Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Harry Kreisler

Harry Kreisler is executive producer and host of the series, which is produced at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California - Berkeley. Conceived in 1982 by Mr. Kreisler as a way to capture and preserve through conversation and technology the intellectual ferment of our times, Conversations with History includes over 450 interviews.
The Story of Conversations with History


Online Learning: Connecting Students to the World

 Connecting Students to the World is an educational program developed and produced by the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. The program uses the Internet and the World Wide Web to further collaboration between the university and other educational institutions, including California community colleges and K-12 schools as well as other universities. At the heart of the program is Conversations with History, which features interviews with distinguished men and women from all over the world who talk about their lives and their work.

Here are some of the ways that teachers in the Bay Area have used the Connecting Students to the World  project to help their students learn about global issues.

Courses

Curriculum Development

To further these collaborations, the Institute has created Research Galleries which collect the thoughts of a wide range of individuals on specific ideas, events, and histories. The galleries include excerpts from interviews in text or video/audio formats as well as texts from e-mail exchanges, biographical information, and other links.

The Institute has also created special pages devoted to themes that cut across the curriculum.

Online Chats/E-mail Exchanges

In order to maximize enrichment provided by the Conversations with History archive, the Institute of International Studies occasionally arranges chats or email exchanges between students and distinguished Berkeley faculty or visitors who have participated in the archive. The basic elements of a chat or email exchange are as follows:

  • teachers plan a unit that meets state standards and which incorporates the use of a Conversations with History interview, see San Francisco Unified School District's History/Social Science Standards;
  • students prepare by studying the interview and other relevant material, see The Art of Interviewing;
  • questions and answers are sent and received electronically between students and guest; and
  • the Institute puts the exchange up on the web as part of the Conversations archive.

The Institute has hosted the following chats/e-mail exchanges:

Blum Carolyn Patty Blum: Immigration
Professor of Law, Boalt Hall School of Law
12/17/97 | Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, San Francisco CA
To the Blum chat

Cranston Alan Cranston: Politics and Nuclear Weapons
former California Senator; President of Global Security Institute
October 2000 | Marin Academy, San Rafael CA
To the Cranston e-mail exchange

Ellsberg Daniel Ellsberg: Foreign Policy and Democracy
Strategic Analyst and Anti - Vietnam War Activist
5/14/99 | Wallenberg Academic High School, San Francisco CA; and Marin Academic High School, San Rafael, CA
To the Ellsberg e-mail exchange

Ewald Wendy Ewald: Children and Photography
Photographer, Author, and Educator
4/3/98 | St. Paul's Episcopal School, Oakland CA
To the Ewald chat

Goldstone Justice Richard J. Goldstone: International Justice
Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
4/14/97 | Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, San Francisco CA
To the Goldstone chat

Henderson The Honorable Thelton Henderson, Jr.: Civil Rights
U.S. District Court Judge
5/20/98 | Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, San Francisco CA
To the Henderson e-mail exchange

Peress Gilles Peress: Photography and Images
Magnum Photographer
3/18/98 | College Preparatory School, Oakland CA
To the Peress chat

Sachs Albie Sachs: After Apartheid
Freedom Fighter; Justice of the South Africa Constitutional Court
4/14/00 | Marin Academy, San Rafael CA
To the Sachs e-mail exchange

Shaiken Harley Shaiken: Labor
Professor of Education, UC Berkeley
2/18/98 | Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, San Francisco CA
To the Shaiken chat

Shattuck John Shattuck: Civil Rights
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
4/30/97 | Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, San Francisco CA
To the Shattuck chat

Urquhart Sir Brian Urquhart: The United Nations
Former Undersecretary-General of the United Nations.
3/19/96 | Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, San Francisco CA
March 1999 | Marin Academy High School, Model UN Program at UCB, and Boalt Hall School of Law
May 2000 | Marin Academy High School
To the 1996 Urquhart chat, the 1999 Urquhart e-mail exchange, and the 2000 Urquhart e-mail exchange.

Photo credits

Harry Kreisler, Executive Producer

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