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Expos 20 | Eating Culture

Resources and Research Strategies for Essay 3


This resource guide has been designed for students in EATING CULTURE, a Spring 2021 Expos 20 course taught by Janling Fu. 

undefinedThe resources and strategies described on this page are specifically targeted: they represent our first best guesses at where you might find research studies, and current scholarly conversations around issue related to food and culture.  

See our suggestions simply as starting points -- a preliminary toolkit or research workbench. 

Remember that good research is often about following up on hunches, testing out a hypothesis and then seeing where else (or to what else) it leads. You may need to try several search combinations before you strike gold. 

Let me know if questions arise at any point in your project. We'll triage by email or set up a time to meet in person.  

Enjoy your work! 

Sue Gilroy, Librarian for Undergraduate Writing Programs, Lamont Library

Image: Floating Markets, Solomon Islands, June 24, 2004.: Paul Cater Deaton, NOAA, via Flickr (CCX2.0)



Three Databases for Essay 3


Databases are often necessary complements to HOLLISThese special search tools  -- organized around an academic discipline (like anthropology or literature), an area of the world (like Africa or the U.S.), or a particular information type (statistics or newspapers, for example) -- give you consistent and deep (rather than scattered) access to a body of knowledge.

You can think of library databases as premium online content -- most of it is not accessible to you freely from Google (or Google Scholar) and it's only available to you because of your association with Harvard, which pays subscription fees on your behalf. 

The contents of any library database are never random or accidental: the material you find collected and made searchable there is chosen for inclusion by experts, and designed with the needs of scholars and researchers in mind. 

Databases are like lenses: they change what you see and how you see it -- and they offer you easy and efficient ways to bring your questions into sharper focus.


  • Academic Search Premier /EBSCOhost platform
    • Strategy: search ASP; stretch (search all EBSCO); zero in (ask where the research is concentrated)

When HOLLIS seems too big but you're just exploring, the advantage of ASP is that it's a multidisciplinary, current, and gives you a range of info types: news, magazines, scholarship. It's part of larger "ecosystem" as well: so exploit it for additional leads.



  • Google Scholar
    • Strategy: full text searching in a familiar format; great for citation tracing 


Exploring for Contexts, Backgrounds, and Authorities


Oxford Bibliographies Online

Put this resource in the research toolkit you're starting to assemble for yourself: it will be handy for lots of academic projects you'll undertake here.  OBOs are selective (not comprehensive) reading lists, put together and annotated by scholars, and they are regularly reviewed and when necessary, updated. Often the situation you face in information seeking isn't a lack of resources, but rather, knowing what to prioritize in your reading, and which scholars have done most to push the research conversation forward. OBO helps you listen in. 

Examples of entries that might be useful for Eating Culture:


Managing Your Sources

This free, open source citation management tool makes the process of collecting and organizing citations, incorporating them into your paper, and creating a bibliography or works cited page stress-free and nearly effortless.

A good guide, produced by Harvard librarians, is available here: