Sardinia, Italy – Foodways, heritage, and tourism

ANTH 403 | 3 credits

About the program

This course is led by Sabina Magliocco, Department of Anthropology.

Dates: May 30 - June 27, 2022. 

Topic:  Conduct preliminary ethnographic research in Sardinia, Italy, examining the island region’s foodways in the context of history, heritage, and global tourism from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Locations visited: Sardinia, Italy

Funding: This is an Arts Research Abroad (ARA) funded program. The ARA program aims to ensure that upper-level international research courses are accessible to academically qualified students, and that scholarly preparation and aspiration rather than financial means are the deciding factors for student participation. Funded by a generous gift from donors, the Faculty of Arts, and Go Global, the ARA program sponsors advanced research-intensive courses involving international travel.  70% of the program cost will be offset for academically qualified students; and up to 100% of the cost may be offset for academically qualified students who demonstrate financial need (as determined by Enrolment Services). 

Any students who are accepted into the program outside the Faculty of Arts are eligible to receive the $1000 Go Global award.

Students can only be considered for one major International Learning Award throughout their degree e.g. ARA (Arts Research Abroad) funded Global Seminars, Undergraduate Research Conference. 

About the course

This course will allow you to conduct preliminary ethnographic research in Sardinia, Italy, examining the island region’s foodways in the context of history, heritage, and global tourism from an interdisciplinary perspective. You will engage with experts, both in communities and at local universities, to discover many aspects of the region’s foodways, including archaeology, history, ethnohistory, traditional economies, and cultural aspects of food: how they were lived historically as well as how they are currently being reclaimed and valorized as heritage in the context of tourism and globalization.  You will reside in the fieldsite, a pastoral village in northwest Sardinia, participating in village life as they conduct research.  Each week, you will explore a set of themes through interrelated readings, presentations from local experts, discussions, field excursions to heritage sites and museums, and hands-on experiences. At the end of the course, you will produce a research project on a topic emerging from their engagement in the field that shares their research results with community members and non-specialists.   

This course requires a four-week commitment: one week at UBC, followed by three weeks of residency in Bessude, Sardinia (Italy), a community of about 500 inhabitants located in the northwestern plateau. The town’s economy was once predominantly agro-pastoral, but now has a mix of agricultural and service industries, including tourism. It has one small museum and a second one, on vernacular religious traditions, in the planning stages. It is situated in an area rich in archaeological and historical sites, from the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages to medieval times. The local language is officially Italian, but most people also speak Sardo, a Romance language distinct from other Romance languages in the Mediterranean that developed on the island. Knowledge of Italian is helpful, but not essential to participation in the course. The village is located at 600 m of altitude. Meals and transportation to and from heritage sites and class-related activities will be provided. The town has free WiFi and modern amenities, but is fairly isolated; there are few to no restaurants, nightclubs and entertainments within walking distance, and public transportation is confined to daylight hours. 

The course is led by Dr. Sabina Magliocco, who has conducted fieldwork in the region since the 1980s. For one week, we will also be accompanied by Dr. Tracey Heatherington, who has also conducted fieldwork in Sardinia and has published on Sardinian foodways. 

Experience in the field 



May 30 – June 3 UBC 

Daily meetings 

Introduction & Background: Heritage, Foodways, Sardinia, Fieldwork Ethics 


  • Di Giovine, Michael, et al. 2014. “Introduction Food and Foodways as Cultural Heritage,” in Edible Identities: Food as Cultural Heritage. 
  • Heatherington, Tracey. 2014. Tasting Cultural Ecology: Foodscapes of Sustainability in the Mediterranean. Gastronomica 14/2, 16-26. 
  • Counihan, Carole. 2019. “Food Consumption and Food Activism in Italy.” 
  • Magliocco, S. 2005. “Introduction,” “Preface to the Second Edition,” and “Afterword,” The Two Madonnas: the Politics of Festival in a Sardinian Community. Waveland Press. 
  • Sorge, Antonio. 2009. Hospitality, friendship, and the outsider in highland Sardinia. Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe 9:1, 4-12. 

Guest Speaker:  Prof. Tracey Heatherington, UBC Anthropology 


9:00 – 10:00 Survival Italian! 

10:15 – 12:00 Lecture & discussion of readings. 

June 6 – 11 Sardinia 

Food as Subsistence: Geography, Archaeology, Histor



Presentations by Prof. M. Milanese and Prof. Anna Depalmas of the University of Sassari; Dr. Guy D’Hallewin, National Research Council Institute for Food Sciences, Sassari  

Site visits: Domus de janas Sant’Andrea Priu & Cheremule; Nuraghi Santu Antine & Santu Teodoro; Rebeccu; Tharros, Cabras, Santa Cristina; Basilica of Saccargia 

June 13 – 17 Sardinia  

Food as Production and Embodied Culture 


  • Heatherington, Tracey. 2001. In the Rustic Kitchen: Real Talk and Reciprocity. Ethnology 40/4: 329-345. 
  • Vargas-Cetina, Gabriela. 2000. From Handicraft to Monocrop: the Production of Pecorino Cheese in Highland Sardinia. Commodities and globalization: Anthropological perspectives.  
  • Counihan, Carole. 1984. Bread as world: food habits and social relations in modernizing Sardinia. Anthropological Quarterly 47-59. 


