Faculty Workshop at Adrian College

Friday, January 25 - Saturday, January 26, 2013
Adrian, MI

Registration for this event is now closed.

College faculty and administrators are invited to register for a “Reacting to the Past” workshop hosted by Adrian College. Workshop participants will learn about the RTTP pedagogy by engaging in an intensive two-day workshop on Frederick Douglass, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Constitution: 1845. In addition, panel discussions will provide an opportunity to discuss issues related to student engagement, teaching, and curricular applications.

Featured Game

Frederick Douglass, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Constitution: 1845 (in development) introduces students to a time and place almost unimaginable today, when advocating an end to slavery was far more controversial than supporting its perpetuation: the United States in 1845.   Class debates focus on the intellectual and cultural clashes between the “Defenders of the Constitution”—the entrenched, respectable defenders of American slavery—and the Abolitionists—a small but dedicated movement calling for slavery’s immediate and universal abolition. Many characters are independent of both factions.

The question facing the country in 1845 was not a civil war—which was then unimaginable—but whether abolitionist critics of slavery were legitimate. Can the abolitionists be suppressed outright? The many violent anti-abolitionist mobs in the North showed that this was hardly just a “southern” demand. Thus, in the first part of the game, all characters “review” the newly published “The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself” at a literary forum hosted by the illustrious English author Charles Dickens in New York.  (This forum brings together a range of people whose ideas and interests, while actually engaged with one another, never actually meet face to face.)  Later, characters address the U.S. Constitution and its clear protection of slaveholders’ power, such as its assertion that fugitive slaves must be returned. Are Americans accountable to the Constitution or to a “higher law”?


Participation is free for faculty, administrators, and students from Adrian College and Eastern Michigan University. The registration fee is $75 for faculty and administrators and $25 for graduate students from other institutions. The fee includes tuition, materials, consultation, and the meals listed on the schedule below.

Registration for this event is now closed.  

Payment Methods: Credit card payments will be processed live during online registration. All payments made by check must be postmarked January 7, 2013; an additional late fee of $25 will apply to all registrations/payments postmarked after this date. Workshop materials will not be shipped until payment is received in full.

Refund/Cancellation Policy: Registrations are transferable within an institution at any time. Refunds will be provided for cancelations received in writing or via e-mail 10 business days before the scheduled workshop date.

Schedule of Activities



GAME SET-UP AND FACTION MEETINGS: Gamemaster will “Meet and Greet” participants to introduce the historical context, readings, and rules of the game. 


GAME SESSION I: The Literary Forum on Douglass’ Narrative, hosted by Charles Dickens







GAME SESSION II: The Calhoun Banquet, at Delmonico’s



PANEL SESSION: Student Voices on RTTP



12:45PM GAME SESSION III AND DEBRIEFING: Meeting at Broadway Tabernacle Church
2:30PM WORKSHOP DISCUSSION: Using RTTP with First-Year Students

Directions to Adrian College

All conference activities will be held on the campus of Adrian College in Adrian, MI. Directions are available on the Adrian College web site.

Jan. 25, 2013 (All day)