Friday, December 11, 2015

Public History Class calls it a wrap

Thursday was the last Public History class.  Since we have stressed iterative design all semester, it seemed appropriate for the students to give us feedback on the class and the new assignment.  We got some good insights for future tweaks.  All in all, the class was a learning experience for students and instructors alike... and it will be better next time.
Pictured are the brave students who stuck the class out along with their games.  I am genuinely impressed with the work and creativity they put into the class and the games.  They created a variety of games exploring different aspects of the war.  They recreated the Battle of Gettysburg, home life, railroads, the march through Georgia.

Eddie Keen

Overview of Eddie's game

Overview of Jeremiah's game

Overview of Ben's game

Overview of Mike's game

Alicia Henning

Ben Barnhart

Dan Leopold

Jeremiah Horrigan

Mike Wesolowski

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Political Zingers

On December 8 Larry Raymond spoke with the Public History class about his game, Political Zingers.  Political Zingers fits into the theme of game design, because, according to the game's web page, "With Zingers!, talking politics with your friends is fun and you won’t ruin the evening.    You put words into the mouths of politicians and pundits, telling the truth as you see it through a cartoon vocabulary.  You  can speak your mind, get a laugh and not offend anyone."  The games ability to get people (translation students) to discuss potentially difficult topics has real educational applications.  Students in the class have a variety of political opinions and levels of engagement, but they all enjoyed the game.  The game moved quickly, provoking both discussion and laughs.  Larry also discussed how the game related to his long and varied career including his fascinating work with metaphor mapping in the corporate world and the United Nations.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Review of Dr. Robbins's Book

Dr. Karen Robbins's book, James McHenry, Forgotten Federalist, was recently reviewed in the Journal of the Early Republic.  McHenry was an important player in the American Revolution who had not received the attention he deserved, until Dr. Robbins wrote her biography.  The reviewer writes:  "This is an excellent political biography. More than that, it can serve as a model for anyone attempting a similar project. It is grounded in a thorough knowledge of the various McHenry manuscript collections and secondary works on Maryland and national politics of the period as well as the recent scholarship on race relations, the family, and class (in its eighteenth-century manifestation), especially the code of the gentleman."