Presentations by Prof. Gianna Saba, University of Sassari and Prof. Eliana Natini, Sopraintendenza per i beni culturali della Sardegna 

Site visits: Museo Etnografico, Nuoro; Museo della Vita Contadina, Bitti;  

Fattoria Didattica Cugumia, Thiesi: ovine husbandry and cheese production; manufacture of cicciones (traditional pasta) and sweets, local families in Bessude  

Activity: Cooking Sardinian specialties with Food Science students from the University of Sassari! 

June 20-25 Sardinia 

Foodways as Activism and Cultural Heritage 


  • Magliocco, Sabina. 2005. Chapters 4 and 5, The Two Madonnas: the Politics of Festival in a Sardinian Community. 
  • Counihan, Carole. 2014. “Cultural Heritage in Food Activism.” Italian Food Activism in Urban Sardinia. In Edible Identities: Food as Cultural Heritage.  

Lectures: Dr. Alessandra Guigoni, University of Cagliari 

Site visits: Agriturismo Sa Tanca de Santu Ainzu, Thiesi: traditional foodways; Orgosolo: typical mountain lunch with shepherds 

Activity: Attend Festival of St. John the Baptist, Thiesi and sample local specialties 

June 27 

Leave Bessude. 

July 1 

Proposals due!  

August 1 UBC 

Projects due!

Notable environmental conditions:

High altitudes as the village is located at 600 mt above sea level. 

The town has free WiFi and modern amenities but is fairly isolated. There are few to no restaurants, nightclubs, and entertainments within walking distance, and public transportation is confined to daylight hours and not easily accessible.


Bed-and-breakfast and homestay accommodations.

Eligibility requirements

  • Be enrolled in UBC Vancouver’s Faculty of Arts.
  • Be in your third, fourth, or final year of study.
  • Be enrolled in at least 24 credits in the Winter Session before the program and be registered in 24 credits in the current Winter Session, or sufficient to graduate.  Please note that students with exceptional circumstances regarding credit loads can identify themselves to Go Global to request an exemption from this requirement.
  • Have a minimum average of 70% with no failed or incomplete courses.
  • Further eligibility requirements particular to each program will be noted below.

Program-specific requirements

  • ANTH 100 + 6 credits of Anthropology coursework, or consent of instructor
  • 54 credits of undergraduate coursework (3rd year standing) or higher.

How to apply

Application deadline 

January 27, 2022

  1. Log in to the Gateway online application program 
  2. Select “Search Experiences” and type "GSP" to explore Global Seminars programs 
  3. Upload the application form for your selected Global Seminar – see Application documents below 

*Please note that you can apply for up to a maximum of 2 Global Seminars*

Program fees and costs

ARA funding will offset 70%-100% of the CAD $3,000-$4,200 in program fees and flight costs. 

Students are responsible for covering the cost of 3 credits of UBC tuition.

The final fee depends on the number of students in the program. Students do not pay the Go Global fee when applying to a Global Seminar. The Go Global fee ($415) is built into the Program Fee and is payable upon acceptance to the program. 

Global seminars refund policy

To withdraw from your program, you must contact Go Global by email to request a withdrawal.  You will not be charged until you officially accept your spot in the program.  Refunds cannot be issued after the program fee is charged to your SSC account. 

In the case of withdrawal, Go Global Award funding must be returned in full.

If you have questions, please connect with your Go Global advisor or email Go Global at

Pre-departure policy

Safety abroad

UBC is committed to preparing students for safe and successful international experiences. In order to achieve this, any student participating in a Go Global Program must complete the following:

Failure to successfully complete these and any other requirements may result in withdrawal from the Go Global Program.


If you are considering applying for a Go Global program and identify with having a disability or pre-existing health condition (mental or physical) which could impact your participation, or if you require academic accommodations, you can contact the following offices and meet with an Accessibility Advisor before the start of the program:


You can contact Go Global by email, phone, in-person or virtually through Zoom.

Booking a virtual advising appointment

If you need to book an advising appointment, please email and provide an overview of the questions you have. Appointments will be held through Zoom or by phone.

Virtual drop-in advising is available on Tues, Dec 21 and Wed, Dec 22 from 1 to 3 pm PST through Zoom.

In-person drop-in advising hours

Go Global offers in-person drop-in advising at the UBC Life Building during the times below:

  • Tuesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

January Hours

Go Global will hold virtual reception hours on Tues, Jan 4 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am PST and 1 pm to 3:30 pm PST through Zoom.