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Reacting to the Past

HNRS 2033 Sec. 060 - Fall 2021

Associate Professor Leslie Tuttle | Dean Jonathan Earle Department of History | Ogden Honors College

M W F 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
135 French House

Reacting to the Past is an innovative way to study history. The dynamics of history come alive through elaborate simulations in which students play the roles of historical characters. In Fall 2021 the course focuses on two key moments in modern history:

Rousseau, Burke, and Revolution in France, 1791 plunges students into the intellectual, political, and ideological currents that surged through revolutionary Paris in the summer of 1791. Students are leaders of major factions within the National Assembly (and in the streets outside) as it struggles to create a constitution amidst internal chaos and threats of foreign invasion. Will the king retain power? Are slaves, women, and Jews entitled to the “rights of man?" Is violence a legitimate means of changing society or of purging it of dangerous enemies? In wrestling with these issues, students consult Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract and Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, among other texts.

Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 engages students with the Partition in South Asia, an enormously significant moment in world history about which Americans know very little. This simulation is set at Simla, in the foothills of the Himalayas, where the British viceroy has invited leaders of various religious and political constituencies to work out the future of Britain’s largest colony: India. Will the British transfer power to the Indian National Congress, which claims to speak for all Indians? Or will a separate Muslim state—Pakistan—be carved out of India to be ruled by Muslims, as the Muslim League proposes? What will the ramifications be?

Fulfills General Education:

English Composition
Social Sciences