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Historical Figures set to Face-Off in Debate

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By Graham Murray

Ever wondered what would happen if Martin Luther King went head-to-head with Hugo Chavez or Queen Victoria sparred with her contemporary Elizabeth Fry? The Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences Balloon debate could be your opportunity to find out. The debate is set to take place at 5pm on Tuesday, 4 December, in the atrium of the Geoffrey Manton building.

The debate is a celebration of the humanities as an academic field, demonstrating the diversity and ingenuity of historical figures of the humanities. Staff, students and alumni are needed to support their subject. The debate winner will receive an iPad and there will be refreshments, spot prizes and a raffle for audience members.

Students from criminology, history, languages, philosophy, politics, public services and sociology will battle it out, representing an historical figure that best represents their field.

During the debate itself, each representative will be given five minutes to put forward their case as to why they should stay in the balloon. The audience, equipped with “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” style handsets, will then elect three figures to enter into the second round.

The second round will comprise of a question and answer session, with the audience given the opportunity to put forward questions to the speakers.  In the final round, speakers will make their final statements before handing over to the audience, who will decide the winner.

One of the organisers, Dr Janet Mather, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Politics, said: “I hope that it will show that the Faculty’s students have a keen awareness of the values of a Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, and the interconnectedness of the disciplines that make up that faculty”.

She added: “I am hoping that they will show that they can go beyond the concepts of their own particular discipline into the wider world of humanities and social science and that they can display the essential skills of communication, argument and presentation – again necessary in the world of increasing competitiveness in employment.”

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