Nation up north finds Southern

Nathan Carter

This fall, Missouri Southern students can look north to find the subject of this year’s themed semester.

“Despite Canada being so close to the United States, Americans in general really know very little about Canada,” said Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of the Institute of International Studies.

The themed semester program started in 1997 as a direct result of the University’s international mission.

“While we place a great deal of emphasis on the international mission, we realize that not everyone is able to participate in that opportunity,” Stebbins said. “Through the themed semesters we bring the world to the campus.”

Stebbins said the University scheduled a Canada semester for several reasons. In 2005, MSSU hosted a Mexico semester.

“We thought in all fairness that we should focus on our larger neighbor to the north,” he said.

The first presentation of the Canada semester is at 10 a.m. today in Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall and will focus on the province of Québec.

“Québec is probably the most interesting province in Canada,” Stebbins said. “French is spoken widely throughout Québec.

“The interesting thing about Québec is that for a long time now they have talked about seceding from Canada and becoming its own country. It has died down since the 90s but it is still an issue that’s on the table and is discussed from time to time.”

Dr. David Lee, professor emeritus from Missouri State University, will present the lecture. Lee has taught French for 25 years and has led frequent study tours to Québec. For more than 10 years accompanied MSU students to the Université Laval for the summer French program. Topics will include the history of Québec; it’s French Canadian and British heritages, language barriers, their federal system and recent history.

“We’re going through a lot of the same debates here about language,” Lee said. “There’s a lot of resentment about it.

“There’s also a lot of the same debates about health care, so there are a lot of similarities there.”

Another presentation on Québec will be available at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 12 in Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall.