About 10,000 years ago, a weedy grass growing in Mexico possessed of a strange trait known as a "jumping gene" transformed itself into a larger and more useful grass - the cereal grass that we would come to know as maize and then corn. Nurtured by Native Americans, this grain would transform the Americas even before First Contact. After First Contact, it spanned the globe, but it also drove westward expansion in North America, building cities and inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs. However, vampires, whiskey, Henry Ford, time zones, Fritos, and the Chicago Bears are also part of this remarkable story. And, as Margaret Visser noted in Much Depends on Dinner, "Without corn, North America - and most particularly modern, technological North America - is inconceivable."
This presentation will be given by SWG member Cynthia Clampitt and will last between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
Cynthia Clampitt is the author of Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland, published by the University of Illinois Press.