "Nutrition, Culture and Food," Carbone’s course focuses on how culture and ethnicity affect dietary practices, with particular emphasis on Italy as compared to the United States.

“We discuss the influence of politics on food availability and food practices, as well as the importance of cross-cultural communications to address nutrition and cultural issues,” she adds.

Cathy Wickham, a Ph.D. candidate  in Nutrition, has traveled along with Carbone, helping teach the class and gathering information for her dissertation work. The students attending included two SPHHS students among the six UMass Amherst students in the course. In addition to the course, Carbone participated as an invited panelist at two presentations in Rome: “Biocultural Diversity: a Public Health Perspective” at the Echi Oltremare Conference on May 30, and “Teaching and Learning Abroad: Impact on the Field of Nutrition” at the Cerealia Festival on June 7.