Undergraduate Study Abroad in Hamburg

Project: Research project

Project Details


We have recently undertaken an ambitious exchange and study-­‐abroad program with the University of Hamburg, which is closely associated with a Hamburg-­‐based international research and pedagogical project around the idea of “harbor cities.” As an inland harbor, Chicago is particularly well suited for a comparison with Hamburg. The primary pedagogical goal of this project is to increase opportunities for undergraduate students in German at Northwestern University to develop research projects furthering cross-­‐cultural contact and understanding, combining the active use of a foreign language with research in literary, cultural, political, and historical subject areas. Generally, such research opportunities are rare and we have never been able offer them in a structured way within the confines of a course or a sequence of courses. To that end, we have designed a two-­‐quarter sequence of classes to help students design and complete a cross-­‐cultural research project, which allows them to gain valuable educational and professional experience under the supervision of two faculty members. Students in this project (students of German with a secondary field such as for example Literary-­‐ Cultural Studies, Journalism, History, or Political Science) will be enrolled in two classes: the goal of the first class (Fall 2013) is to gather information about Hamburg, its culture and history through class lectures and assigned readings, through archival research in the library and online, and through site visits and interviews with relevant people on location in Hamburg (a ten-­‐day research trip in October). During the second class (Winter 2014), students will write up and assemble their research project with emphasis on exploring digital presentation of the material collected during the Hamburg visit. These projects will be featured online and students are expected to give a presentation to faculty and students in the department about their research findings in the Spring 2014. We are particularly eager to create this program because our recently appointed DAAD visiting professor, Peter Brandes, is very well acquainted with the city and will thus be able to co-­‐teach the seminar and co-­‐direct the research projects with me. Both professors will, of course, accompany the students during the research trip. Currently, funds have been pledged by the University of Hamburg to support this project with accommodations for the students during the trip abroad in October as well as vouchers for the University cafeteria. The department of German is currently searching for travel funds. To that end, we are asking the Max Kade foundation for $ 10,000 to support the estimated 10 students who will enroll in the program.
Effective start/end date1/1/146/30/14


  • Max Kade Foundation, Inc. (Award Letter 2/11/14)


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