Great Britain Semester offers timely talks, music and theater

  • Missouri Southern’s selection of Great Britain for the Fall 2016 themed semester was a timely one, given the ongoing controversy over the United Kingdom’s upcoming withdrawal from the European Union – commonly known as Brexit.

    Dr. Nicholas Nicoletti, assistant professor of political science, gave a presentation on the U.K.’s rocky relationship with the EU on Oct. 27. Seven other MSSU faculty gave talks during the semester, on topics ranging from medieval manuscripts to Jack the Ripper. Dr. Jim Jackson, emeritus professor of biology who has visited the British Isles some 20 times, spoke on the benefits of deep tourism over broad tourism.

    The Music Department chimed in with four concerts of British music, and Southern Theatre staged “Blithe Spirit,” the comic play by Noël Coward, over five nights in Bud Walton Theatre. The British Film Festival showed 11 British masterpieces, including “Sense and Sensibility,” “Billy Liar” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps.”

    The Great Britain Semester opened with a rousing “British Invasion” concert by the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, making one of its rare appearances away from the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall. It concluded with three talks by author Charles Finch, whose novel “The Last Enchantments” was read by all freshmen as part of their University Experience 100 class.

    Two study abroad trips are planned to England in May 2017. Dr. Vickie Roettger and Dr. Scott Wells will lead a “Roots of Science” trip to London, Oxford and Lyme-Regis (the Jurassic Coast); Dr. Rebecca Mouser and Dr. Amy Gates will take students to London and other locations in southern England for a “Medieval Voyage, Quest, and Pilgrimage” exploration.

    Korea will be the focus of the Fall 2017 themed semester.

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