College of Arts and Letters

  Music is a form of storytelling, even when there are no words. For composer Dr. Michael F. Murray, his most intriguing projects have been inspired by his passion for poetry.

 As an artist-in-residence in Edinburgh, Scotland during summer 2013, Ruth Barnes, coordinator of the dance program at Missouri State University, collaborated with five other choreographers to design an hour-long dance solo that centered on the theme of displacement. They named it, “Here, There and Everywhere.”

Barnes brought her unique style of dance to Missouri State back in 2005 – a style she calls non-linear narrative contemporary. There may be a story, but as she describes it, it may be out of sequence, and it’s open to interpretation.


 After the Civil War, Springfield, Missouri, was in shambles. Inhabitants came back to a war torn city. This is the setting for "Teeth of the Souls" - the latest publication by Missouri State's Moon City Press. Dr. James Baumlin, distinguished professor of English at Missouri State, discusses this piece of historical fiction.

According to Baumlin, the book, by Steve Yates, introduces readers to a man before his time: The protagonist hired African Americans in his family's rock quarries when it was unpopular to affiliate, and he was in love with an ex-slave. 

  In 1974, families in the United States became acquainted with the Ingalls family through NBC’s pop culture phenomenon “Little House on the Prairie.” Forty years later, the life and works of novelist Laura Ingalls Wilder – which the television series was loosely based upon – are still being studied, read and taught. Pamela Smith Hill from Missouri State’s English department discusses her upcoming free online course "Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring Her Work and Writing Life – The Early Years." The class will begin on Sept 22. 

Listen for the full interview.

    Ancient Athens can be credited for so much of the foundation that is today’s society: drama, both tragedy and comedy, and democracy with laws made by the people. Dr. Edwin Carawan, professor of modern and classical languages at Missouri State University, noted that the ancient Athenians also created the art of speech writing and rhetoric, both of which have inspired his publishing projects, which have focused on the intersection of law and rhetoric.