Course Catalog - 2022-2023



Department: College Courses
Grade Mode: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory
Language of Instruction: Taught in English
Course Type: Lecture
Credit Hours: 1
Must be enrolled in one of the following Level(s):
Undergraduate Professional
Visiting Undergraduate
Description: “Asia doesn’t feel like our place. And to be honest, a lot of the time America doesn’t feel like our place, either. But the boba shop does…. We are the Boba Generation.” – The Boba Guys Developed in Taiwan in the ‘80s and spread across the world, boba tea is a fixture in many East Asian countries and immigrant communities. In America in particular, boba tea – a drink typically comprised of chewy tapioca pearls in a shaken iced milk tea base – has become a symbol for Asian diaspora. For decades, boba tea and boba shops have served as a cultural touchpoint for Asian-Americans who felt out of place in both Asia and America. How can food or drink shape a second-generation community? In this course, we will be discussing boba tea primarily from the Asian-American and American experiences. We will learn about the traditional influences available at the inception of boba tea, explore how and why boba continues to evolve in the present day, and investigate the history of boba culture from the perspectives of both those in the Asian-American community and those outside of it. Regardless of the student’s initial familiarity with boba, students will gain the cultural understanding to feel comfortable ordering and socializing in a boba shop. Students will demonstrate what they have learned in class and in readings/videos through online discussions. Learning will be augmented by hands-on boba-making activities and trips to local boba shops that are accompanied by individual reflections. At the end of the semester, students will be challenged to apply their understanding of boba composition and second-generation food culture in a final project.