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Comments on James C. McCann: Corn: Africa's Story in Four Acts

I am on top of things! I felt like this was the most interesting presentation yet, and it was definitely a new perspective on African culture that I hadn't considered at all. Not that I exactly think much about African culture, but... The actual presentation was not the best but the visual aids were top notch and I was legitimately interested the whole time. -PAD

James McCann is a cool guy. He is also a leading expert on Maize in Africa. These two facts put together make for an entertaining and informative convocation. As he stated in the beginning, he was "telling stories, not numbers". Being invited both to the Congress and the Culinary Institute of America, he was a man who knew a lot and it showed. I really learned a lot from his presentation about Maize as a food crop. I never knew that Maize/Corn was such a big deal - they had a London Corn Exchange almost a century ago - and that Africa depended so much on it. It was also interesting to learn that corn comes in more colors than yellow! Mr. McCann was also a very funny man and his presentation was short and focused. Definitely on of the better convocations this year, who knew it was going to be about corn of all things. - SD

I felt like today's convocation was one of the best, if not the best. Mr. McCann spoke about corn, or as he said "maize". I must admit that before today's convocation I knew only of one kind of corn, the yellow one. However, when Mr. McCann showed a picture of 16 pieces of corn(Yes, I counted) of different colors, it a'maize'd me. The colors were quite exquisite and it made me wonder how I never knew these existed before. He mentioned that corn in America is grown primarily for feed and industrial use. Whereas, in South Africa, 95% of the maize is consumed by people. Another thing that I found very interesting was that corn produces 50 million units of pollen. This coincides with the fact that malaria cases shot up. All in all, this was worth my time. - SA

I had no idea that corn played such a big role in Africa. I had not even considered the idea of corn being grown in Africa. Also, I didn't not know that corn could be blue and just white (I've seen the other colors though). This convocation was one of the more interesting ones, which surprised interesting could corn be? McCann stayed to the point and incorporated a few jokes to keep interest. I managed to stay awake without much difficulty! Honestly, I don't know if I can say the same for others (I didn't bother to look). -AC

McCann was one of the better speakers for this year's convocation, and the topic was definitely more interesting than I thought possible. I learned that corn was a hybrid of two indigenous plants, and before that i had learned that corn could be grown in a variety of areas because of it’s special properties. However, I didn’t know the impact corn could have on a country such as Africa. I guess it goes to show how much I take things for granted. -RC

This convo has been so interesting. The four act that Prof. McCann presente have highlighted the other corn presentation and discussion. The first act presented the base of the whole corn presentation. The second act presented the original place where corn was originated and cropped. The third act had the miracle corn that has revolutionalize the corn industry and it also show the side-effectes that this miracle corn has produce. The malaria virus has increase ever since this miracle corn that can produce four times as bigger than the original produce corn. The four act show the future of corn and how we can benefit from producing more and what side-effected it can bring to the world. The final act show mischievous data about corn.--ME

This convocation on corn was much better than I thought a convocation on corn was going to be. I actually did not fall asleep this time. It was very enlightening because I never knew so much of Africa relied so much on corn. I know better, but much of the time I picture Africa has a hot, sandy desert and to now picture much of it looking like is simply fascinating. I was especially interested in his progression of how the corn went from extremely diverse to almost all white, all because of the pressure to become commercially successful. It almost made me sad to see all of the "pretty" corn colors when he showed the collection of diverse corn cobs and then to think that they aren't even produced anymore; and if they are, they are ignored. Overall, this convocation was very interesting and gave me a much different perspective on Africa. --MC
Topic revision: r9 - 2010-11-26, MorganCounts

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