HIST 2086 - New York City in Revolution: Reacting to the Past

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

Have you ever wanted a more interactive, dynamic, and engaged learning experience as part of your arts degree? Have you ever wanted to be part of a small-class, immersion experience where you want to come to class? This course involves playing two elaborate games that each illuminate key themes in the founding of America. The first game, the "Trial of Anne Hutchinson", reveals the important roots of America's religious pluralism through a tense court room drama involving a young woman who risks her life to fight for the liberty of her conscience. Set in colonial Boston, students will experience what it was like to live in a patriarchal society where the threat of religious dissent could often lead to charges of witchcraft and result in execution. Experiencing this religious rebellion will prepare students to understand a larger revolt: the American Revolution. The second game, "Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City", takes you to the streets of eighteenth-century New York City, where you will be given a real historical character, and lots of similarly placed friends, who will then help you vie for control of the city as New York descends toward anarchy in the days leading up to the American Revolution. You will risk death as you navigate the mob violence that pervades the city and try to assert the interests of your faction, while preserving private personal goals that must remain secret. While there are some standard lectures in this course, mainly to set the scene for the action, most sessions will involve students taking over the classroom and creating an elaborate counterfactual drama that will teach us history as it might have been in order to more deeply understand history as it developed in reality. These counterfactual games will allow students to emerge with a much greater sense of historical contingency, defined as the ways in which individuals could have changed history through accident or conscious assertion. This awareness will then be used in game post-mortems to construct nuanced accounts of historical change.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code HIST 2086
    Course New York City in Revolution: Reacting to the Past
    Coordinating Unit History
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description Have you ever wanted a more interactive, dynamic, and engaged learning experience as part of your arts degree? Have you ever wanted to be part of a small-class, immersion experience where you want to come to class? This course involves playing two elaborate games that each illuminate key themes in the founding of America. The first game, the "Trial of Anne Hutchinson", reveals the important roots of America's religious pluralism through a tense court room drama involving a young woman who risks her life to fight for the liberty of her conscience. Set in colonial Boston, students will experience what it was like to live in a patriarchal society where the threat of religious dissent could often lead to charges of witchcraft and result in execution. Experiencing this religious rebellion will prepare students to understand a larger revolt: the American Revolution. The second game, "Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City", takes you to the streets of eighteenth-century New York City, where you will be given a real historical character, and lots of similarly placed friends, who will then help you vie for control of the city as New York descends toward anarchy in the days leading up to the American Revolution. You will risk death as you navigate the mob violence that pervades the city and try to assert the interests of your faction, while preserving private personal goals that must remain secret.

    While there are some standard lectures in this course, mainly to set the scene for the action, most sessions will involve students taking over the classroom and creating an elaborate counterfactual drama that will teach us history as it might have been in order to more deeply understand history as it developed in reality. These counterfactual games will allow students to emerge with a much greater sense of historical contingency, defined as the ways in which individuals could have changed history through accident or conscious assertion. This awareness will then be used in game post-mortems to construct nuanced accounts of historical change.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Tom Buchanan

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    This course has a different enrollment format to most other classes in the Arts degree. Students will enroll not for the traditional lecture and tutorial--but for a seminar capped at 25 students. The three contact hours composing the seminar will be then divided into two hour and one hour sessions. During the enrollment process students will see a number of these seminars on offer to fit various student timetabling needs.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:


         Course Learning Outcomes                                 Discipline of History Learning Outcomes

    1 Gain knowledge of two key events in early modern American history understanding of a broad range of historical knowledge ranging over tim, space, and cultures
    recognising the value of a wide range of methodologies, conceptual approaches and competing narratives
    2 The ability to empathise with the experiences of diverse peoples from the past an awareness of the ethical, social, and cultural implications of historical enquiry within a global context
    3 The ability to work effectively with others within the game experience ability to work independently, and/or cooperatively, using appropriate methodologies, in order to engage with historical problems
    capacity to contribute productively to group based outcomes
    4 A greater understanding of historical causation understanding of change and continuity over time
    5 Ability to analyse primary documents ability to contextualise, sythethetise and critical evaluate hsitorical sources
    6 Ability to do independent research in order to build an argument ability to identify and access a wide range of relevant primary, secondary, textual and visual sources
    ability to evaluate and generate ideas and to construct evidence-based arguments in various formats in a planned and timely manner.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 5, 6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The course uses two required texts which will be available in the unibooks. Please obtain the books before the term.

    Bill Offutt, Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City, 1775-1776 (New York: W.W. Norton, 2013)

    Marc C. Carnes and Michael P. Winship, The Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law, and Intolerance in Puritian New England (New York: W.W. Norton, 2013).

    Additional readings will be made available via MYUNi.

    Recommended Resources
    Students looking to prepare for this course can consult the following recommended resources:

    Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop (any edition)

    Edward Countryman, The American Revolution (1985)

    Online Learning
    Because this course is seminar-based there are few lectures. The ones that I do give will be recorded. But class sessions, in general,will not be recorded since being present is essential to succeeding in realising character goals. Myuni will be used for online submission of written work, marking, and the course will use gradebook as welll. Use of other MyUni functionality is to be announced.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is seminar based, featuring student-led active learning for the majority of class sessions across three hours per week.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    This course is equivalent to 156 hours of study across the term.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The semester is broken into two parts, with weeks 1-6 devoted to the Anne Hutchinson game, and weeks 7-12 devoted to the New York City game.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The small group nature of this course fits very well the small group discovery mandate. The entire game-phase sections of this course (weeks 2-6 and weeks 8-12) involve students working on problems under the guidance of the instructor (me) whose responsibility it is to help their independent investigations.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The assessment for this course has two online quizzes, two papers, and a final reflective essay.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    There are no firm requirements in terms of attendence or submission of work in order to pass. The only requirement is that students achieve a total of 50% of possible points in the course.

    Assessment Detail
    The following are further details:


    Quizzes

    These will test content knowledge of the game context. They will occur before we begin to play each game so that everyone understands the historical situation.

                  Learning Outcomes: 1

    Papers

    The paper objectives for each student are all unique, because they follow the unique instructions given to each student. What is different in this course in general, however, is that all papers are written from the perspective of the assigned character given to each student. Students will comment on general course readings from the perspective of their character, but also do research that reveals their characters perspectives and experiences.

                 Learning Outcomes: 2,4,6

    Final Reflective Essay

    This final essay asks students to evaluate why history unfolded as it did in our games, compared to the actual historical record. It will focus on the process of historical change and continuity, getting students to think through one of the building blocks of the discipline of history. It will pull together what they have learned across the term.

                 Learning Outcomes: 1, 4

    Class participation

    Working in a group, and speaking publically in front of your peers is a key skill developed across the term. To achieve their goals, students must engage with others. Assessment of this will involve measuring student engagement and giving feedback in various ways. 

                 Learning Outcomes: 3



    Submission
    Online Submission

    All assessment for this course will happen via MyUni. Online submission and marking will be used following the agreed upon due dates.


    Extensions

    These are not recommended for this course, as students' papers have a specific functional purpose that occurs in the flow of each game. Nonetheless, they will be granted in cases of serious difficulty, following the faculty procedures.


    Exceptions:

    If one of more of the following criteria is met, an informal extension can be organised:


               1). small extension-- 2 days or less

               2). assessment worth 20% or less

               3). student is registered with the Disability Office (need to attach DAP)


    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.