How can a multidisciplinary approach to history be used in studying European History?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I think that one example of a multidisciplinary approach to teaching European History would involve integrating literature as a part of instruction.

Embracing literature and history is a natural, effective, and interdisciplinary approach to make content come alive.  When we use literature as an embedded part of the instructional process, greater understanding of history emerges.  For example, teaching about European History during World War I gains greater significance when pulling from the literature of the time period.  The historical conditions of the battlefield and trench warfare are so viscerally understood when reading works such as Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front.  In this instance, literature allows the pain and alienation of World War I to resonate in the student's mind. Another example of how literature can better enhance the understanding of European History can be seen in teaching Machiavelli's The Prince. Machiavelli's work illuminates the intellectual currents of the Renaissance that played such a large part in the formation of European identity.  It can also bring out how leaders approached the task of governance.  Students gain more insight about European history when they read the literature that influenced it. Teaching literature alongside history allows them to better understand what it was like to live and experience a particular time period.  

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team