“The Southern African Mosaic: Perspectives on Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, & Zimbabwe" at the Bettendorf Public Library -- November 29. (pictured: Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls)

Tuesday, November 29, 7 p.m.

Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive, Bettendorf IA

In a special November 29 Bettendorf Public Library program hosted by the World Affairs Council of the Quad Cities, a professor emeritus of Augustana College will offer fascinating history and insight on largely unknown and frequently misunderstood regions overseas, with  Dr. Norman Moline presenting The Southern African Mosaic: Perspectives on Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, & Zimbabwe.

These countries with different histories are a mosaic of natural and cultural landscapes. Their forests and grasslands are habitats for many wild animals including the “big five," and coastal areas have penguins, flamingos, and seals. The Namib Desert, with its spectacular red dunes and Victoria Falls – the world’s largest waterfall – are World Heritage sites. Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, and Cape Agulhas (Africa’s southernmost point) are important in navigation history. Johannesburg, which includes the historically significant "Soweto township," is the continent’s largest city. It and other cities and rural areas reveal the legacies of apartheid and Nelson Mandela, and with these nations having other major challenges such as great unequal distribution of wealth and need for economic development, Dr. Moline, with The Southern African Mosaic: Perspectives on Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, & Zimbabwe, will explore parts of this unique mosaic through his November 29 presentation.

Dr. Norman Moline, who retired from Augustana College in 2014, is professor emeritus of geography. 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 United States and geography of East Asia, particularly China. Related to his interest in transportation history, Moline's 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 was 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, Moline and three colleagues initiated an 11-week fall-term study program in that region for 70 students. Three years later, that program was the first large group of American students admitted into China after its “opening.” From then until 2016, Moline directed or co-directed 17 student programs involving over 1,200 students, seven alumni trips, and five faculty development trips to the region.

The World Affairs Council of the Quad Cities' program The Southern African Mosaic: Perspectives on Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, & Zimbabwe will be presented on November 29, participation in the 7 p.m. event is free, and more information is available by calling (563)344-4177 and visiting BettendorfLibrary.org and WACQC.org.

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