Call for Seminar Participants: GSA 2016 San Diego; GET REAL: How to Teach with Authentic Historical Sources

Marcel Rotter's picture
September 29, 2016 to October 2, 2016
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
History Education, German History / Studies

GET REAL: How to Teach with Authentic Historical Sources

Seminar, 2016 German Studies Association Conference

September 29 – October 2, 2016 San Diego

Conveners: Iris Bork-Goldfield (Wesleyan University); Beate Brunow (Wofford College); Natalie Eppelsheimer (Middlebury College); Marcel Rotter (University of Mary Washington)

Seminar’s goals and premises: The seminar will focus on how colleagues across disciplines–German Studies and History–select and implement historical sources pedagogically, both in the classroom and for course-based research. Three types of sources are featured: (1) personal accounts, including written texts such as letters, journals and diaries, as well as oral accounts like interviews; (2) official documents, for example, Stasi files and refugee organizations’ correspondence, and; (3) political documents such as resistance fighters’ fliers. Discussions will focus in part on conceptual frameworks pertaining to work with historical sources and on different pedagogical approaches to teaching historical events. Also considered is how students can use historical sources in their research. Results, including teaching suggestions, will be made available through a website hosted at Wesleyan University.

Format: Conveners will collect proposals for five-page position papers, group them by topic or medium, and develop reading lists and talking points for discussion, available to participants by mid-July (via dropbox). All participants will electronically pre-circulate these papers by mid-August along with, ideally, examples of their sources. Participants are expected to read the papers prior to the GSA conference. In the seminar, participants will offer a five-minute summary of their papers and comment on the role of historical sources in their teaching and/or their students’ understanding. Open, moderated discussions follow these presentations. To foster interdisciplinary discussions among participants, History and German Studies papers will alternate.

To apply: Interested candidates should apply directly through the GSA website at by January 28,  2016. Note that you must be a current GSA member to apply. For directions on enrolling in this seminar (you must be a current GSA member), visit the GSA webpage and the following link that details the submission process:

Please include in your application your professional rank and affiliation, as well as a statement of no more than 300 words explaining your interest in the seminar and how your own teaching and research intersects with the seminar’s goals.

Please feel free to contact the conveners with any questions you might have.

Iris Bork-Goldfield (ibork(at);

Beate Brunow (BrunowBU(at);

Natalie Eppelsheimer (eppelshe(at);

Marcel Rotter (mrotter(at)

Contact Info: 

Iris Bork-Goldfield (;

Beate Brunow (;

Natalie Eppelsheimer (;

Marcel Rotter (

Contact Email: