Written by Christina Bowman. Media by Momoka Murata.
For only the second time at Greenville University, communications professor Dr. Matt Bernico and philosophy and religion professor, Dr. John Brittingham are coming together to teach an interterm class, Coffee: The Cup of Injustice. The last time it was offered was back in 2012.
“Basically, whenever Dr. Brittingham and I are in the same room we have about thirty different ideas for possible classes,” said Dr. Bernico, “I’m not sure who came up with this one. Generally, we wanted (1) an excuse to drink lots of good coffee and (2) to talk about the global systems of trade that propped up the coffee industry.” Besides both being coffee lovers, they are also very interested in the global coffee industry. He went on to say, “Coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world. It’s worth knowing a little bit about its production!”
Interterm is only nine days this year–January 8th through January 19th. The class itself will be held from 8:00 am-11:30 am and 1:00 pm-3:30 pm Monday-Friday in Snyder Hall. Though it is offered as elective credit, it will be based on two things: coffee culture in the United States and how coffee gets to the US. The part of the name “The Cup of Injustice” derives from content in the class covering how other countries have been “imperialized” due to coffee. “It will be pretty chill, I think,” said Dr. Bernico, “The morning will be mostly for demonstrations and discussions about brewing. Then, we’ll break and do some reading. After lunch, we’ll come together and talk through the reading.”
Besides typical class work, Bernico and Brittingham also plan to take the class to visit various coffee shops in the St. Louis area. Two of these are Blueprint, located on the Delmar Loop and Sump Coffee, located off of Jefferson Avenue.
There are no prerequisites to the class and it does not matter what level of knowledge you already have about coffee. Anyone who enjoys coffee, studying economics and other cultures should consider this class. Besides this, you get to drink a ton of coffee throughout the two weeks. Last time the class was taught, they went through about one pound of coffee in every class session. If you would still like to sign up for the class, there are two seats out of twenty-five remaining before you will be put on the waitlist.
As a fellow coffee lover, I am excited to see what this course has to offer and dive into the culture of coffee both globally and economically!