The Henriad

Dear Delegates,

I hope I am the first to welcome you to HNMUN 2018! My name is Michael Bruce and I am excited, eager, and, admittedly, a bit anxious to serve as your director for the Henriad. A bit of an unorthodox committee, the Henriad will explore history with a literary lens, juxtaposing the historic reigns of three kings with their literary depictions in four of Shakespeare’s works.

While I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, I moved to Puerto Rico at the age of seven after Hurricane Katrina forced my family to evacuate the city. My mother is from Puerto Rico, so we stayed with her sister temporarily before we finally settled down in our current house in Guaynabo, packed with our extended family: four dogs and way too many cats. Moving to a nation with a completely distinct culture and language brought a bit of growing pains. Nevertheless, I am happy to say that Puerto Rico has become my home, and judging from my replacing of “r’s” with “l’s” in Spanish and my love for any meal that incorporates plátano (preferably fried), I am confident that Puerto Rico has also accepted me.

My transition from the continental United States to Puerto Rico is one of the reasons I have become so involved in Model United Nations, inspiring me to widen my world view. Beginning MUN in tenth grade, I competed in over fifteen conferences. At college, I have continued my love / hate relationship with Model United Nations, allowing it to consume my time and self until I become an inhuman mass of parliamentary procedure and Thai policy. I have staffed both HMUN and HNMUN and am an active member of the MUN traveling team.

Outside of MUN, I am an active writer of poetry, a member of the club flag football team and an avid supporter of providing equal educational opportunity to children of lesser resources. I am planning on majoring in English with a secondary in Economics to make me somewhat employable. My perfect day is a Sunday with absolutely nothing stressful to do as I let the hours dwindle by and wonder what I did all day (with the answer being nothing).

The Henriad committee is a pioneering committee at HNMUN that incorporates elements of fiction and history to create a holistic image of the turbulent times of England during the early 15th century. Literature often affects the modern perception of historic figures and events, so the distinction between what is fiction and what is reality is constantly blurred when looking at past events. By using Shakespeare’s works as a lens, we may explore this interesting phenomena. Through this committee, I hope you can display and understand the constant interplay of seemingly objective history and subjective literature through debate and crisis!

My background in English Literature and MUN makes me extremely excited to direct this committee, so I hope you can also bring passion and emotion to the Henriad!

Feel free to contact me at any time with questions or concerns. I am always available as a resource and am happy to help. See you in February 2018!

Michael Bruce
Director, The Henriad
Harvard National Model United Nations 2018

Welcome all!

My name is Balim Barutcu, and I am a junior at Harvard studying Social Studies, which is program that combines politics, philosophy and economics. I’m extraordinarily excited to be serving as Crisis Director for the Henriad committee at HNMUN 2018, and hope that you all share this excitement at the prospect of bringing an exceptionally dynamic period in western history and literature to life!

As someone who loves historical fiction and Shakespearian literature, I’m absolutely exhilarated by the creative possibilities before us. Perhaps due to my passion for Game of Thrones, I envision a committee experience that combines diplomatic and, at times, military strategising, high-impact crisis response, and long-term vision for the committee’s trajectory. The creative license we have for the Henriad, if used alongside a strong understanding of the monarchical, religious and technological context of the era, offers us an ocean of opportunity for a spectacular experience at conference, and I cannot wait to share that with you all.

In terms of what I do in my free time, I’m involved extensively in the International Relations Council, serving on the leadership for our competitive Model UN team, as well as the Secretariat of Harvard National Model United Nations Latin America. I’m also a part of The Harvard Advocate, our literary magazine, and I am an active member of the dance and drama community on campus.

Please feel free to e-mail us at should you have any questions or concerns prior to conference, or should you simply wish to strike up a conversation. I would be equally happy with both!

Balim Barutcu
Crisis Director, The Henriad
Harvard National Model United Nations 2018

“Let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings; How some have been deposed; some slain in war,” -Richard II, Shakespeare

William Shakespeare has always had a talent for concise and insightful description, and even four hundred years after his death, his revolutionary use of language constantly seems to find relevance in our current society. From the immense scope of popular culture to the topical study of Romeo and Juliet in 9th grade, Shakespeare has undoubtedly become a staple in our current reality. Through this Model United Nations committee, Shakespeare will now be able to spread his cultural influence even to our current simulated reality. In the Henriad committee, we will tell sad stories of the death of kings, three kings to be exact.

This committee is named after Shakespeare’s most famous tetralogy, depicting the historic reigns of three monarchs: Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V. Composed of the plays Richard II, Henry IV part 1 and 2, and Henry V, The Henriad explores the dynamism of early 15th century England. Beginning in 1399 and ending in 1415, the Henriad explores an often unvisited, yet extremely interesting period of history. In 1399, Richard II is overthrown violently and deposed by Henry Bolingbroke who becomes Henry IV. For years following, Henry IV faces a myriad of domestic problems, ranging from protesting protestants to Welsh rebellion. After his reign, his son, Henry V, must go abroad to fight the French, establishing English dominance internationally.

Literature affects the modern perception of historic figures and events, so the distinction between what is fiction and what is reality is constantly blurred when looking at past events. Shakespeare’s Henriad is an example of a work that transcends its literary limitations by seamlessly merging into our modern understanding of this crucial historic time period in European history. In the Henriad committee, delegates will explore the history, dynamics, and power struggles of the time period with the literary lens provided by William Shakespeare through the incorporation of fictional characters and events into committee. Through the Henriad committee, delegates will explore the constant interplay of seemingly objective history with subjective literature, perceiving a holistic understanding of past events.

We hope you all will become explorers of a world that sits between fiction and reality. The realm of kings and fairies, of disease and love potions, and of terrestrial death and ominous afterlifes.