Food, Culture, Communications

Every summer in the month of June, American food anthropologist Christy Shields and French taste educator Claire Perrot offer an intensive course to graduate students in the Global Communications Department of the American University of Paris.  The coAmerican University of Parisurse begins in Paris where, in the classroom, students draw from historical and theoretical readings in the social sciences to critically explore food and culture in France and the United States. Participants then travel to the Jura Mountains where they gain an in-depth understanding of France’s relationship to local foods, taste, and “terroir” as they follow the renowned Comté cheese from cow to consumption.

This site offers an overview of the course (and will eventually showcase student work) for those curious about the course itself or for those interested in learning more about the on-going collaboration between Christy and Claire.

Learn Experience Learn


Critically examine past and present French and American food practices, discourses, ideas and values — in the classroom in Paris and in the Jura. 

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Travel to the Jura Mountains and follow the renowned Comté cheese from cow to consumption. Get a sense of the larger regional fabric by meeting with wine makers, snail farmers, shepherds, chefs, botanists, and others. 

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Taste is understood both as a conceptual frame that allows for insight into the shared practices, values, and identities at play in France and the United States, and as an interactional process that helps to build and maintain a dialogue with our foods and with others.







In January 2013, Christy Shields received a research grant from the CIGC (Comité Interprofessionnel du Gruyère de Comté) to undertake ethnographic research focused on the elaboration and use of Comté's "Wheel of Aromas" as well as the related “jury terroir” (terroir tasting panels). Learn more about Christy's research ...