Photo: Katrin Bahr
Our New Associate Director
The DEFA Film Library is extremely pleased to announce that Dr. Victoria Rizo Lenshyn will take up the reins as our new Associate Director on December 18, 2022.
Many of you already know Victoria as a scholar of (East) German cinema, focusing on topics such as the role of women and film stars in socialist filmmaking. After receiving her PhD from UMass Amherst, she taught at Amherst College before being awarded an ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University in 2021-22. There, she was able to more fully explore her long-standing research interests in both environmentalism and migration in a research project examining threads between the environmental crisis in East Germany, GDR activism and German environmental policy today, as well as a film and discussion series on Border Wall Environments.
During her time as a graduate student, the DEFA Film Library benefited from Victoria’s contributions in a number of different roles. To name but a few: she co-directed our 2015 Summer Film Institute on Sex, Gender & Videotape: Love, Eroticism and Romance in East Germany with Kyle Frackman (Univ. of British Columbia); she mentored interns and student employees and fulfilled a range of administrative duties; she organized panels and event series; and she presented DEFA films at the Goethe-Institut Boston and her work at the GSA, WiG, AATG and CAUTG conferences. Thanks to a postdoctoral fellowship from the W.E.B. Du Bois Center, she then worked on the Jörg Foth Collection, establishing a baseline structure for DEFA- and GDR-related collections at SCUA.
The breadth of Victoria’s professional experience and her intimate knowledge of East German history and cinema, as well as her administrative acumen represent tremendous assets for the DEFA Film Library moving forward. Welcome, Victoria!