Binding Our State Together: 20[1] Years of Canals, Railroads, Postal Service, Interurbans, and Roads

12/03/2019 @ 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Presented by: Presented by: Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau—Dr. Norman Moline

In Illinois, as in most places, people and communities have sought to connect with other places for personal, cultural, economic, and political reasons. Our territory was changed from a sparsely settled and minimally connected area to a place with an extensive set of linkages between communities and regions. Transportation and postal service developments have been key factors in shaping our state’s history and character.

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About the presenter:

Dr. Norman Moline is professor emeritus of geography at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. After receiving his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Chicago, he taught human geography and environment courses for 45 years at Augustana. Two of his specializations are the historical geography of the U.S. and geography of East Asia, particularly China. Related to his interest in transportation history, his Ph.D. dissertation focused on the changes in personal mobility and the character of towns from 1900 to 1930 after the arrival of the automobile and good roads. He served two terms and has been reappointed for 2019-21 on the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council which acts on National Register nominations. Drawing upon his East Asia studies, in 1974 he and three colleagues initiated an eleven-week fall term study program in that region for 70 students. In 1977, that program was the first large group of American students admitted into China after its “opening.” From then until 2016, he directed or co-directed 17 student programs involving over 1,200 students, 7 alumni trips, and 5 faculty development trips to the region. Adding personal trips, he has been to China over 40 times. His presentation draws upon books, data, and on-site experiences.


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Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, our partnering organizations, or our funders.