Regional Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College

March 14-16, 2014
Gustavus Adolphus College | St. Peter, MN

Click here to Register!

College faculty and administrators are invited to register for a regional “Reacting to the Past” Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN), March 14-16, 2014.  Conference participants will learn about the RTTP pedagogy by engaging in intensive two-day workshops of two featured games. In addition, plenary sessions will provide an opportunity to discuss issues related to student engagement, teaching, and curricular applications.

Featured Games

Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 (W.W. Norton, 2014) is set at Simla, in the foothills of the Himalayas, where the British viceroy has invited leaders of various religious and political constituencies to work out the future of Britain’s largest colony. Will the British transfer power to the Indian National Congress, which claims to speak for all Indians? Or will a separate Muslim state—Pakistan—be carved out of India to be ruled by Muslims, as the Muslim League proposes? And what will happen to the vulnerable minorities—such as the Sikhs and untouchables—or the hundreds of princely states? As British authority wanes, smoldering tensions among Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs increasingly flare into violent riots that threaten to ignite all India. Towering above it all is the frail but formidable figure of Gandhi, whom some revere as an apostle of non-violence and others regard as a conniving Hindu politician. Students struggle to reconcile religious identity with nation building—perhaps the most intractable and important issue of the modern world. Texts include the literature of Hindu revival (Chatterjee, Tagore and Tilak); the Koran and the literature of Islamic nationalism (Iqbal); and the writings of Ambedkar, Nehru, Jinnah, and Gandhi.

Convener: Judith Walden is an Associate Professor of Modern European and Asian History at Simpson College (IA) and the Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program.  She has been teaching with Reacting since 2009, and is the author of two chapter-length games in development: "The New is Strong": The Hundred Days Reform in China, 1898 and A Virtuous Woman?  The Abolition of Sati in India, 1829.  She is also a member of the organizing committee for the Reacting to the Past Game Development Conference.

Mexico in Revolution, 1911-1920 (game under review) is set in Mexico City during the tumultuous time of the Mexican Revolution. The game starts on November 25, 1911, the day that Emiliano Zapata and the Zapatistas have issued the Plan de Ayala calling for agrarian reform--only a few short weeks after Francisco Madero assumed the presidency. Amidst the violence and chaos of the Revolution, students take on roles representing a variety of factions (Anarchists, Zapatistas, Maderistas, Felicistas, Foreigners, etc.) and grapple with topics such as the role of government, land and labor reform, foreign investment, foreign intervention, rights of women and ethnic minorities, freedom of the press, the role of the arts and more, as they struggle to compose a constitution that reflects the concerns and interests of their character--all while considering intersections of ethnicity, identity, memory, and nation formation. Ideas surrounding the democracy of Francisco Madero, the anarchism of Ricardo Flores Magón, the agrarianism of Emiliano Zapata, and the Liberalism of Justo Sierra (among other ideas) inform the students as they make their decisions and negotiate the future of Mexico.

Author/Convener: Jonathan Truitt is an Associate Professor of Colonial Latin American and World History at Central Michigan University and the director of the Institute for Simulations and Games as Methods for Engaging Students. He is co-editor (with Mark Christensen, Susan Kellogg, and Mathew Restall) of the forthcoming Dead Giveaways II: Testaments from the Americas and author of “Courting Catholicism: Nahua Women and the Catholic Church in Colonial Mexico City” and “Adopted Pedagogies: Nahua Incorporation of European Music and Theater in Colonial Mexico City.” He is also a member of the organizing committee for the Reacting to the Past Game Development Conference.


This conference is generously supported by the Kendall Center for Engaged Learning at Gustavus Adolphus College, with additional support from the Office of the Provost; Center for International and Cultural Education; Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program; Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies; First Term Seminar Program; and Three Crowns Curriculum. Registration will be covered for the first 20 faculty and administrators from the host institution thanks to this support.

The general registration rate is $275.00 for faculty, administrators, and graduate students from all other institutions. Reacting Consortium members will receive a $25.00 discount on the general registration rate.

Payment Methods: Credit card payments will be processed live during online registration. All payments made by check must be postmarked by February 24, 2014; an additional late fee of $50.00 will apply to all registrations/payments postmarked after this date. Conference materials will not be shipped until payment is received in full.

Refund/Cancellation Policy: Registrations are transferable within an institution up to ten business days before the event. Refunds will be provided for cancellations received in writing or via e-mail by February 15, 2014. A $50.00 processing fee will be deducted.

Schedule of Activities

Friday, March 14, 2014

1:00–2:00          Registration & Snack

2:00–2:30          Welcome

2:30–4:00          Game Setup & Faction Meetings (in tracks)

4:00–4:30          Coffee Break

4:30–5:30          Plenary Session

5:30–6:00          Reception

6:00-7:30           Dinner

Saturday, March 15, 2014

8:15–9:00          Continental Breakfast

9:00–11:00        Game Session 1 (in tracks)

11:00 –12:00     Plenary Session: Student Panel

12:00 –1:30       Lunch

1:30–3:30          Game Session 2 (in tracks)

3:30–4:00          Coffee Break

4:00–5:30          Plenary Session: Faculty Panel (in tracks)

5:30–6:00          Reception

6:00-7:30           Dinner

Sunday, March 16, 2014

8:15–9:00          Continental Breakfast

9:00–12:00        Game Session 3 & Post-Mortem Discussion (in tracks)

12:00–1:30        Lunch & Closing Plenary


Gustavus Adolphus College is located 60 miles from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. For detailed travel information and an interactive map, please visit

Airport Shuttle: The Land to Air Shuttle provides transportation from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport to the College. Online ticket purchases and schedule and pricing information available at: Prices range from $30.00-$35.00 each way.

Driving: Drive times vary depending on traffic levels, but with good traffic conditions, it will take about one hour to drive to Gustavus from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, about 75 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, MN, and about 90 minutes from downtown St. Paul, MN.

From the north: Continue on 169 (Minnesota Avenue) southbound through St. Peter, turn right onto College Avenue, and go up the hill into campus.

From the east: Come into St. Peter on westbound Hwy 99, and at the intersection of Broadway and Minnesota Avenue, turn left. Continue on Minnesota Ave. until you reach College Avenue, turn right, go up the hill into campus.

From the south: Continue on 169 (Minnesota Avenue) northbound through St. Peter, turn left onto College Avenue, and go up the hill into campus.

From the west: Come into St. Peter on eastbound Hwy 99, and turn left onto Minnesota Avenue. Continue north to College Avenue, turn left, and go up the hill into campus.


Twenty rooms have been reserved at the St. Peter AmericInn for Friday and Saturday nights. The discounted rates for conference attendees are $95.90/night for rooms with two queen beds, and $87.90/night for rooms with one queen bed. To take advantage of this discount, attendees must directly call the St. Peter Americinn at 507-931-6554 (not the 800 number), and must reference the "Reacting to the Past Regional Conference" when making the reservation. 

Mar. 14, 2014 (All day)