Calendar (Syllabus of Readings)

Unit 3: The Experience of Famine


Week 9, Mon. 4/1 – Food Shortage in Early Modern Europe – The Moral Economy

Reading: E. P. Thompson, “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century,” in Past and Present 50 (1971): 76-136. Available Online

O Grada, Famine and Markets in Ancien Regime France, 29 pages. Courses Server

Tilly, Food Riots and Political Conflict in France, 35 pages. Courses Server


Week 9, Thurs. 4/4 – Food Crisis in a Developed World –

The American Dust Bowl: We don't usually think of the Great Depression as a famine.  However, the agricultural conditions contributed significantly to  general economic collapse.  What characteristics does the Dust Bowl share with other famines we've studied?  Does it deserve to be called a “famine”?  What is Steinbeck’s interpretation of the politics behind the dust bowl?  What does Steinbeck want us to feel about agricultural failure and the American West?

Reading: John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (New York: Viking Penguin, 1989).  1-180.


Week 10, Mon. 4/8 – Famine during War – Holland, 1944

Reading: Van der Zee, Henri Antony, The hunger winter: occupied Holland, 1944-1945 (U. Nebraska Press, 1998). chap. 1 "Mad Tuesday," chap. 4 "New Terrors," chap. 7-8 "out to the farms," and "Dark December,"  chap. 12-14, "actions horribles," "The Great Escape," "The Lowest Point," chap. 16-17, "Help at Last," "Bullets and Bombs," chap. 19, "Back for Ten-Days," chap. 22, "Stop at the Line," chap. 24, "Manna from the Skies," and chaps. 29-30, "An Empty Country," and "The Old Things."  This is a fair amount, but it is also an easy book to read.  Try to get to as many of these excerpts as possible.


Week 10, Thurs. 4/11 – Experience of Hunger

Reading: Choose one of the following reserve books to look at:

Tucker, Todd. The Great Starvation Experiment: Ancel Keys and the Men Who Starved for Science. U of Minnesota Press, 2008.
Butterly, John R., and Jack Shepherd. Hunger :the Biology and Politics of Starvation /. Dartmouth College Press :, c2010.
Read somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-70 pages - you may also include, though not exclusively, some material from the web on the Minnesota Human Starvation Experiement.
Saturday, 4/13: Third Paper Due: Experience of Famine Response Paper.
Last modified: Monday, April 8, 2013, 9:05 PM