NEH Funds Summer Institute to Explore ‘Culture in the Cold War’

Summer institute logo

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $216,849 to Skyler Arndt-Briggs and Barton Byg of the DEFA Film Library, the German and Scandinavian sudies program and the interdepartmental program in film studies to support an interdisciplinary summer institute for college-level teachers and professionals in museums and other cultural institutions.

The institute, to be held June 17-July 14, 2018, will explore “Culture in the Cold War: East German Art, Music and Film.”

Drawing on the latest research in art history, musicology, film studies and German studies, the institute seeks to further understanding of the role of cultural policy and the individual in socialist modernity. This involves: reevaluating debates about artistic freedom and censorship; considering relations between high and low (popular), as well as official and alternative arts cultures; and challenging conventional assumptions about the periodization of work on socialist ideology and cultural policies.

Above all, the institute will strive to establish the importance—and timeliness—of revisiting this period of recent history in today’s college classrooms.

Arndt-Briggs and Byg will be joined by guest faculty including: Seán Allan of the University of St. Andrew, Joy Calico of Vanderbilt University, April Eisman of Iowa State University, Elaine Kelly of the University of Edinburgh, Hiltrud Schulz , DEFA Film Libraryand Johanna Yunker,  Office of Professional Development.

The institute’s scholarly seminars and workshops will be accompanied by a four-week film and lecture series, which will be open to the Five College community and the general public.