Between Propaganda & Pop Culture

East German Summer Film Institute
July 7-14, 2013

The DEFA Film Library's seventh biennial Summer Film Institute will explore multiple dimensions of the relationship between GDR filmmaking and the United States. A wide range of East German film materials, formats and genres will be screened in tandem with focused workshop discussions addressing the following topics:

  • GDR Propaganda: Mobilizing stereotypes towards political ends
  • Espionage as mass entertainment: Trends in the international film industry—genres, styles & stars
  • Culture Wars: Distribution—a two-way street; Rémigrés—from Hollywood to DEFA
  • Culture Contact: US pop culture & the GDR generation gap; The GDR & the Western left
Held in the beautiful Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, the DEFA Film Library's East German Summer Film Institutes provide an opportunity for scholars in different disciplines to spend a week together in a relaxed setting, watching movies and discussing GDR cinema from a variety of perspectives. The Institute will be held in English and is open to faculty advanced graduate students and other educators across disciplines.

The cost of the Institute is $625 for faculty and $475 for graduate students; this covers a dormitory room for 7 nights with breakfasts, lunches and two dinners. A limited amount of financial assistance may be available; please include the extent of your need in your application letter.

To apply, please submit your cv and a 2-3 page letter outlining your interest in participating in DEFA & Amerika: Between Propaganda & Pop Culture (grad students please also submit a letter of recommendation). Please contact Victoria I. Rizo Lenshyn at filmtour[at] We will also post additional information as it becomes available.

Applications should be sent by March 25, 2013 to Skyler Arndt-Briggs at sky[at]