The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Brown bag lectures provide a casual atmosphere

Tucked away in a little known nook on campus, the Brown Bag Lecture Series occurs once a month. The speaker for September was Sterling Evans, a professor of history at Brandon University in Canada, who spoke on “Fruit, Fiber, and Flowers: Transnational Commodity Connections from a Historical Perspective” on Wednesday.

Normally held from 12-1 p.m. in the Texana room of the DeGolyer Library, the event is sponsored by SMU Press, Colophon/Friends of the SMU Libraries and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies. The premise of the program is to allow the SMU community to learn about various topics from respected leaders in their fields based on current findings in an informal, unintimidating manner; hence the suggestion of bringing your own brown bag lunch.

Evans began by talking briefly about Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States,” a book written by his “good friend,” John Soluri. Evans explained how commerce and agricultural trade has progressed over the past few centuries. After his introduction, the speaker transitioned to his main topic of twine’s history and its exportation and importation. While he was explaining how a twine reaper and binder works, Evans commented that “since his father was a twine harvester he felt a connection to his research.” That comment was one of the things that stood out in making the lecture more interesting and informative for the audience.

Throughout the lecture, Evans continued to describe twine’s history and its harvesting tools such as the twine binder and threshing machine. Little-known facts were also provided, such as: The largest ball of twine is located in Cawker City, Kan., twine’s influence in the seal of Saskatchewan, Canada and the fact that the United Fruit Company of the 19th century is now the Chiquita Banana Company.

Based on Evans lecture, the Brown Bag Lecture Series provides a way to learn about various topics in different disciplines in a relaxing atmosphere.

While listening to the lecture, students, faculty, staff and community patrons are able to eat their lunches, something that patrons probably would not be comfortable doing in a formal lecture.

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