The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

Julie C Casey


Lecturer

Lecturer, Humanities Honors Program
Julie C Casey

Contact

Courses


LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29700 • Fall 2020
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 380
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29705 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30210 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 380
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major philosophical ideas and texts. Because ‘compulsory learning never sticks in the mind,’ as Plato noted, this course introduces these major philosophical concepts with role-playing games, letting the students re-create the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three role-playing games:  “Democracy at the Threshold:  Athens in 403 B.C.;” “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.;” and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.” 

In these games, students will be assigned different character roles, including some prominent historical figures and some fictional characters typical of their age and social positions, all derived from the historical setting. Each role is defined largely by its game objective, which corresponds to a political position in a country during a time of crisis.  In the course of the semester, each student will play three or more roles, so the student who begins the semester as a radical may end it as a conservative. Students must determine on their own how best to achieve their victory objectives, drawing upon the course texts for intellectual guidance, as well as strategic advice from the instructor, the preceptor, and each other.     

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29720 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 380
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29725 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30130 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 380
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30255 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 380
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30260 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29415 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 380
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30205 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 380
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30210 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 350 • History At Play

30045 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 240
Wr

Welcome to “History at Play II,” the upper-division version of “Reacting to the Past.” This is an interactive, interdisciplinary seminar that explores major ideas in political philosophy and the historical context in which those ideas gained significance.
This course engages students in the religious, political, and cultural debates surrounding two events that have profoundly shaped the history of the world: England’s break with the Catholic Church in 1536 during the reign of Henry VIII, and India’s independence from Britain in 1947 and subsequent partitioning of the country into India and Pakistan.
To explore these ideas and events, students assume the identities and perspectives of political and religious leaders of the historical setting and take part in elaborate role-playing games. For each game, the students will read widely and deeply in key texts to inform their assigned character’s perspectives and strategies. Then, in character, they re-enact the historical conflict, debating the pros and cons of some fundamental questions: how can different religious and social groups cohere as a single nation? How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of the majority? How do religious beliefs influence politics, leadership, and identity?
In the course of the semester, each student will play two roles, one for each game. Not only does this give the students a chance to immerse themselves in the social and cultural aspects of different historical periods and countries, it also allows them to experience different political orientations: the student who begins the semester as a conservative English parliamentarian may end it as a radical Muslim. Students must determine on their own how best to achieve their victory objectives, drawing upon the course texts for intellectual guidance, as well as consulting the instructor, the preceptor, and each other.

Texts/Film List: 

Henry VIII Game:

  1. D.G. Newcombe, Henry VIII and the English Reformation (Routledge, 1995)
  2. Thomas More, Utopia Penguin Classic 2012 edition
  3. Desiderius Erasmus, The Education of the Christian Prince (Cambridge, 1997) Blue cover (Cambridge series on political thought)
  4. Niccolo Machiavelli, Selected Political Writings (Hackett, 1994)
  5. J. Patrick Coby, Henry VIII and The Reformation Parliament (Pearson, 2006, with 2012 addendum). This is the Student Game Book – purchase course packet at Jenn’s copies, 22nd and Guadalupe.
  6. Bible – any version 

India Game

  1. Ainslie Embree and Mark Carnes, Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 (This is the Student Game Book: purchase course packet at Jenn’s Copies, 22nd and Guadalupe)
  2. Hay, Stephen, Ed. Sources of Indian Tradition, volume 2 (Columbia U.P., second edition). 

Course Requirements: Your course grade will be based on the following:

(1) Written Work (60%). You’ll be required to write five persuasive essays totaling about twenty pages (about 4 pages each), submitted throughout each game as described in your assigned character role sheet. Three of these will be written in the Henry VIII game, and two will be written in the India game.
The writing process: drafting and revising. Because you are writing from the perspective of your assigned historical character, whose ideas you may not necessarily espouse personally, your essays may present a challenge. I can advise you on how to approach your assigned topic and can look over drafts/outlines (send them to me 24 hours in advance of the 8 pm submission deadline so that you have time to revise them based on my feedback). The preceptor is also available to give you feedback and advice as you write.
Submitting papers: All papers will be submitted electronically. Your papers are to be emailed to the professor and to the entire class at 8:00 pm the night before you are scheduled to speak on your assigned topic. This rather unusual submission process gives students time to read each other’s arguments in preparation for debate, to develop counter-arguments, prepare questions, and gather relevant research. There is a penalty for late papers. If you miss the 8pm deadline but submit it before midnight, your paper will be docked a half letter grade. If you submit it the next day, your paper is docked a full letter grade. **Be aware of the possibility for technical difficulties and don’t wait until the last second to send it in. You get a grace period on your first late paper; after that, penalties will apply.
Grading: I will grade your papers electronically using MS Word’s editing features, and I will return them to you via email on a rolling basis. The paper will be assigned a letter grade with a plus/minus, so that an A is 4.0, an A minus is 3.67, a B+ is 3.33, a B is 3.0, a B- is 2.67 and so forth.
(2) Speeches & Debate (10%) Another goal of this course is for you to become comfortable with and skilled at speaking in front of groups, which is best done through practice. You will be expected to give at least three speeches from the podium, in character, during the course of the semester. You should endeavor to be convincing, engaging, and informative. You are also expected to make substantive contributions to the debates during the game, incorporating the course texts and speaking in character.
(3) Class Participation (30%). You will be expected to speak regularly in class, commenting on the readings and adding your own perspective to the conversation. Your participation grade is based on

  •   regular and prompt class attendance,
  •   careful preparation of the readings,
  •   historically-accurate portrayal of your role (including costumes),
  •   active participation in pre-game sessions and in the games            themselves,
  •  and maintaining prompt and professional communication via group email

There may also occasionally be quizzes over the readings, which will factor into your participation grade. The preceptor and I will keep track each day of who is in attendance, who speaks and how involved each person is in the discussions/debates. There is also a victory bonuses awarded to the winner(s) of each game, which boosts the final participation grade up by half a letter grade.
NOTE: While you may not be able to lead class discussion or give speeches every day, you can find other ways to stay involved and show your high level of participation, such as circulating an e-mail to your peers (cc. the instructor & preceptor) with your thoughts regarding the substance of the class discussion or the readings; volunteering to coordinate a small group meeting outside of class, or taking the lead on a group project (notify the instructor or preceptor that you are doing this); doing extra research on a topic and sharing it with the class via e-mail or distributing a hard copy in class; meeting with the instructor before/after class regarding the substance of the class discussions. These types of activities will show that you are engaged intellectually in the course and that you willingly contribute your ideas to the mix.

Expectations for Communication: Absences and Participation

You are expected to refer to the syllabus regularly for the reading and game schedule and to stay in close communication with your instructor, your preceptor, and your peers during the entire course. This means checking your e-mail daily for updated assignments and any announcements, responding promptly and professionally as needed, and being willing to talk with and meet outside of class with your peers for group strategy. This is one indication of your participation and dedication to this course, and it will impact your participation grade.
Absences in this course are rare. If you are absent, your vote will not count, and your voice will not be heard; you can potentially alter the game dramatically and negatively. However, if you know you in advance that you must be absent or late to class, you must notify the instructor via e-mail (or text) BEFORE the class, if at all possible. It is your responsibility to find out what you’ve missed, and what you can do to catch up.
I am very open and available to talking with you at any point in the course. My cell phone number is at the top of the syllabus – feel free to call or text me if you need a quick answer to a question, a bit of advice, or some guidance. I check e-mail numerous times a day, and will gladly help you in any way I can. And of course, I am available to meet with you in person both before and after class and during office hours.

 

 

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29835 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 380
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29840 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

HMN 101 • Community Service

39215 • Spring 2016
Meets M 3:00PM-4:00PM CLA 0.120
 
A Community Based Service Learning course in which students mentor elementary level students struggling with literacy through the SEAL student organization. This course will entail guest speakers, weekly discussion, weekly journal entries, and supplemental readings.
 

Students must be available from 2:45 to 4:45, once per week, on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, to volunteer at their assigned school.

If you are interested, email davey.seal.literacy@gmail.com for approval and further information.

LAH 350 • History At Play

29225 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 308

Welcome to “History at Play II,” the upper-division version of “Reacting to the Past.” This is an interactive, interdisciplinary seminar that explores major ideas in political philosophy and the historical context in which those ideas gained significance. This course engages students in the religious, political, and cultural debates surrounding two events that have profoundly shaped the history of the world: England’s break with the Catholic Church in 1536 during the reign of Henry VIII, and India’s independence from Britain in 1947 and subsequent partitioning of the country into India and Pakistan. To explore these ideas and events, students assume the identities and perspectives of political and religious leaders of the historical setting and take part in elaborate role-playing games. For each game, the students will read widely and deeply in key texts to inform their assigned character’s perspectives and strategies. Then, in character, they re-enact the historical conflict, debating the pros and cons of some fundamental questions: how can different religious and social groups cohere as a single nation? How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of the majority? How do religious beliefs influence politics, leadership, and identity? In the course of the semester, each student will play two roles, one for each game. Not only does this give the students a chance to immerse themselves in the social and cultural aspects of different historical periods and countries, it also allows them to experience different political orientations: the student who begins the semester as a conservative English parliamentarian may end it as a radical Muslim. Students must determine on their own how best to achieve their victory objectives, drawing upon the course texts for intellectual guidance, as well as consulting the instructor, the preceptor, and each other.

Texts/Film List:  

Henry VIII Game:

  1. D.G. Newcombe, Henry VIII and the English Reformation (Routledge, 1995)
  2. Thomas More, Utopia Penguin Classic 2012 edition
  3. Desiderius Erasmus, The Education of the Christian Prince (Cambridge, 1997) Blue cover (Cambridge series on political thought)
  4. Niccolo Machiavelli, Selected Political Writings (Hackett, 1994)
  5. J. Patrick Coby, Henry VIII and The Reformation Parliament (Pearson, 2006, with 2012 addendum). This is the Student Game Book – purchase course packet at Jenn’s copies, 22nd and Guadalupe.
  6. Bible – any version 

India Game

  1. Ainslie Embree and Mark Carnes, Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 (This is the Student Game Book: purchase course packet at Jenn’s Copies, 22nd and Guadalupe)
  2. Hay, Stephen, Ed. Sources of Indian Tradition, volume 2 (Columbia U.P., second edition).

 

Course Requirements: Your course grade will be based on the following:

(1) Written Work (60%). You’ll be required to write five persuasive essays totaling about twenty pages (about 4 pages each), submitted throughout each game as described in your assigned character role sheet. Three of these will be written in the Henry VIII game, and two will be written in the India game. The writing process: drafting and revising. Because you are writing from the perspective of your assigned historical character, whose ideas you may not necessarily espouse personally, your essays may present a challenge. I can advise you on how to approach your assigned topic and can look over drafts/outlines (send them to me 24 hours in advance of the 8 pm submission deadline so that you have time to revise them based on my feedback). The preceptor is also available to give you feedback and advice as you write. Submitting papers: All papers will be submitted electronically. Your papers are to be emailed to the professor and to the entire class at 8:00 pm the night before you are scheduled to speak on your assigned topic. This rather unusual submission process gives students time to read each other’s arguments in preparation for debate, to develop counter-arguments, prepare questions, and gather relevant research. There is a penalty for late papers. If you miss the 8pm deadline but submit it before midnight, your paper will be docked a half letter grade. If you submit it the next day, your paper is docked a full letter grade. **Be aware of the possibility for technical difficulties and don’t wait until the last second to send it in. You get a grace period on your first late paper; after that, penalties will apply. Grading: I will grade your papers electronically using MS Word’s editing features, and I will return them to you via email on a rolling basis. The paper will be assigned a letter grade with a plus/minus, so that an A is 4.0, an A minus is 3.67, a B+ is 3.33, a B is 3.0, a B- is 2.67 and so forth. (2) Speeches & Debate (10%) Another goal of this course is for you to become comfortable with and skilled at speaking in front of groups, which is best done through practice. You will be expected to give at least three speeches from the podium, in character, during the course of the semester. You should endeavor to be convincing, engaging, and informative. You are also expected to make substantive contributions to the debates during the game, incorporating the course texts and speaking in character. (3) Class Participation (30%). You will be expected to speak regularly in class, commenting on the readings and adding your own perspective to the conversation. Your participation grade is based on

  • ?  regular and prompt class attendance,
  • ?  careful preparation of the readings,
  • ?  historically-accurate portrayal of your role (including costumes),
  • ?  active participation in pre-game sessions and in the games            themselves,
  •  and maintaining prompt and professional communication via group email

There may also occasionally be quizzes over the readings, which will factor into your participation grade. The preceptor and I will keep track each day of who is in attendance, who speaks and how involved each person is in the discussions/debates. There is also a victory bonuses awarded to the winner(s) of each game, which boosts the final participation grade up by half a letter grade. NOTE: While you may not be able to lead class discussion or give speeches every day, you can find other ways to stay involved and show your high level of participation, such as circulating an e-mail to your peers (cc. the instructor & preceptor) with your thoughts regarding the substance of the class discussion or the readings; volunteering to coordinate a small group meeting outside of class, or taking the lead on a group project (notify the instructor or preceptor that you are doing this); doing extra research on a topic and sharing it with the class via e-mail or distributing a hard copy in class; meeting with the instructor before/after class regarding the substance of the class discussions. These types of activities will show that you are engaged intellectually in the course and that you willingly contribute your ideas to the mix.

Expectations for Communication: Absences and Participation

You are expected to refer to the syllabus regularly for the reading and game schedule and to stay in close communication with your instructor, your preceptor, and your peers during the entire course. This means checking your e-mail daily for updated assignments and any announcements, responding promptly and professionally as needed, and being willing to talk with and meet outside of class with your peers for group strategy. This is one indication of your participation and dedication to this course, and it will impact your participation grade. Absences in this course are rare. If you are absent, your vote will not count, and your voice will not be heard; you can potentially alter the game dramatically and negatively. However, if you know you in advance that you must be absent or late to class, you must notify the instructor via e-mail (or text) BEFORE the class, if at all possible. It is your responsibility to find out what you’ve missed, and what you can do to catch up. I am very open and available to talking with you at any point in the course. My cell phone number is at the top of the syllabus – feel free to call or text me if you need a quick answer to a question, a bit of advice, or some guidance. I check e-mail numerous times a day, and will gladly help you in any way I can. And of course, I am available to meet with you in person both before and after class and during office hours.

 

 

 

 

 

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29375 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 380
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29380 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 350 • History At Play II

29495 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 112

 

Welcome to “History at Play II,” the upper-division version of “Reacting to the Past.” This is an interactive, interdisciplinary seminar that explores major ideas in political philosophy and the historical context in which those ideas gained significance. This course engages students in the religious, political, and cultural debates surrounding two events that have profoundly shaped the history of the world: England’s break with the Catholic Church in 1536 during the reign of Henry VIII, and India’s independence from Britain in 1947 and subsequent partitioning of the country into India and Pakistan. To explore these ideas and events, students assume the identities and perspectives of political and religious leaders of the historical setting and take part in elaborate role-playing games. For each game, the students will read widely and deeply in key texts to inform their assigned character’s perspectives and strategies. Then, in character, they re-enact the historical conflict, debating the pros and cons of some fundamental questions: how can different religious and social groups cohere as a single nation? How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of the majority? How do religious beliefs influence politics, leadership, and identity? In the course of the semester, each student will play two roles, one for each game. Not only does this give the students a chance to immerse themselves in the social and cultural aspects of different historical periods and countries, it also allows them to experience different political orientations: the student who begins the semester as a conservative English parliamentarian may end it as a radical Muslim. Students must determine on their own how best to achieve their victory objectives, drawing upon the course texts for intellectual guidance, as well as consulting the instructor, the preceptor, and each other.

TEXTS/FILM LIST:

Henry VIII Game:

  1. D.G. Newcombe, Henry VIII and the English Reformation (Routledge, 1995)
  2. Thomas More, Utopia Penguin Classic 2012 edition
  3. Desiderius Erasmus, The Education of the Christian Prince (Cambridge, 1997) Blue cover (Cambridge series on political thought)
  4. Niccolo Machiavelli, Selected Political Writings (Hackett, 1994)
  5. J. Patrick Coby, Henry VIII and The Reformation Parliament (Pearson, 2006, with 2012 addendum). This is the Student Game Book – purchase course packet at Jenn’s copies, 22nd and Guadalupe.
  6. Bible – any version 

India Game

  1. Ainslie Embree and Mark Carnes, Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 (This is the Student Game Book: purchase course packet at Jenn’s Copies, 22nd and Guadalupe)
  2. Hay, Stephen, Ed. Sources of Indian Tradition, volume 2 (Columbia U.P., second edition).

 COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

Your course grade will be based on the following:

(1) Written Work (60%). You’ll be required to write five persuasive essays totaling about twenty pages (about 4 pages each), submitted throughout each game as described in your assigned character role sheet. Three of these will be written in the Henry VIII game, and two will be written in the India game. The writing process: drafting and revising. Because you are writing from the perspective of your assigned historical character, whose ideas you may not necessarily espouse personally, your essays may present a challenge. I can advise you on how to approach your assigned topic and can look over drafts/outlines (send them to me 24 hours in advance of the 8 pm submission deadline so that you have time to revise them based on my feedback). The preceptor is also available to give you feedback and advice as you write. Submitting papers: All papers will be submitted electronically. Your papers are to be emailed to the professor and to the entire class at 8:00 pm the night before you are scheduled to speak on your assigned topic. This rather unusual submission process gives students time to read each other’s arguments in preparation for debate, to develop counter-arguments, prepare questions, and gather relevant research. There is a penalty for late papers. If you miss the 8pm deadline but submit it before midnight, your paper will be docked a half letter grade. If you submit it the next day, your paper is docked a full letter grade.

PREREQUISITES: Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.

RESTRICTIONS: Plan I Honors

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30245 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts.  It uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three games:  “The Threshold of Democracy:  Athens in 403 B.C.”; “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.”; and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”  Students will be assigned different roles-e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death.  Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas, for example The Republic and the speeches of Pericles in “The Threshold of Democracy” game.  

 For the first few sessions of each game, we will provide guidance on the issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  Early in the third session of each game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives.  By the fourth or fifth session, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the class.  We will serve as the Game Masters, intruding to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances.  

 The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford); Carnes, Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-Li Emperor, 1587; The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.; Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France, 1791; Confucius, The Analects (Penguin); Hacker, Rules for Writers (Bedford/St. Martin's); Plato, The Republic (Penguin); Rousseau, The Social Contract and The First and Second Discourses (Yale)

Your grade will be based on the following:  (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games; 40% (2) approximately six writing assignments- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students - totaling about thirty pages; 60%.   Timely submission of all work is essential.  A beautifully crafted defense of Socrates does him no good if he has already sipped the hemlock.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30250 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts.  It uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three games:  “The Threshold of Democracy:  Athens in 403 B.C.”; “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.”; and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”  Students will be assigned different roles-e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death.  Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas, for example The Republic and the speeches of Pericles in “The Threshold of Democracy” game.  

 For the first few sessions of each game, we will provide guidance on the issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  Early in the third session of each game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives.  By the fourth or fifth session, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the class.  We will serve as the Game Masters, intruding to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances.  

 The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford); Carnes, Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-Li Emperor, 1587; The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.; Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France, 1791; Confucius, The Analects (Penguin); Hacker, Rules for Writers (Bedford/St. Martin's); Plato, The Republic (Penguin); Rousseau, The Social Contract and The First and Second Discourses (Yale)

Your grade will be based on the following:  (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games; 40% (2) approximately six writing assignments- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students - totaling about thirty pages; 60%.   Timely submission of all work is essential.  A beautifully crafted defense of Socrates does him no good if he has already sipped the hemlock.

LAH 350 • History At Play II

30435 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CBA 4.340

“History at Play” seeks to involve students in the great debates-religious, political, and cultural-that swirled about the build up to two events that have profoundly shaped the history of the world:  England's break with the Catholic Church in 1536 and India gaining independence from Britain in 1947 with the subsequent partition of the country into India and Pakistan.  

     The course uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these two events occurred in an effort to involve students in the significant ideas that fueled them.  For each “game,” the students will read widely and deeply in key texts.  They then will be given roles to carry out as they debate the pros and cons of such fundamental questions of how can different religious and social groups cohere as a single nation.  How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of the majority?

     The heart of the course is persuasion.  For nearly every role assigned the student must persuade others that her views make more sense than those of her opponents.  The goal is for the student's views to be informed by the texts.  The more the student draws upon these texts and the more cleverly she draws upon them, the better.  The students will be doing a great deal of speaking and writing.  Both will be graded.

D.G. Newcombe, Henry VIII and the English Reformation (Routledge, 1995)

Thomas More, Utopia (Norton, 1995)

Desiderius Erasmus, The Education of the Christian Prince (Cambridge, 1997)

Niccolo Machiavelli, Selected P olitical Writings (Hackett, 1994)

J. Patrick Coby, Henry VIII and The Reformation Parliament (Pearson, 2006)

Ainslie Embree and Mark Carnes, Defining a Nation:  India on the Eve of Independence, 1945

Sources of Indian Tradition, volume 2 (Columbia U.P., third edition).

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30070 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts.  It uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three games:  “The Threshold of Democracy:  Athens in 403 B.C.”; “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.”; and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”  Students will be assigned different roles-e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death.  Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas, for example The Republic and the speeches of Pericles in “The Threshold of Democracy” game.   

For the first few sessions of each game, we will provide guidance on the issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  Early in the third session of each game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives.  By the fourth or fifth session, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the class.  We will serve as the Game Masters, intruding to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances.  

The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

Texts

Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford); Carnes, Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-Li Emperor, 1587; The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.; Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France, 1791; Confucius, The Analects (Penguin); Hacker, Rules for Writers (Bedford/St. Martin's); Plato, The Republic (Penguin); Rousseau, The Social Contract and The First and Second Discourses (Yale)

Requirements

Your grade will be based on the following:  (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games; 40% (2) approximately six writing assignments- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students - totaling about thirty pages; 60%.   Timely submission of all work is essential.  A beautifully crafted defense of Socrates does him no good if he has already sipped the hemlock.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30075 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
EGCWr

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts.  It uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three games:  “The Threshold of Democracy:  Athens in 403 B.C.”; “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.”; and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”  Students will be assigned different roles-e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death.  Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas, for example The Republic and the speeches of Pericles in “The Threshold of Democracy” game.   

For the first few sessions of each game, we will provide guidance on the issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  Early in the third session of each game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives.  By the fourth or fifth session, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the class.  We will serve as the Game Masters, intruding to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances.  

The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

Texts

Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford); Carnes, Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-Li Emperor, 1587; The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.; Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France, 1791; Confucius, The Analects (Penguin); Hacker, Rules for Writers (Bedford/St. Martin's); Plato, The Republic (Penguin); Rousseau, The Social Contract and The First and Second Discourses (Yale)

Requirements

Your grade will be based on the following:  (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games; 40% (2) approximately six writing assignments- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students - totaling about thirty pages; 60%.   Timely submission of all work is essential.  A beautifully crafted defense of Socrates does him no good if he has already sipped the hemlock.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30080 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 286
Wr C1

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts.  It uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three games:  “The Threshold of Democracy:  Athens in 403 B.C.”; “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.”; and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”  Students will be assigned different roles-e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death.  Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas, for example The Republic and the speeches of Pericles in “The Threshold of Democracy” game.  

For the first few sessions of each game, we will provide guidance on the issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  Early in the third session of each game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives.  By the fourth or fifth session, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the class.  We will serve as the Game Masters, intruding to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances.  

The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

Texts:

Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford); Carnes, Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-Li Emperor, 1587; The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.; Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France, 1791; Confucius, The Analects (Penguin); Hacker, Rules for Writers (Bedford/St. Martin's); Plato, The Republic (Penguin); Rousseau, The Social Contract and The First and Second Discourses (Yale)

Requirements:

Your grade will be based on the following:  (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games; 40% (2) approximately six writing assignments- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students - totaling about thirty pages; 60%.   Timely submission of all work is essential.  A beautifully crafted defense of Socrates does him no good if he has already sipped the hemlock.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30040 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
Wr

Restricted to students in the Freshman Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts. Intensive small class lecture or seminar course addressing basic issues in various liberal arts disciplines. Lectures, readings, discussions, examinations. Humanities 305 and Liberal Arts Honors 305 may not both be counted unless the topics vary. Liberal Arts Honors 305 (Topic 1) and 305 (Topic: Reacting to the Past) may not both be counted.

May be counted toward the writing flag requirement.

Designed to accommodate 35 or fewer students. Offered on the letter-grade basis only. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30215 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 286
Wr C1

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts.  It uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three games:  “The Threshold of Democracy:  Athens in 403 B.C.”; “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.”; and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”  Students will be assigned different roles-e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death.  Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas, for example The Republic and the speeches of Pericles in “The Threshold of Democracy” game.  For the first few sessions of each game, we will provide guidance on the issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  Early in the third session of each game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives.  By the fourth or fifth session, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the class.  We will serve as the Game Masters, intruding to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances.  The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

Texts

Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford); Carnes, Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-Li Emperor, 1587; The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.; Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France, 1791; Confucius, The Analects (Penguin); Hacker, Rules for Writers (Bedford/St. Martin's); Plato, The Republic (Penguin); Rousseau, The Social Contract and The First and Second Discourses (Yale)

Requirements

Your grade will be based on the following:  (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games; 40% (2) approximately six writing assignments- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students - totaling about thirty pages; 60%.   Timely submission of all work is essential.  A beautifully crafted defense of Socrates does him no good if he has already sipped the hemlock.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30005 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.202
Wr

