In this lecture, based on his important new biography, The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor, Professor Jonathan Rose will introduce a Winston Churchill we have not known before and will trace the profound influence of literature and theater on Churchill’s carefully composed grand story as well as on the decisions he made throughout his political life.
He will identify an array of authors who shaped Churchill’s writings and politics, from George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells to Margaret Mitchell, George Orwell and Oscar Wilde. Professor Rose will investigate the effect of Churchill’s passion for theater on his writing and perhaps most remarkably, he will reveal the influence of Churchill’s reading on every important episode of his public life, including his championship of social reform, plans for the Gallipoli invasion, command during the Blitz, crusade for Zionism, and efforts to prevent a nuclear arms race.
Finally, he will trace the significance of Churchill’s writings to later politicians, among them President John F. Kennedy as he struggled with the Cuban Missile Crisis. In his recent book review for The Times, London, Lawrence James wrote: “Jonathan Rose… has shown how Churchill excelled in the application of language to the exercise of power and concludes that he ‘modelled his politics on literature.’
Jonathan Rose, Ph.D., is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History, Drew University. He received his B.A. cum laude from Princeton University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He was founding president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing and is co-editor of the journal Book History. His numerous publications include the critically acclaimed book, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, named a Book of the Year (2001) by the Economist magazine. His most recent book is The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor (Yale University Press, May, 2014), which is garnering rave reviews. Among his many fellowships is one in 1978 from the English-Speaking Union. He lives in Morristown, New Jersey.
The English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch, and the Theatre, English and History Departments of the University of Missouri-Kansas City are co-sponsoring this free lecture program. Reception: 6:00 PM; Lecture: 6:30 PM. Professor Rose will be available after the lecture for book signing. In addition, students from UMKC Theatre, English, and History Departments and students from other educational institutions may attend an informal Q&A session with Prof. Rose between 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at Grant Hall prior to his 6:30 PM lecture at Grant Hall, 5227 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo. Media is cordially invited.
The English-Speaking Union is a non-profit, non-political educational organization, whose mission is to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for student, teachers and its members. The ESU assists individuals to function in the wider global community through international scholarships and exchanges, providing students and teachers with opportunities to study in other countries exchange ideas and broaden their perspectives. The ESU carries out its work through a network of 68 branches in the U.S. and 36 affiliates in the U.K. and in 60 other countries, sponsoring a variety of language and international education programs.
UMKC Theatre has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top graduate theatre training programs in the country. For 34 years, the theatre department has trained and developed some of the finest theatre artisans working in the industry today. UMKC Theatre not only trains a select group of highly talented actors, designers, stage managers, technicians, and dramaturgs for careers in the performing arts, they also produce numerous plays each season...a valued benefit to Kansas City residents. Dynamic co-productions with local professional theatres provide a sense of the real world for students and even more enriching experiences for Kansas City theatre-lovers.
UMKC Department of English
The Department of English faculty has a broad range of professional competence in the study of literature and language, and its members are trained to teach courses in U.S. and British literature, linguistics, American culture, film, creative writing, journalism, and composition. The department believes the study and teaching of literature and language to be an important means of preserving and vitalizing our humanistic tradition. The Department's commitment to excellence in teaching and research is supported by extraordinary campus and community resources. The Department offers programs of study that lead to the BA, MA, MFA, and Ph.D. degrees.
UMKC Department of History
The faculty of the Department of History believe their discipline is an essential component of a liberal arts education. As an important part of the curriculum, historical study enables students to understand the interaction of many aspects of state, society and culture, and the dynamics of human change. It offers valuable perspective on contemporary problems as well as providing knowledge of the past for its own inherent interest. Our faculty is a highly productive group of active scholars who hold their Ph.D.s, earned at major universities. All are involved in personal research projects, many of which have carried them throughout the world.
UMKC English Dept.
UMKC History Dept.