In Spring 2018, the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy embarked on a partnership with University of Oxford’s Corpus Christi College that provides Mizzou undergraduates with an opportunity to experience the scholastic life, unique pedagogy, and rich traditions of one of the globe’s most storied institutions.
The first program of its kind at Mizzou, “Global History at Oxford” is both an intellectually rigorous, on-campus experience for students and an immersive study abroad opportunity. The core component of the program is Kinder Institute Chair in Constitutional Democracy Jay Sexton’s “Topics in Global and Transnational History” class, a spring semester course that asks students to consider why national history emerged as the default method of studying the past and to examine the new, more complex narrative that is un-earthed by taking a more transnational approach.
Studying the rise of global empires and the development of global history prepares students for the program’s second component: a week spent embedded at Corpus Christi College. Over spring break, all students in the class traverse the Atlantic to spend five days attending seminars with distinguished faculty at Oxford and neighboring colleges, soaking in the rich social fabric of the campus and city, and touring the British countryside. Held concurrently with an alumni trip, the program also allows students to connect with previous generations of MU undergrads.
Twenty competitively-chosen students and 14 alumni, joined by Rich and Nancy Kinder, recently returned from the second annual week-long trip across the pond. This year’s itinerary included symposium talks with Oxford dons, tours of Christ Church and Sulgrave Manor (the ancestral home of George Washington), high table dinners at Corpus Christi College and St. Peters College, “Real” Tennis at Merton College, and a viewing of an original copy of the King James Bible (translated in part by Corpus Christi President John Rainolds with remarks by current President Helen Moore).