Dr. Michele Moe studied literary and cultural theory at Carnegie Mellon University and earned her PhD in 1999 with a dissertation on class analysis and public/private sphere relationships in early twentieth century American literature. This research interest has carried over into her course design during her years at UCLA. Every course offering has kept, as a central theme, the relationship between the public and private. Her current course on the politics of food takes up the question of government regulation of private food corporations in the industrial food system. It also contrasts the efforts of the public sphere to provide external regulation of individuals’ eating habits through public health initiatives to individuals’ efforts to self-regulate. As a topic, this focus on food allows for a political, economic, and environmental analysis of the relationship between nature’s systems and industrial development, as well as a more personal and psychological study of how cooking and eating communicate social and familial values. Many students have found this theme rewarding as their own communities have been impacted by the expansion of the processed food industry. International students, in particular, have important insights to share as they make the transition to eating a western, industrialized diet; indeed, all new students share the common experience of leaving behind the rules and patterns of eating at home when they begin to live independently on a college campus.
In addition to teaching English 3- 5W in the Writing Programs, Michele Moe has worked with many transfer students through her years teaching for the Transfer Summer Program at UCLA, East LA Community College, and UC Extension. In the last few years, she has begun using elements of the Common Core Curriculum, in particular the depth and complexity icons, to help students from a wide range of backgrounds read and write more analytically.