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2022 Pre-Conference Workshops

Attendance at Pre-Conference Workshops is NOT included as part of general registration. To sign up for either workshops, you must purchase a specific ticket for that workshop when you register for the Annual Meeting. 

Pre-Conference Workshop #1: Course Revision Workshop: Making the Changes that Can Help All Students Learn

Wednesday, March 30, 1pm–4pmET

In the exhausted wake of pandemic teaching, the idea of rewriting or revising courses can seem overwhelming. In this workshop, you will learn about two excellent practices to help you target the most needed changes for improved, updated, and inclusive courses. First, we’ll consider Dee Fink’s approach to understanding the “situational factors” of the entire learning environment that can affect the classroom: you, your students, the teaching space, academic expectations from your school and your discipline, the pandemic, etc. Second, we will learn and apply the “backwards design” model to give your students the lessons, assignments, and resources that will produce the best learning experience. You will talk with colleagues from multiple disciplines as you learn and work through changes to one of your courses. Facilitated by Renee Gutiérrez, a faculty developer and associate professor of Spanish; and Adela Ramos, an associate professor of English.

Pre-Conference Workshop #2: “Reacting to the Past” Instructor Training Workshop

Wednesday, March 30

This one-day pre-conference workshop is an introduction to Reacting to the Past (RTTP), an innovative role-playing game pedagogy now used at over 400 colleges and universities and in numerous disciplines. Informed by rich texts, these games revolve around flashpoints in the history of ideas, from ancient Athens on the threshold of democracy to Title IX in the twenty-first century. Students are assigned roles with victory objectives; in order to "win," they must do everything we've always tried to get them to do: read closely, learn content deeply, conduct library research, write cogently, speak persuasively, solve problems, collaborate, and take creative initiative. Games not only teach general education skills, they also impart content knowledge effectively. Classes are run by students; instructors advise and guide students and grade their oral and written work. Instructors report that students often exceed expectations in a classroom infused with intellectual energy, community, tension, and fun. There are currently eight published games that focus specifically on the long eighteenth century, and more in development (see list below). In addition, for those of us who are generalists and teach in the core and first-year seminars, RTTP is suited to all levels of undergraduate education.


Participants will spend the morning session (9:00-12:00) playing a condensed version of “The Enlightenment in Crisis: Diderot’s Encyclopédie in a Parisian Salon, 1750-?”. They will immerse themselves in salon culture, figuring out who potential allies are, and use oral arguments toward victory objectives. The game is designed to push participants toward making ultimate decisions about their relationship to the Enlightenment as a whole and the Encyclopédie in particular. Will the Monarchy and/or the Church condemn it? Will members of the Church speak with one voice on this subject? Will the editors and contributors resolve disputes over existing and future entries? Can the major philosophes reconcile their differences? What role will the burgeoning civil society in Paris—as represented by salons and cafes and salonnières like Madame Geoffrin—play in championing or rejecting this project and its players?


After lunch (12:00-1:00), a 30-minute debrief (1:00-1:30) will be followed by a student panel (1:30-2:00), break (2:00-2:15), then commentary and Q&A with instructors experienced in leading RTTP games in literature, culture, history, and theater of Enlightenment Europe (2:15-2:45). A final segment will share practical information, including handouts for “how to get started” (2:45-3:15). A $25 cost to participants includes the cost of game materials and handouts.

For more information:


Workshop leaders:

  1. Peggy Elliott, Professor Emerita of French, Georgia College & State University

  2. David Eick, Professor of French, Grand Valley State University

  3. Diane Kelley, Professor of French, University of Puget Sound

  4. Diana Solomon, Associate Professor of English, Simon Fraser University

Undergraduate Preceptors:

  1. Jacquelyn Molloseau, Grand Valley State University 

  2. Haley Clark, Grand Valley State University

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