Annual summer history institute at Barnard College





College faculty and administrators are invited to participate in the ninth annual “Reacting to the Past” Institute at Barnard College (New York), June 11-14, 2009. Featured tracks:

  • “The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.”
  • “Greenwich Village, 1913: Suffrage, Labor and the New Woman”
  • “Charles Darwin, the Copley Medal, and the Rise of Naturalism, 1862-64”
  • “The Josianic Reform: Deuteronomy, Prophecy, and Israelite Religion, 622 BCE”
  • “Beware the Ides of March: Rome in 44 BCE”
  • “Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France, 1791”
  • “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wanli Emperor, 1587”
  • “Acid Rain in Europe, 1979-1989”

“Reacting to the Past” (RTTP) consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles with “victory objectives” informed by seminal texts in the history of ideas. The curriculum seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big questions in the humanities and sciences, and improve speaking, writing, and leadership skills. An alternative approach to general education, RTTP was honored with the 2004 Theodore Hesburgh Award (funded by TIAA-CREF) as the nation’s outstanding pedagogical innovation in undergraduate teaching and learning.

Participants will learn about the curriculum by engaging in intensive two-day workshops on particular games, listed above. In addition to game sessions, concurrent sessions will provide an opportunity to discuss issues and concerns related to the classroom experience, general education, assessment, and the problems and possibilities of the RTTP approach.

For further information, visit http://www.barnard.edu/reacting/conference/annual or email reacting@barnard.edu . Online registration will begin May 1, 2009.


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