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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI professors to discuss - Eating in the Dark: The Meaning of Food in Film

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KINGSTON, R.I. – September 30, 2004 -- University of Rhode Island Professors Tom Zorabedian and Judith Swift will discuss the portrayal and use of food in the cinema on Oct. 12. Their discussion, “Eating in the Dark: The Meaning of Food in Film” is part of this fall’s Honors Colloquium at URI, which focuses on food and social policy.

The discussion will take place in the Barry Marks Auditorium, Room 271, Chafee Social Science Center, Kingston campus. It is free and open to the public.

Clips from a number of films will be screened, including The Gold Rush, Tom Jones, Women In Love, The Odd Couple, The Godfather, 9 1/2 Weeks, and Chocolat. Food-in-film genres, such as Food & Lust and Food & Anger will also be examined.

" People everywhere in the world can relate to the need and desire for food, and therefore images of food work well cinematically and non-verbally,” says Zorabedian. “Food is used in obvious ways in films --hunger, overeating, and simply as background. But it's also intriguing to see food used symbolically to communicate ethnic, class and family differences, anger, sex, and love. Judith and I plan to show many film clips that demonstrate all of these aspects. We chose clips that range from very moving to very funny."

Zorabedian teaches film classes in the URI Honors Program. His doctoral work at Boston University involved the cultural importance and impact of film. He has worked as a film critic for several publications and also an independent film and video producer.

Swift is both a professor of communications studies and a professor of theatre. She specializes in the direction and development of new scripts, has written and developed scripts for film and video that have aired on several PBS affiliates, and has constructed, authored or co-authored more than 40 productions based on historical events or science.

For the most current colloquium information, visit or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2303.

Major sponsors for the colloquium include Edward W. Bouclin, The Providence Journal, Theta Chi Fraternity, URI ‘s College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of the Environment & Life Sciences, College of Human Science & Services, Division of University Advancement, Honors Program, Office of the Provost, and President’s Office. Co-sponsors include URI’s College of Nursing, Multicultural Center; Office of Student Affairs; Partnership on Food, Hunger, and Nutrition; Women’s Center and Women’s Studies Program.