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts.  It uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three games:  “The Threshold of Democracy:  Athens in 403 B.C.”; “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.”; and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”  Students will be assigned different roles-e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death.  Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas, for example The Republic and the speeches of Pericles in “The Threshold of Democracy” game.  For the first few sessions of each game, we will provide guidance on the issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  Early in the third session of each game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives.  By the fourth or fifth session, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the class.  We will serve as the Game Masters, intruding to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances.  The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

 

Texts:

Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford); Carnes, Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-Li Emperor, 1587; The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.; Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France, 1791; Confucius, The Analects (Penguin); Hacker, Rules for Writers (Bedford/St. Martin's); Plato, The Republic (Penguin); Rousseau, The Social Contract and The First and Second Discourses (Yale)

 

Requirements:

Your grade will be based on the following:  (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games; 40% (2) approximately six writing assignments- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students - totaling about thirty pages; 60%.   Timely submission of all work is essential.  A beautifully crafted defense of Socrates does him no good if he has already sipped the hemlock.

 

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30255 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 286
Wr C1

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts.  It uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three games:  “The Threshold of Democracy:  Athens in 403 B.C.”; “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.”; and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”  Students will be assigned different roles-e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death.  Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas, for example The Republic and the speeches of Pericles in “The Threshold of Democracy” game.  

For the first few sessions of each game, we will provide guidance on the issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  Early in the third session of each game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives.  By the fourth or fifth session, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the class.  We will serve as the Game Masters, intruding to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances.  

The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29336 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.202
Wr

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • History At Play-W

29545 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 286
C1

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • History At Play-W

29675 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
C1

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • History At Play-W

29085 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 286
C1

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • History At Play-W

29835 • Fall 2008
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 286
C1

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

LAH 305 • History At Play-W

29615 • Spring 2008
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 286
C1

“Reacting to the Past” introduces freshmen to major philosophical ideas and texts, including the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read primary texts, adopt the personas and perspectives of historical figures, and re-enact policy debates to explore how facts and opinions shape collective decision-making in polarized political environments. Students also write six persuasive essays (4-5 pages each) to meet the UT writing flag requirement. Course themes include ethical leadership, the role of shared values in governance, the relationship of individuals to their community, and evolving concepts of citizenship.

Dr. Elon Lang's Reacting class on MWF games include The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty, and The Collapse of Apartheid and The Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993.

In Professor Casey's class on TTH students will investigate the impact of(1) Socratic ideals of justice during the rise of democracy after the Peloponnesian War in Athens in 403 BCE; (2) Confucian ideals of morality and ethical leadership during the final years of the Ming Dynasty in China in 1587; and (3) Rousseau’s idea of collective governance–the Social Contract --during the French Revolution, 1791.

Each unit of study is presented as an elaborate role-playing game, designed and published by the Reacting to the Past National Consortium (https://reacting.barnard.edu/), with strict rules for the players and detailed guidelines for their debates. These games divide players into competing political parties with positions across the ideological spectrum, with each team striving to implement its own ideals for society. Players adopt both progressive and conservative political agendas – with a handful of students remaining “undecided,” open to persuasion by each team. Players will determine how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from the classic texts and inspiration from the lives of the historical characters they are portraying.

For the first few sessions of each game, the class will meet in a traditional seminar format, where students will learn about the historical setting of the game and the philosophical issues that will animate the debates. After these introductory sessions to set the context for each game, the class will break into competing groups, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, students will come to class in their character roles and will lead the sessions. The instructor takes on the role of “Game Master,” to ensure fair play, reminding students to honor the historical context of the game.
  
The heart of each game is persuasion: students must persuade the politically unaffiliated players that their team’s views make more sense than those of their opponents. They must draw upon rhetorical strategies and facts in their arguments, and learn strategies for presenting their positions with conviction and clarity. They must present their arguments in written form through persuasive essays, as well as delivering speeches and participating in open debates from their assigned viewpoints. Players learn to navigate extreme viewpoints and polarized political environments while trying to accomplish a common goal. In short, they learn to test the theories of government and leadership against their experience as politicians and leaders. After each game, players step out of their assigned roles as historical figures and come together again as modern-day students, discussing how their re-enactment did or did not mirror history. This “debriefing” session is often as important as the game itself in learning about history, the impact of philosophical ideas, and how citizens make decisions in polarized political situations.

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