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HIS 281: Africa to 1800: Crops

The Assignment

3-4 page paper and 5-7 minute presentation on a crop

Questions to consider:

  • What is it?
  • Where did it come from?
  • If it is not indigenous to Africa, how did it get there?
  • When?
  • How is it used?
  • Is there anything interesting about it?

Search Hints

  • Find all the possible names of your crop, including common western name, scientific name, binomial name, and other synonyms
  • Possible useful fields could be agriculture, anthropology, history, economics, global affairs, health and wellness, the possibilities are expansive
  • Add site:.edu or site:.gov to find resources from universities and government agencies
  • Search can be expanded with operators such as ""() AND OR NOT
    • Example: ("okra" OR "abelmoschus esculentus") AND Africa
    • Example: ("enset" OR "ensete" OR "abyssinian banana"  OR "ensete ventricosum") AND origin

Helpful Resources

Other Places to Look

  • If crop is based in one or two countries look for a USDA alternative
  • Cookbooks, they'll have more anecdotal "fun facts"

Boolean Search

Book Hunt