Wednesday March 8 Bucket Course |Three Agricultural Vignettes

Jonathon Andelson, Professor of Anthropology; Director, Center for Prairie Studies; Rosenfield Professor in Social Science-Anthropology. Drop in and Draw at the Faulconer Gallery, July 23, 2014. (Photo by Justin Hayworth)

The next Bucket Course will provide a unique opportunity to discover the richness and diversity to be found in the study of agricultural topics, and the crucial connections between agriculture and social forces.

Professor Jonathan Andelson will present a one-day course designed especially for people who do not have a background in farming.  He will present his course in three short presentations about three different topics, rather than a longer presentation about a single topic.  All three topics are linked by agriculture and by the ties between agriculture and wider socio-economic forces.

This Bucket Course, entitled “Three Agricultural Vignettes,” will take place on Wednesday, March 8 in the Drake Community Library’s Caulkins Community Room from 10 to 11:30 a.m.  The Bucket Courses are free and open to all.  No preregistration is required.

Andelson’s  presentation will begin with “The Irish Potato Famine” in which he will examine the causes and consequences of this tragic episode in Irish history.  The second topic, “Agrarianism, Lost and Found,” will consider the meaning of agrarianism, the form it took in the United States in the early 20th century, its nearly complete replacement by production agriculture after World War II, and recent efforts to revive a more agrarian relationship with the land.  The final topic, “A Primer on Transgenics and Glyphosate”, will examine the meaning of genetic engineering, its uses in contemporary production agriculture, and its relationship with the herbicide glyphosate, one of the most widely used herbicides in the world.

Jon Andelson is Rosenfield Professor of Social Science at Grinnell College, where he has taught for 48 years.  Originally from Chicago, Jon attended Grinnell College, graduating in 1970.  He earned his PhD from the University of Michigan with a dissertation about change and persistence in the Amana Colonies.  He returned to Grinnell to teach in 1974 where he co-founded the College’s Center for Prairie Studies in 1999 and served as the director of the Center for 20 years.

Members of the sponsoring Community Education Cooperative include Unity Point Health Grinnell, Grinnell College, Drake Community Library, Grinnell-Newburg School District, Grinnell Area Arts Council, Mayflower Community, Grinnell Education Partnership, Read to Lead and Iowa Valley Community College.

The Bucket Course web page is  Videos of previous Bucket Courses are available on the YouTube channel, Grinnell Community Education Cooperative.  For more information contact Judy Hunter at