In consultation with the State Department of Education of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Humanities Council, this course will satisfy PASS objectives in the following fields: Economics, Geography, Oklahoma History, U.S. History, 1850-Present, and World History. For full details click Why Participate? under the links menu on the right sidebar of this page.
The structure of the course's content is rooted in a well-known history: the rise of agribusiness and its concentration on a small basket of key food crops, which has deeply influenced today's heartlands. Unquestionably, wheat and the communities that produce it have had a major part to play in this story, so the institute focuses on the world's major wheat-producing regions to explore their emergence and current place in the world. The course explores each heartland as a unit or case study through core texts. The case studies with their associated primary texts are:
The Pampas in Argentina:
Domingo Sarmiento, Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism: The First Complete English Translation, translated by Mary Peabody Mann with an introduction by Ilan Stavans (London: Penguin Classics, 1998)
The Russian Federation’s “Black Earth” Region and the Ukraine:
Kate Brown, A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005)
Oklahoma and the Midwest
David D. Joyce (Ed.), Alternative Oklahoma: Contrarian Views of the Sooner State (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007)
Germany (Bayern, Baden-Württemberg, Niedersachsen, and Nordrhein-Westfalen) and France (from Brittany to Burgundy) in the EU:
Graham Robb, The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007)
The Punjab in India and Pakistan:
Veena Talwar Oldenburg, Dowry Murder: The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)
Henan and Shandong provinces in China:
Dongping Han, The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2008)
Each unit explores the interactions between social and cultural forces that shape people's sense of self with the economic, environmental, and political forces that connect them to possibilities for survival and success. What impact, for example, has the Green Revolution, which brought new agricultural techniques to Northwest India and Southeast Pakistan, had on the possibility for farming families there to pursue their dreams? The scholars and participants in the institute pursue questions like this through discussion and develop the ideas that emerge into approaches for the classroom. The guiding philosophy of the institute is to develop practical approaches to complex problems to make learning accessible.
Still have questions?
If so, feel free to contact the director of the institute:
Funding for this project has been made possible in part by a generous grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the course
of the institute do not necessarily represent those of the OHC.