College Humankind series focuses on ‘Movement’

September 21, 2021

College Humankind series focuses on ‘Movement’

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — After four years of exploring geographical locations, from Africa to the British Isles, West Shore Community College’s Humankind series is switching to focusing on a theme for the 2021-2022 academic year. “While people have greatly enjoyed our focus on different parts of the world, we think a theme could be even more popular with our audiences,” said Dr. Matt Sanderson, WSCC professor of philosophy and ethics and chair of the Humankind planning team. “Most people can connect in some way to a general theme, whereas that may not be the case with every country or location. Broadening our focus will allow us to explore topics of great relevance to American society today.”

The theme of the 2021-2022 Humankind series is “Movement.” Topics to be explored under this include bodily ability (in the context of disability rights), socio-economic mobility, transportation, immigration, anti-discrimination social movements, and climate change.

Kicking off the series will be the virtual presentation, “Eber Brock Ward: Michigan’s Forgotten Steamboat & Iron King,” by WSCC Professor of History and Political Science, Mike Nagle, on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m.

“E.B. Ward is a perfect figure to kick off this year’s Humankind series,” said Dr. Sanderson. “Ward’s lifetime of achievements centered around movement, whether in the form of transportation, shipping, migration, and even exodus from slavery.”

“Ward’s efforts have made possible all kinds of movement with great social and economic significance,” said Professor Nagle. “Countless migrants came to Michigan in the 1800’s on Ward’s railroad and steamboats. Millions of tons of cargo travel each year through the Soo Locks in part due to Ward’s support for the construction of this engineering marvel. Railroad cars traversed the nation’s heartland by the 1860s and 70s on iron and steel rails manufactured in Ward’s factories. Perhaps most significant of all, Ward’s vessels were known to provide safe passage to runaway slaves bound for Canada as they escaped their bondage in the United States. Ward himself was a strong supporter of the Union during the Civil War and an ardent opponent of slavery. Audience members with an interest in Michigan history will enjoy learning more about how Ward has contributed to various kinds of social and economic movement.”

Nagle is the author of Justus S. Stearns: Michigan Pine King and Kentucky Coal Baron, 1845-1933, published by Wayne State University Press. He is currently working with the same press to publish a biography of E.B. Ward, which he hopes will be available sometime in 2022.  This presentation will be based on some of his research for that manuscript. More information about Nagle and the book can be found at this link: https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/justus-s-stearns

Professor Nagle’s presentation will be followed by time for questions and discussion with the audience.

The event is accessible via Zoom at this link: https://bit.ly/humankindfall2021. It will be recorded and available afterwards on the college’s YouTube page.  For more information about the Humankind series, visit westshore.edu or contact [email protected].

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