Skip to main content
Sign In

University of Colorado Denver

Study Abroad/Global Education

Food Fight: Constructing and Communicating Regional Identity in Spain and the EU

Winterim 2015

This Global Study program examines how food is used to construct cultural identity in the very regionalized country; Spain. From the Spanish home kitchen to the trendiest restaurant kitchen, from the daily markets to the olive groves and vineyards we will analyze how Spaniards and Catalans use food to create two competing identities, one regional the other national. 

Culture and cultural identity are often identified as the "ordinary" everyday life elements we perform. Food is one of these "taken for granted" ordinary cultural identifiers. However, food is more than a means of survival. It permeates many aspects of our lives from the most intimate to the most professional. Food exemplifies how we view ourselves and others and is the center of political and social issues.​

This course will be registered as a Spring 2015 course, so Spring Financial Aid is available!​​

Read the Food Fight blog here!


 Faculty Spotlight: E.J. Yoder


 Did you study abroad as a student?

Yes, in Salamanca, Spain during my undergrad. After I graduated I went back to Spain for nine months.​


 Why should Communication students go abroad?

Not just Communication students should go abroad – every student should. It looks great on a resume because it shows maturity.  Studying abroad profoundly changes lives. It expands your knowledge base, helps you make different life choices about your career and goals, and helps you understand more about own your identity. Any study abroad experience is fabulous. ​ 


 What inspires you about Spain?

Understanding food and identity. We are in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, a region that wants to secede from Spain. It is an area that wants to be different, and have its own national and ethnic identity. You can see these differences played out in food. It’s fun.​ 


 What excites you about the subject matter of Food in Spain?

I'm pretty passionate about food. It has become my new research area. I’m interested in Food Justice, and food and identity. When you study abroad it is important to be introduced to food because it has effect on you three times a day. Students learn about their own food choices, what that says about them. In the United States, we just pick up a burger and don't even register that it comes from a cow.  ​


 What do you expect students will learn from your course?

Students will learn about the relationship Catalonians have between their food and their identity, about their connection to food. Food is economically, socially, and governmentally important. It has a lot of power. Access and distribution of food can be used as a force of control.​ 


 What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you Spain?

Every day is fun. We visited a meat processing plant. You can’t get inside those in the United States. It was one of the cleanest places I’ve ever been. Students came face to face with slaughter. They saw every process except the actual killing. This access – the fact that we were able to see the inside of the food system - is really important. It is a big eye opener to the differences between the United States and Spain.​


 What is your favorite aspect of Spanish culture?

Food! Food in Spain is part of community, socializing, and developing relationships. Taking the time to eat with people is more important than working. A Spanish person would never think to eat at a desk, alone, or walking around a city. There is no idea of “To-Go”.​ 


 What is one thing Americans should know about Spain?

Spain is a very regionalized country. It is far more important to be Catalan or Castellano than it is to be Spaniard. Because the nation is so regionalized, so is the food.​ 



Quick Facts

  • Faculty E.J. Yoder​
  • Location  Barcelona, Spain
  • Dates January 4-16, 2016
  • Cost $4,800 
  • Deadline October 1, 2015
  • Credits 3
  • Course COMM 4995. Graduate students contact Dr. Yoder. 
  • Program Advisor    Meghan Atherton​

Costs and dates tentative and subject to change.

University of Colorado Denver

© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.