Coevolution of Plants and People How have plants shaped human societies and how have humans shaped the plant world? What are the cultural and environmental consequences of the exploitation of plant resources? For much of our existence humans have depended on plants. Most of our food, in bulk and diversity, comes from plants. Plant materials provide shelter, warmth, light, and medicine. Plants intoxicate us and transport us to other spiritual worlds. In the form of flowers, plants provide a way to celebrate love and commemorate the dead. Plants present all kinds of resources that are utilized in various ways by different cultures, but they are generally ignored and taken for granted. In the face of climate change and the rapid transformation of our natural environment, understanding the plant world is of central importance for the maintenance of human societies. Students will learn the techniques used by ethnobotanists to study the relationship of people to their plant world. Through lectures, readings, films, discussions, excursions to the arboretum, and the preparation and sharing of foods, students will explore how humans and plants have coevolved to create the world that we live in today.




This course may include an optional section that will meet for an additional hour each week to discuss supplemental readings in Spanish.  Students participating in the foreign language section will receive one additional credit hour, pass/not passed marking. As a ConnCourse, this class will make connections across the liberal arts.

Cross Listed Courses

This is the same course as ANT 117/ES 117.

Enrollment Limit

Enrollment limited to 28 students.