College is where many learn about other customs, cultures, and do-it-yourself bong design. It's also where students get acquainted with a vast variety of ways to overindulge, and what would youthful overindulgence be without tacos? A professor at the University of Kentucky realized this was an important nexus and he designed a full-blown course in taco study, reported Vice's Munchies.
The course is serious. Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies professor Steven Alvarez created it to acknowledge Kentucky's ever-growing hispanic population and to foster a deeper understanding of latino culture. It's titled, "Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the US South," and Alvarez told Munchies he was partly inspired by "the social connections that people were making with food."
"This class allows our students to explore the issues of immigration, inequality, workers, intercultural communication, and literacy through the prism of food," Alvarez told Munchies.
The professor indicated the class is pretty popular, stating that "even the most stubborn of students that say they hate writing love to write when it comes to writing about food."
Alvarez created a website to accompany the course: tacoliteracy.com. There you'll find his welcome to students, which states that some of his students' "goals" for "research writing" about Mexican food in the south are:
1) Writing from sensory experiences, critiquing preferences and tastes with regards to Mexican food as part of American and global cuisines;
2) Engaging an oral history project connected to a review of a restaurant using photography and text, and
3) Exploring emotion, language, and narrative foodways in the south and transnationally.
Who knew that tacos could be a roadway into such a broad range of cultural education?
We just know they're awesome and we really would like some right now—we don't even need to do a paper about it, either.