National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Innovations in Undergraduate Research and Honors Education: Proceedings of the Second Schreyer National Conference 2001, ed. Josephine M. Carubia & Renata S. Engel. Copyright © 2004 The National Collegiate Honors Council.


"Berlin in the 1940s" is an honors course that can foster high levels of communication, creativity, personal responsibility, intellectual community building, and synthetic analysis. The seminar itself provides an interdisciplinary and international approach to understanding "local" Berlin (Germany) during its wartime, 1939-1945, and postwar, 1945-1949, crisis periods. Students have the opportunity to stretch themselves between and among an assortment of disciplines, including diplomatic, economic, social, intellectual, architectural, and film studies, among others. Despite the limitations of time (one 75-minute meeting per week) and resources (primarily my own), the students still had available to them virtually all of the primary and secondary materials the course requires. Methodologically, the class promotes creative exploration, use of available sources, and independent study, while providing minimal instructional intervention, lecture, and common reading.