2019 Lone Medievalist Prize for Teaching

John Giebfried and Kyle Lincoln, Reacting to the Past Pedagogical Games

We are proud to award the 2019 Lone Medievalist Prize for Teaching to John Giebfried and Kyle Lincoln for their design of Reacting to the Past pedagogical games. Reacting to the Past is a pedagogical tool first developed in the late 1990s. This pedagogy creates an understanding and empathy for the past, and for both sides of an argument. Moreover, it builds skills useful to students in all future forms of employment, namely critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, public speaking and persuasive writing. Their first game, written together, 1204: The Fourth Crusade and the Remaking of the Medieval World, begins in March 1204, immediately after the young emperor Alexius IV, whom the fourth crusaders had put on the throne of Constantinople was murdered by a usurper. The students must first decide whether to attack the city, debating concepts like ‘just war’ and the nature of crusading, using the works of Gratian, St. Augustine and others to build their arguments. John Giebfried is currently finishing up a game on Mongol history, entitled Grandsons of Genghis, focusing on the Qurultai of 1246. Kyle Linoln is in the early stages of developing a game set in Spain in 1492, exploring the aftermath of the conquest of Grenada and the expulsion of the Jews. Their work will provide invaluable teaching resources for other Lone Medievalists and all instructors, especially those teaching survey courses.

Honorable Mention: Ashley Laverock, Design and Decorative Arts in Medieval Europe (Course)
Ashley Laverock seeks to make medieval art and history engaging for students majoring in disciplines ranging from fashion to interactive game design.The incorporation of experiential activities into Laverock’s course on medieval “decorative” arts allowed medieval objects to come to life for students and was particularly well-suited to a student population of artists and designers.

Honorable Mention: John T.R. Terry, “Gardening with the Dead: A Medieval Monastic Practicum” (Lesson)
John T.R. Terry’s lesson uses as its central text Walafrid Strabo’s ninth-century poem Liber de cultura hortorum––the “Book on the cultivation of gardens”––more commonly known to scholars as Hortulus, or “little garden.” In its current form, this lesson is designed for high school sophomores enrolled in the required semester-long course History of the Ancient World (HAW) at The Westminster Schools. This project in particular challenges students to read medieval sources on monastic gardening and to work in our school’s community gardens along similar lines in order to gain an appreciation for pre-modern monastic labor, foodways, and the ways in which a pre-modern text can be enacted as opposed to passively read for sense.

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