Daily Readings

4 days

In this topic, we will first read about the conditions of agriculture pre-Columbus in the Americas (one day dedicated to Central America, one to South America) and then turn to the nature of the exchange and some of the changes in global food production based on this event.  One way to think about this division is to think of there being 2 days each dedicated to Europe pre-exchange, the Americas pre-exchange, and then to the world post-exchange.  This will take us right to the end of the course!

Thursday, April 19th - Americas Pre-Columbus


Firstly, if people are interested, I would encourage you to go back and reread chapters 8 and 9 from the "Origins of Agriculture" course book.

Secondly, read the following: Dunmire, Gardens of New Spain, pp. 31-82.  EBRARY

Tuesday, April 24th -Americas Pre-Columbus II


Doolittle, William E. “Agriculture in North America on the Eve of Contact: A Reassessment.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 82, no. 3 (1992): 386–401.  AND:

Whitmore, Thomas M., and B. L. Turner II. “Landscapes of Cultivation in Mesoamerica on the Eve of the Conquest.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 82, no. 3 (1992): 402–425. (Both JST

Thursday, April 26th -The Columbian Exchange: Europe and North America


De Vos, Paula Susan. The Science of Spices: Empiricism and Economic Botany in the Early Spanish Empire.
Journal of World History, Volume 17, Number 4, December 2006, pp. 399-427.

And Read:

Dunmire, Gardens of New Spain,  EBRARY
Choose One Chapter between Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Tuesday, May 1st (the last day of class!!) - Columbian Exchange: Other Foodways (cookies may be involved)

Choose one of the following:

Islamic Influences in the Americas:
Plants and Progress: Rethinking the Islamic Agricultural Revolution Michael Decker
Journal of World History  Vol. 20, No. 2 (Jun., 2009) pp. 187-206  http://www.jstor.org/stable/40542757

African Influences in the Americas:
African Rice in the Columbian Exchange
Judith A. Carney
The Journal of African History, Vol. 42, No. 3 (2001), pp. 377-396

Black Rice : The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas

American Influences in Africa:
Maize and Grace : Africa's Encounter with a New World Crop, 1500-2000

Last modified: Monday, April 30, 2012, 9:11 AM