Humanities For Everybody

Building Communities Through Knowledge

“Reading about Michigan” Sept 13 – Oct 13

September 4th, 2016

ErnestHemingwayWe are ushering in autumn 2016 with a literature course taught by Dr. Thomas Bailey, former Western Michigan University Professor who has served as ombudsman, director of Environmental Studies, and chair of the Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies.  With his wealth of knowledge and experience, Dr. Bailey will guide us on a literary journey through our “peninsulae”, analyzing modern works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction written by Michiganders, and addressing issues related to Michigan … and beyond.


Take a look at our reading list:

William Olsen & Jack Ridl, eds.,  Poetry in Michigan / Michigan in Poetry

Elmore Leonard, City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit 

Ernest Hemingway, The Nick Adams Stories

Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage

Anna Clark, ed., A Detroit Anthology


By Shakil Mustafa

By Shakil Mustafa – CC 2013

We can’t wait to see you in class!


H4E Courses 2016-2017

August 2nd, 2016



Reading about Michigan

September 13 – October 13

Dr. Tom Bailey,  English & Environmental Studies:

Dr. Thomas BaileyIn this course we’ll be taking a look at poems and books about Michigan, and discuss current events relating to Flint, Lansing, the Kalamazoo Promise, etc. During the session we will write journal entries, have short in-class writing responses, and write thoughtful, personal essays about what we have read and discussed.




The Border, Immigration, & the Latino Experience in the  U.S. 

October 25 – November 22

Dr. Ann Miles,  Sociology

100_1090This course will explore Latino immigration in the United States, including U.S. border policies since 9/11, Latinos in the   media, & the inequalities of migration. We’ll read a case study of Ecuadorian families who emigrate to provide a future for their children, and about American retirees who flock to Ecuador to live the good life in retirement.



The Nadir of the Black Experience, Part II: 1800-1903

 January 17 – February 16

Dr.  Ben Wilson,  History & Africana Studies

Dr. Ben Wilson

The general theme of this course will be the survival of a people in a hostile, western environment. We will discuss self definition in the protracted struggle from Gabriel Prosser to  W.E.B. Dubois.Readings will include: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Harriet Jacobs) and Beloved (Tony Morrison).




Women Writers in Contemporary Black Literature

 February 28 – March 30

Dr. Mariam Konaté, Gender & Women’s Studies

027This course focuses on the writings of Black women writers from Africa and the Diaspora. Analyzing selected works, we will engage in a number of critical endeavors:1) establishing the canon of African women writers; 2) critically exploring stereotypical images of women in African literature; 3) Examining a developing African female aesthetics; 4) Analyzing oral literature.




H4E Documentary

May 3rd, 2016

Humanities For Everybody Documentary

Theresa Jackson, a talented Kalamazoo filmmaker and H4E alumna, created this documentary about Humanities for Everybody (H4E). The film premiered at the end of our graduation celebration on April 19th, 2016.

Weeee’re Back! H4E 2015-16: The Year of Impact

July 19th, 2015


2015-2016 Modules

Ladies and gents H4E is back this year with a fresh line-up of classes, excursions, new experiences, and epiphanies to be had.

Humanities for Everybody has returned for a better, stronger, and more impactful experience this year. This year we have superstar instructors delivering their favorite subject matter. Below is a list of the classes/ modules that are being offered.

Kicking off this season is:


Michigan Writers (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, 2015

Dr. Tom Bailey, teaching, “Michigan Writers”, where the class will explore some of the great fruits of the home grown variety. Expect to be led through some engaging reflections and insightful selections.  Classes will read selections, discuss their themes and challenge each others views in a spirited and fun-loving manner.








Everyday Ethics and the Examined Life (Oct. 27 – Nov. 24, 2015)

Dr. Dini Metro-Roland, teaching, “Everyday Ethics and the Examined Life”. In this class we students will explore some of the most influential classical and contemporary ethical theories of the Western World. We will pay particular attention to how these theories apply to our own everyday lives at home, at school and at work. Prepare yourself to be dizzy with ideas from Socrates’ dangerous interrogations to the care ethics of Nel Nodding. New to philosophy? Have no fear! This course is for beginners as well as those already quite fond of questioning everything.




Dr. Ben Wilson

The Black Experience from the African Beginnings to the Civil War (Feb. 2 – March 3, 2016)

Dr. Ben Wilson walking his class through, “The Black Experience from the African Beginnings to the Civil War”. This offering is designed to trace and analyze the history and cultural experience of people of African ancestry in the Americas during the ante-bellum years. The central theme will be “survival and creative development” in an oppressive environment. Some attention will be devoted to those who were forced to endure in the non-English speaking zones of the Western Hemisphere, but the majority of time will be directed to those who settled in the US. The offering will be informative and fun!


Dr. Konate

Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies (March 15 – April 14, 2016)

Dr. Mariam Konaté will lead her students through an, “Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies” interdisciplinary course that provides an analytical framework for the study of gender and gender-defining institutions, exploring the social conditions associated with gender in the U.S. society in a global context. The course emphasizes approaches that study the diversity and similarity of gendered experience across class, racial and ethnic groups.
Throughout the course we will study the effect of gender from various perspectives in both the past and present. The course emphasizes approaches that study the diversity and similarity of experience across class, racial and ethnic groups.



We are now accepting applications to all modules. Please click here or email us at if you are interested and we will get you signed up!


-All classes are free and supplies are provided.



Conclusion of the 2014-2015 Program Year

April 24th, 2015

Congratulations to all of our program participants on another successful program year!

The Humanities for Everybody Program will host its annual graduation ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of our participants and the contributions of our instructors on Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30pm. The ceremony will take place at the Western Michigan University Center for the Humanities (2500 Knauss Hall). If you are interested in joining us for the event, please contact Randall Janes at (269) 387-1811 or for more information.


Registration Open for 2014-2015 !

July 26th, 2014


Register now online for 2014-2015 Humanities for Everybody courses!  We are excited to offer four modules this year in the fields of Political Philosophy, Ethics, Sociology of Medicine, and Gender & Women’s Studies.

To apply, please click on the “Apply Online” link on the left!

To access our current course brochure, please click here: H4EBrochure9th2014-2015.

Successful End to H4E 2013-2014 & Graduation Ceremony

April 14th, 2014

This past week marked a successful end to the 2013-2014 term of the Humanities for Everybody program! Dr. Mitch Kachun’s section on the African-American Great Migration witnessed both engaging conversations and personal connections to the text, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. This was Dr. Kachun’s first experience with H4E, and both he and program participants expressed positive reactions to our community of learning!


To celebrate the accomplishments of our students and the contributions of our instructors, the H4E program will be hosting an informal graduation gathering this Thursday (April 17th) at Western Michigan University’s Center for the Humanities (2500 Knauss Hall). The event begins at 7:00 PM. If you are interested in joining, please contacting Terry Foor at (405) 474-3299 or for more information!

Congratulations to all of our program participants on an excellent year!