Graduation Year

January 2011

Graduation Month

May

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department

English

Faculty Mentor

Kathleen Kane

Faculty Mentor Department

English

Faculty Reader(s)

David Moore

Keywords

Ebenezer Elliott, Corn Laws, slavery, colonization, Maya, Arturo Warman, Juan Felipe Herrera, literature, control, exploitation, capitalism, corn, food power

Subject Categories

Cultural History

Abstract

Corn's status as a critical food crop, and its location within indigenous new world cosmographies, illustrate the important sociocultural role the plant has played for millennia. However, modern society has elevated Zea mays far above the status of mere plant, fashioning it into a commodity intimately connected to systems of control and capitalism. Consequently, corn has played an essential role in colonization, industrialization, and the advent of overproduction. The beliefs and literature of numerous new world cultures, along with the literatures of modern Western cultures, offer a striking analysis of corn's current position in western society. The far-reaching impacts that corn has on our socioeconomic and subsistence systems reveal a great deal about globalization, commodification, and dominance. This paper examines corn through a cultural studies lens, documenting the influence of this iconic foodstuff and analyzing its effects over historical and cultural boundaries.

Honors College Research Project

Yes

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© Copyright 2011 Ginny Marie Mueller