Before 1492, no one in Europe ate tomatoes, no one in South America herded cattle, no one in Asia cooked with chili peppers, and no one in North America fell sick with influenza. The exchange of plants, animals, and microbes between the Americas and Afro-Eurasia in the wake of Christopher Columbus’ first voyage across the Atlantic forever changed the world’s histories and ecologies. In this course we will examine these changes, which created global systems and ecological challenges that continue to shape our world today.
This joint Biology-History seminar offers an engaging and interactive way to study how contacts from centuries ago continue to shape our world. We will combine the insights of historians and ecologists to understand what happened then, why it matters now, and how we can help make a better world in the future. The course is scheduled for the winter semester 2024, and lectures will be on Mondays 1-3pm.
Students may have the option of participating in an international learning experience to the Caribbean during Reading Week that will have an additional cost and application process. For more info on this opportunity, check here.
Students interested in this course will need to be approved for enrollment by the department and course instructors.