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Mariana Ivanova

Associate Professor of German Film and Media & Academic Director of the DEFA Film Library

Mariana Ivanova, German and Scandinavian Studies, UMass Amherst

(413) 545-6672

509 Herter Hall

Mariana Ivanova's scholarship focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century German and European cinemas and cultures, theories of transnational filmmaking and coproduction, artistic networks, and cultural mediation. At the DEFA Film Library, she co-directs Summer Film Institutes and works within a vibrant team to support research and teaching of East German cinema in the US and around the globe. Her monograph, Cinema of Collaboration: DEFA Coproductions and International Exchange in Cold War Europe approaches the Cold War division through the lens of film coproductions and exchange, artistic collaboration, and cultural mediation, and thus responds to the need to rethink socialist cinemas, and in particular East German cinema, within the constantly evolving discursive space of European filmmaking. Ivanova has also published and given talks on the ways the GDR is represented and "remembered" in film, on genre and censorship practices within socialist cinematic industries, and on transborder movement for the purposes of producing and distributing films. She is currently working on two new projects. A monograph, Re-claiming the Producer: From Cold War Networks to Contemporary European Cinema tackles continuities in German producers' aspirations for international market presence before and after the German Reunification; specifically, it examines a transnational network established by less-studied figures of West German film, such as Artur Brauner, Ilse Kubaschewki, and Manfred Durniok and their Eastern European, Asian, and North American partners. Ivanova's other project focuses on re-thinking heritage cinema within the context of the recent proliferation of historical films about private lives impacted by both ideological division and transborder movement during the Cold War. By examining the phenomena of multi-layered temporalities juxtaposed in post-2000 films, this project intertwines various memory discourses with the current priorities and realities of European filmmaking. 


PhD 2011, Germanic Languages and Literatures, the University of Texas at Austin
MA 2003, German Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
BA 2001, German Studies, University of Shumen, Shumen, Bulgaria


Cinema of Collaboration: DEFA Coproductions and International Exchange in Cold War Europe (London, New York: Berghahn, 2019).

Co-Editor, Journal for the History of Knowledge, Special Issue – Media Representations, Epistemic Practices and Visual Cultures of Science in Divided Germany (expected publication in Spring 2021)

"Film Exchange Beyond the Ban: Erich Mehl's Cooperation with the East German Film Studio DEFA (1954-1990)"- German Studies Review 41.1 (2018): 99-122. 

"DEFA and the Legacy of Film Europe: Prestige, Institutional Exchange, and Film Co-Productions." Re-imagining DEFA. East German Cinema in its National and Transnational Context. Eds. Seán Allan and Sebastian Heiduschke. New York: Berghahn Books, 2016. 85-105.

"Co-Productions (Un)Wanted: 1950s East/West German Film Collaborations and the impact of Sovietization on DEFA's Prestige Agenda." Cinema in the Service of the State: Perspectives on the GDR and Czechoslovakia 1945-1960. Eds. Pavel Skopal and Lars Karl. New York, Oxford: Berghahn, 2015. 107-124.  

"Die Prestige-Agenda der DEFA: Koproduktionen mit Erich Mehls Filmfirma Pandora (1954-1957)." Trans. Michael Wedel. DEFA International: Grenzüberschreitende Filmbeziehungen vor und nach dem Mauerbau. Eds. Michael Wedel, et al. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2013: 217-232.

"Die DDR aus der Perspektive einer jungen Generation: Erkundungsreisen und Grenzerfahrungen zwischen Träumen und Realität in deutschen Filmen seit 2005." Kino in Bewegung: Analysen und Perspektiven zum aktuellen deutschen Film. Eds. Thomas Schick and Tobias Ebbrecht. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2011. 259-284.

"'You Have to Draw a Line Somewhere': Tropes of Division in DEFA Films from 1961 to 1964." Berlin Divided City, 1945-1989. Eds. Phillip Broadbent and Sabine Hake. New York, Oxford: Berghahn, 2010. 126-140.

Documentaries and Interviews

"Angel Wagenstein Remembers. Documentary." Stars. IceStorm Entertainment/ DEFA Film Library, Amherst, 2011. DVD. 20.'

"Interview with Bulgarian Screenwriter Angel Wagenstein. December 2007, Sofia, Bulgaria." Goya or the Hard Way to Enlightenment. IceStorm Entertainment/ DEFA Film Library, Amherst, 2010. DVD. 17'56.''

"Interview with Tatyana Lolova. December 2007, Sofia, Bulgaria." Goya or the Hard Way to   Enlightenment. IceStorm Entertainment/ DEFA Film Library, Amherst, 2010. DVD. 11'33.''

Research Areas

  • 20th and 21st Century German and European Cinema

  • East German and Central European Cinemas

  • Film Studies

  • Cultural History

  • Transnationalism

  • Theories of Cultural Mediation

Courses Recently Taught

German 697CE: Central European Film