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Misher Festival

The Misher Festival of Fine Arts & Humanities celebrates former University President Allen Misher’s vision of an undergraduate education that embraces history, music, and literature alongside biology, chemistry, and more.

This year, the Misher Festival presents FOOD FOR THOUGHT, a series of events inspired by revolutionary writers, unfamiliar cultures, and, of course, the utter delight of food. Events will surface—some, quite spontaneously (and not listed on this calendar)—throughout the 2015-2016 academic year.

For more information or to register for an event, contact Prof. Christine Flanagan, c.flanag@usciences.edu.  All events are free and open to the public unless noted.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Salt Sugar Fat with author Michael Moss
2015 Misher Visiting Professor of Humanities

Astra Zeneca Auditorium  
McNeil Science and Technology Center

Reception to follow

Misher Festival

In his #1 bestseller, Salt Sugar Fat, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Moss traces the rise of the trillion dollar processed food industry and its link to the obesity epidemic. In powerful keynotes, he shows us how corporations knowingly use salt, sugar, and fat—and the latest in food science—to addict us and, more importantly, how we can fight back. In Salt Sugar Fat—which was featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine and is the winner of the 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Writing & Literature—Michael Moss examines the boardroom strategies of America’s most recognizable food brands. He explains how food science labs have calculated the "bliss point" of sugary products to guarantee maximum addictiveness. He deconstructs marketing campaigns that redirect concerns about health risks. The result is an urgent, stunning, and hopeful expose about health, nutrition, politics, corporate interests, and, finally, the power of individuals to gain control of their shopping and dietary habits. Before coming to The New York Times, Moss was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, New York Newsday, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been an adjunct professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, and is the recipient of a Loeb Award and an Overseas Press Club citation. In his forthcoming new book, Hooked: Food and Free Will, Michael Moss will investigate food addiction. Photo Gallery

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Japanese Way and Tampopo

Whitecar Hall, 203

Join the HU 101 seminar class for a screening and discussion of Tampopo, a Japanese comedy film by director Juzo Itami called the first “ramen western.” The film will be introduced by Dr. Kevin Murphy, who recently received the 2015 OAH/JAAS Japan Residency at Kobe University in U.S. Cultural and Social History. The OAH and the Japanese Association for American Studies (JAAS), with the generous support of the Japan–United States Friendship Commission, selects two U.S. historians to spend two weeks at Japanese universities giving lectures, seminars, advising students and researchers interested in the American past, and joining in the collegiality of the host institution. Following the film, attendees will enjoy a catered selection of Japanese foods from Tampopo, our neighborhood Japanese restaurant. This event is free; advance reservations are requested.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Inis Nua Theater Company
The Off-Broad Street Theater (Upstairs at Fergie's Pub)
1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia

A dark comedy perfect for the Halloween season, Hooked! (by Irish playwright Gillian Grattan) brings us a pretty and proper little village where nothing is as it seems. The gossip and meddling, the secrets and scandals will have you cringing and laughing. Hooked, ensnared, trapped… trick or treat, anyone? The Inis Nua (“New Island in Irish) Theatre Company produces contemporary, provocative plays from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales which reflect those cultures’ new identities in today’s world. Before the production, there is also a 6 p.m. “Setting the Scene” pre-show discussion—or you can have a bite to eat downstairs at Fergie’s Pub! Tickets limited; contact c.flanag@usciences.edu.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Art and the Leaves: Tea Tasting with Whispering Leaves Herb & Sip

Wilson 209-212

Each day, an estimated 158 million people drink tea without knowing the vast cultural history of this unassuming brew. Today, Whispering Leaves Herb & Sip Shop presents a free exhibition and tasting of teas, tea etiquette, local arts, and clips from the The Meaning of Tea. Bring a friend and enjoy!

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Elixir’s Winter Harvest Reading


The Elixir has been the USciences literary and arts journal for over 50 years, publishing original poetry, fiction, essays, drama, photography, and artwork of students, staff, alumni and faculty. Tonight’s event features USciences student writers reading original material—and join us for a “Food For Thought” Misher Festival reception during the event. Submit your work (deadline January 20, 2016) for our Spring 2016 issue: send to elixir@usciences.edu.

Fridays, December 4 and 11, 2015

Kingsessing Singers and Players Fall Concerts

McNeil Sciences and Technology Center Atrium

It’s the best part of the semester when we get to hear the Kingsessing Singer and Players concerts. With allusions to food both edible and ponderable—as well as a celebratory spread of refreshments—this semester’s concerts satisfy our hunger for good music, excellent company, and fine food!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman8pm
Curio Theater Company
4740 Baltimore Avenue

The Philadelphia Inquirer raves that “Curio Theater has become a West Philly prize.” Tonight’s event begins at Aksum Restaurant for a lively pre-show discussion with Prof. Christine Flanagan, associate professor of English, and Prof. Rich Minoff, director of the undergraduate program in pharmaceutical and healthcare business. Here’s food for thought: Death of a Salesman is a completely different experience when you experience it as an adult—not as a high school student! Even after 65 years, Death of a Salesman ignites discussion about who we want to be, what we want for those around us, and how we hope to get there. Tickets are limited; advance reservations required: c.flanag@usciences.edu.

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