Rejoice, you can now study tacos in college
If you were a kid with an active imagination and a responsible side, like me, your time was likely divided between saving the world as an undercover superhero, and making financially sound plans for the future once you retire from being said superhero. Or maybe you were planning double majors for college that would be both whimsical and practical. “When I grow up I’m going to double major in architecture and tacos, so I can build a castle of made of tacos. And before you ask, yes there are plans for a salsa slide that you can ride giant chips down. OBVIOUSLY. ”
As an adult, frankly this still sounds like an excellent idea, but it’s been difficult to find a school at which such a glorious double major was possible — until now.
There’s a rising trend in higher education to allow college students to take real, actual classes (and some times even major) in amazing things, like pizza and beer — and now tacos too, thanks to The University of Kentucky.
Initially, your inner child may be bummed to learn the course doesn’t cover much in the way of castle building and salsa slides… but what is does cover is really cool. The class is called “Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the US South.” The course is taught by Steven Alvarez who is an assistant professor in the university’s Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies department. “Taco Class” focuses on the social evolution of Mexican food in the southern United States.
Let’s get the most important question out of the way. Yes, you absolutely get to eat tacos for this course, but there’s a lot more to it. In an interview with Munchies, Alvarez said, “This class allows our students to explore the issues of immigration, inequality, workers, intercultural communication, and literacy through the prism of food.”
When asked what inspired him to create the course, Alvarez mentioned that part of it was his involvement with the Southern Foodways Alliance, which is an organization the uses food to teach history. Alvarez’s noticed that food very quickly became secondary to how compelling the stories were. He wanted to apply the same principle to his class.
Alvarez’s class sounds pretty great. Students get to sample tacos, collect data, and write restaurant reviews. They are asked to explore their community and develop skills to analyze “transnational community food literacies and how these connect the stories of people and food across borders,” Alvarez explained.
We’re sold! And while it may not be my childhood dream of living in a castle made of tacos… it does honor my childhood superhero persona and drive to save the world by helping students understand and appreciate different cultures, one taco at a time.
(Image via Shutterstock)