For myself, I decided to focus on only postwar memorials, instead of memorials in general-- I feel like this will be a more narrow lens with which to view my topic and will perhaps allow me to make more specific conclusions. Likewise, there is a preponderance of postwar memorials in both Berlin and America, and other memorials might be hard to find and investigate. Furthermore, it seems to me that war is inherently tied to some aspect of national identity (through perhaps the "defending my country" mindset?) and plays a huge role in the formation of nation states. I have many other questions about the logistics and details of my project that will hopefully be answered as I begin delving in, but for now, I feel like I have a clear vision.
As for my research schedule, my group and I decided to create a survey first, as we thought this would give us a really good and (hopefully) large data set and is the most time-sensitive item on our list. We hope to have the survey created and translated, ready for distribution, by the end of next week. I will also construct a survey to sent electronically to Americans (via Facebook and emails to people I know) concerning their views on memorials, phrased in a similar way to the physical survey distributed to the Germans. After the surveys are sent out (or, ideally, concurrently as the survey responses filter in), I will visit 3-4 memorials around Berlin and talk to people for short interviews (about 10 minutes), asking them similar questions as the survey. Likewise, I'll jot down some general observations and take pictures of the space to perhaps do a spatial analysis as I see fit later on. I'm hoping German people are receptive to my project-- I don't want to be too intrusive or abstract, but people here seem friendly enough so I hope it won't be a problem to approach people on the street!
The survey will focus on memorials and perceptions about them. I intend to do some sort of word association, like "what three words or short phrases come to mind when thinking about X memorial/German identity/American identity/national pride" and so on. I might configure a more qualitative question set, like several statements with "agree/disagree" scales that will hopefully allow me to interpret more concretely people's feelings about memorials and national identity. I will post the final survey, with my group members' questions as well, when it is all complete and ready to go.