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Nearly everyone loves some kind of chocolate but no one thinks enough about where chocolate comes from or how it gets to store shelves. Chocolate’s versatility reaches back centuries, yet emerges routinely in our social lives, our environmental concerns, our health applications, and our aesthetic experiences.
This seminar uses chocolate as a context to make connections between the sciences, social sciences, humanities and the fine arts. This seminar challenges assumptions of students about what “chocolate” really means. Students will critically evaluate sources of chocolate and discuss texts that shed light on past applications and controversies surrounding this delightful resource.
Where to Find Scholarly Sources
Click on the yellow bike image to view more databases and see tips on searching in them presented in the Research Hub.
Some Books about Chocolate at @ SLC
Chocolate nations : living and dying for cocoa in West Africa
"Chocolate. The very word hints of the forbidden and a taste of the decadent. Yet the story behind the chocolate bar is rarely one of luxury. From the thousands of children who work on plantations to the smallholders who harvest the beans, Chocolate Nations reveals the hard economic realities of our favourite sweet. This vivid and gripping exploration of the reasons behind farmer poverty includes the human stories of the producers and traders at the heart of the West African industry.
Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage
Written by a cross-disciplinary team of more than sixty scholars with professional credentials in anthropology, crop science, ecology, economics, geography, history, and linguistics, Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage covers the role and aspects of cacao and chocolate in history.
Chocolate in Mesoamerica
Cacao was used by many cultures in the pre-Columbian Americas as an important part of rituals associated with birth, coming of age, marriage, and death, and was strongly linked with concepts of power and rulership. From the botanical structure and chemical makeup of Theobroma cacao and methods of identifying it in the archaeological record, to the importance of cacao during the Classic period in Mesoamerica, to the impact of European arrival on the production and use of cacao, to contemporary uses in the Americas, this volume provides a richly informed account of the history and cultural significance of chocolate.
Chocolate Islands: Cocoa, Slavery, and Colonial Africa (eBook)
In Chocolate Islands: Cocoa, Slavery, and Colonial Africa, Catherine Higgs traces the early-twentieth-century journey of the Englishman Joseph Burtt to the Portuguese colony of Sao Tome and Principe-the chocolate islands-through Angola and Mozambique, and finally to British Southern Africa. Burtt had been hired by the chocolate firm Cadbury Brothers Limited to determine if the cocoa it was buying from the islands had been harvested by slave laborers forcibly recruited from Angola, an allegation that became one of the grand scandals of the early colonial era. This beautifully written and engaging travel narrative draws on collections in Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Africa to explore British and Portuguese attitudes toward work, slavery, race, and imperialism.
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Chocolate Podcasts and Webpages
New York Times Articles on Chocolate