Playing with History - 2018 Great Lakes History Conference

Country: USA

City: Grand Rapids

Abstr. due: 31.07.2018

Dates: 12.10.18 — 13.10.18

Area Of Sciences: History and archeology;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: L.V. Eberhard Center, Grand Valley State University


Gaming and simulations have long served as pedagogical tools in the history classroom. History-oriented games also produce substantial business for the board-gaming and video-gaming industries. Their appeal derives from the thrill of role-playing and speculation on the limitless possibilities of historical scenarios and human actions—and in an age of declining humanities enrollments, their appeal as pedagogical devices to enhance student engagement is obvious. Moreover, professional historical scholarship is increasingly focused on disrupting the received wisdom of long-held teleological conclusions and pondering more fully the contingent and conjunctural dynamics of global-scale historical developments. This conference will consider these trends and practices while serving as a regional training and gaming hub for Reacting to the Past—the innovative pedagogy used in numerous disciplines, such as Foreign Languages, English, Political Science, Anthropology, Communication Studies, and, of course, History. The conference will host several concurrent RTTP sessions and workshops, and all conference attendees will be invited to participate in these sessions. The founder of Reacting to the Past, Professor Mark Carnes of Barnard College and Columbia University, will be our featured keynote speaker.

The 2018 Great Lakes History Conference also welcomes proposals for workshop sessions, roundtables, and papers that explore all types of historical-oriented gaming, simulations, and role-playing—whether done for the purposes of teaching, entertainment, or scholarship. It also seeks sessions that present research on historical contingencies, conjunctures, and hypotheticals that played out—or could have played out—on national, regional, or global scales. Sessions that examine the utility of historical simulation and gaming in the K-12 classroom are especially welcome as are those that probe the ethics of “playing with history.”

This conference will follow a workshop-oriented format. Research workshop formats typically include pre-circulated papers that receive extended discussion among paper commentators and other fellow readers. Workshop-session size, type, and focus can vary. However, four core participants are recommended. Some funds may be available for workshop organizers to offset travel costs. Individual paper submissions will also be considered for inclusion in relevant workshops.

If you are interested in organizing a workshop, please send a workshop abstract of approximately 300 words and curriculum vitae by July 31, 2018, with attention to Dr. Michael Huner at:  Please include your institutional affiliation and email address and list of other possible workshop participants with their email addresses and institutional affiliations. 200-word abstracts for individual paper submissions (with CV, email, and institutional affiliation of author) can also be sent to the email address listed above. 

Conference Web-Site: