Module 1: Orientation and Introduction to the History of Chocolate
Unit 1: Chocolate and Historical Study
Reading: Coe and Coe, Introduction.
- Course orientation
- Introduction to the study of history
- Primary and secondary sources
- Understanding food and cultural history
Unit 2: Introduction to Chocolate and the Cacao Plant
Reading: Coe and Coe, chapter 1.
- The cacao tree (Theobroma cacao)
- Different definitions of “chocolate”
- Properties of chocolate and cacao
- Chocolate cultivation and biology
Quiz # 1 (5%)
Module 2: Chocolate in Pre-Contact Mesoamerica
Unit 3: The Mesoamerican Origins of Chocolate
Reading: Coe and Coe, chapter 2.
- Sources for early history of chocolate
- Mesoamerican agricultural revolution
- The etymology of cacao
- Maya civilization and sacred chocolate rituals
Analysis #1 (10%)
Unit 4: Chocolate and the Aztec Empire
Reading: Coe and Coe, chapter 3.
- Origins of Aztec Empire
- Importance of Chocolate and Octli
- Aztec elite culture and chocolate drinking
- Pre-Columbian use of cacao as currency
Quiz # 2 (5%)
Module 3: Chocolate and Cross-Cultural Exchange
Unit 5: Crossing the Atlantic: Chocolate and “First Contact”
Reading: Coe and Coe, chapter 4.
- European exploration and “first contact”
- European cultural context of food and drink
- Concept of cross-cultural exchange
- New Spain and the slow adoption of chocolate
Analysis #2 (10%)
Unit 6: The European Transformation and adaptation of Chocolate
Reading: Coe and Coe, chapter 5.
- Documentary sources for chocolate in Early Modern Europe
- Spread of Chocolate through Europe and early chocolate traders
- Chocolate and European royal courts
- Chocolate in European medicinal writings
Quiz #3 (5%)
Term Research Project Proposal (10%)
Module 4: Chocolate Colonialism and Revolution
Unit 7: Colonialism and Chocolate
Reading: Coe and Coe, chapter 6.
- European colonialism and triangular trade
- Colonial empire of Spain
- Economics of slavery and chocolate cultivation
- Exploitation of native workers
Unit 8: Reason and Revolution: Chocolate in the Eighteenth Century
Reading: Coe and Coe, chapter 7.
- Chocolate and the intellectual culture of the European Enlightenment
- French philosophes and Chocolate
- Chocolate, coffee and social revolution
Quiz #4 (5%)
Module 5: Chocolate in the Industrial Age
Unit 9: Chocolate and the Industrial Revolution
Reading: Coe and Coe, chapter 8.
- Industrial revolution and chocolate production
- Chocolate and social class
- Chocolate and capitalism
- Democratization of chocolate
Analysis #3 (10%)
Unit 10: Mass Society and Chocolate Culture in the Twentieth Century
Reading: “The Second Industrial Revolution and the Rise of Mass Society” excerpt from Findley, Carter and John Rothney, Twentieth Century World (7th ed.) – Link provided on Slate.
- Growth of Mass society
- Chocolate advertising and consumer culture
- Corporate chocolate and candy production
- Chocolate and westernization
Quiz #5 (5%)
Module 6: Modern Chocolate
Unit 11: The Ethics of Chocolate and Globalization
Reading: Coe and Coe, chapter 9.
The Dark Side of Chocolate documentary – Link provided on Slate
CNN – Cocao-nomics – Link provided on Slate
CNN – Can the Chocolate Industry change its ways? – Link provided on Slate
- Globalization and chocolate
- Economics of cacao farming
- Ethical chocolate
- Global supply and demand
Unit 12: The Future of Chocolate
Reading and Podcast: “The Chocolate Curse” NPR’s Planet Money – Link provided on Slate.
- CCN51 and future development in chocolate production
- Global warming and cacao farming
- Challenge of increasing demand
- Course recap
Quiz #6 (5%)
Final Draft of Research Project (30%)