Bringing Curriculum Down to Earth: The Terroir That We Are


  • Wanda Hurren
  • Erika Hasebe-Ludt


In this essay, the authors outline theoretical and practical considerations that arise out of their autobiographical curricular research into place, identity, and food. Regarding the quintessential curricular questions, What is worth knowing? and How do we come to know?, they posit that an attention to how we eat and use the world (Berry, 1990) is a curricular endeavor. As such, they understand their work here as an acknowledgement of embodied or somatic and visceral, sensual knowing, a celebration of and attunement to the everyday experiences in human lives. The notion of terroir is explored as one possible approach to "bringing curriculum down to earth" and to dwell in the humus (Aoki, 1991/2005) we share with other living things. Along with a series of six vignettes that illustrate how food and place have influenced their identities and vice versa, the authors offer the reader, by way of sidebars, some of the strategies that have transformed their praxis when working towards an educational philosophy and curriculum that honours terroir not only as a theoretical or conceptual idea/ideal but also as a viable and sensual embodied practice. In this format, the essay mixes abstract theoretical discussion with examples of concrete praxis. The authors suggest that this mixing is an important and necessary curricular endeavour for

Author Biographies

Wanda Hurren

Wanda Hurren teaches and researches in curriculum studies in the Faculty of Education, University of Victoria. She is co-editor (with Erika Hasebe-Ludt) of Curriculum Intertext: Place/Language/Pedagogy and author of Line Dancing: An Atlas of Geography Curriculum and Poetic Possibilities. She recently taught a graduate course titled Curriculum Mapwork: Place, Identity, and Food.

Erika Hasebe-Ludt

Erika Hasebe-Ludt teaches and researches in literacy education and curriculum studies in the Faculty of Education, University of Lethbridge. She is co-editor (with Wanda Hurren) of Curriculum Intertext: Place/Language/Pedagogy and co-author (with Cynthia Chambers and Carl Leggo) of Life Writing and Literary Métissage as an Ethos for Our Times.






Cultural Studies and Curriculum