10th Annual A Taste of A&S

Saturday, March 10, 2018 8:00am to 3:30pm

Memorial Union, MU campus


Taste of A&S artworkMU’s College of Arts and Science presents a day of good food, fantastic professors, and topics as diverse as the world around us—A Taste of Arts and Science.

Soren Larsen, Associate Professor of Geography
"Recovering a Long-forgotten Indigenous Story: Mizzou Students and the Cheslatta Carrier Nation"
The Cheslatta Carrier Nation, an indigenous people in British Columbia, Canada, was nearly destroyed in 1952 when they were evacuated from their homeland in advance of the rising waters of a massive hydroelectric reservoir. Of all the things lost in the aftermath, the stories of the Cheslatta oral tradition are most devastating, as they are one of the only links back to the ancestral land. In fall 2017, a chance discovery by two University of Missouri undergraduate students brought to life a long-forgotten story of an enormous, days-long potlatch (ceremonial feast) Cheslatta Chief Louie held during the height of the Great Depression, when the rest of Canada was struggling economically but Cheslatta country was rich and bountiful. The Mizzou students are now producing the story as a children’s book that contributes to the Cheslatta Nation’s journey of recovery and healing today. Larsen will share the story of Chief Louie’s potlatch to explore the ways indigenous principles, practices, and protocols are reemerging in British Columbia and around the world, everywhere from traditional tribal lands to the United Nations—and here on the University of Missouri campus.

Frances Dickey, Associate Professor of English
"T. S. Eliot and the Memory of St. Louis"

Born and raised on Locust Street in St. Louis, T. S. Eliot left home at the age of 16 and rarely returned. While he settled in London, becoming an internationally renowned poet, critic, and dramatist, his city also changed. Now virtually nothing remains of the mixed-race residential neighborhood where Eliot grew up, but it left an indelible print on the memory of a poet who remained especially attuned to the sights and sounds of city streets. On this guided tour of Eliot’s St. Louis, we will explore the sensory and social dimensions of his neighborhood through images, documents, and the language of his poetry. He was fortunate to live in St. Louis at a time of great musical creativity, when European art music and African-American ragtime rhythms mingled at pianos throughout the city. Hit songs like “Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay” emanated from the Chestnut Valley district near his home. This area was also condemned in the newspapers as the “pest hole” of St. Louis for its concentration of bars and brothels, creating a complex geographic and psychological landscape for the young poet to negotiate. Eliot’s early poetry, like Prufrock and Other Observations, offers a unique record of the city around 1900 that can’t be found in any history book—the sensations, tensions, and subtle emotions it provoked in the mind of its most acute observer.

Michael Budds, Professor of Music
"Music and Sex: A G-Rated Consideration"

When the Bard declared in Twelfth Night, “If music be the food of love, play on,” he was confirming in his own elegant manner what human beings have always known: that there is a strong relationship connecting music, a most-meaningful human creation; love, a most-powerful human need; and sex, a most-natural expression of that need. Any casual consideration of the history of music provides ample proof.  From earliest times, the texts of songs in the folk, popular, or art traditions have addressed sexual matters—often obliquely, sometimes realistically—to the great delight of performers and listeners in spite of social taboos. Profound changes in attitude and behavior in the 20th century made the unholy, notorious trio of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” almost inescapable. Prominent composers, it is just as important to note, have recognized the power of manipulating musical gestures subliminally to enhance related human feelings. Recently, scientists have identified physiological reasons that explain the relationship between sex and music.  These are, alas, the facts of life—like it or not! 

Join musicologist Michael J. Budds for informal G-rated commentary on this phenomenon and a selection of relevant musical examples.  The intention is not to shock sensibilities or glorify vulgarities, but to understand and appreciate our society and our natures in the spirit of Cole Porter’s invitation: “Let’s Misbehave!”

D Cornelison, Professor of Biological Sciences
CRISPR Critters: How Gene Editing is Changing our World (and Maybe Us)

The recent development of gene-editing techniques has given us the ability to quickly and easily make precise changes in the DNA of plants, animals, and people, and it has sparked legal, ethical, and medical debates about when, how, and whether to use them. We will discuss what CRISPR is, how it works, and how it is changing science and medicine.

André Ariew, Associate Professor of Philosophy
What Is this Thing Called ‘Critical Thinking?'"

“Critical Thinking” is the academic buzzword of the day. It is what employers want more of from the college graduates who enter the workforce. It is what many college course descriptions promise as the end-of-semester objective. It is what the world needs more of in our tumultuous days. But what is it? Why is it so elusive? How do we learn it?  We’ll turn to two disciplines well-suited to answer these questions, philosophy and psychology. Philosophers have been developing critical-thinking rules since ancient times (and it is high time for philosophers to step down from their ivory towers and share their knowledge). Psychology has recently begun to think about how to effectively teach the rules that are tricky for students to learn and incorporate. 

Registration costs $35 and includes breakfast and lunch.

You may register by:

  • Downloading the PDF (linked at the top of this page), printing, and mailing with a check
  • Dropping off at our office (317 Lowry Hall)
  • Paying by credit card—call Amanda Cook at 573-884-4482

Registration deadline is Friday, March 2, 2018. Contact Amanda with questions at MUASevents@missouri.edu