week 2: early america one

The earliest immigrants to what we now call the Americas by land and cruising the coasts. The civilizations that evolved from their wanderings were highly complex and advanced. We begin the semester considering their emergence, and the revolutionary domestication of Zea mays that made it possible. To this day, there is no single crop or animal more central to the US economy and its food system than corn.

August 27 (Tuesday) – Charting the Earliest Migrations

  • Mann, Charles C. “1491” The Atlantic Monthly (March 2002).
  • Stix, Gary. “The Migration History of Humans: DNA Study Traces Human Origins across the Continents.” Scientific American Magazine (July 2008).

August 29 (Thursday) – Maya

  • Thompson, J. Eric. “The Meaning of Maize for the Maya.” in Gilbert M. Joseph and Timothy J. Henderson, eds., The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002), pp. 86-91.
  • Anonymous. “The Popul Vuh.” In Joseph and Henderson, eds., The Mexico Reader, pp. 79-85.