CFA: The DEFA Film Library invites Applications for the 10th East German Summer Film institute (13-20 June 2021) (Deadline:1 March 2021)

Mariana Ivanova's picture

Call for Applications!


2021 East German Summer Film Institute


Authority and Alterity in East German Movies: Political Experiments, Rebel Youth and Civil Unrest


June 13-20, 2021


Application Deadline: March 1, 2021


This weeklong virtual Institute, accompanied by a 3-week virtual film series, will focus on representations of political experiments, “whistleblowers,” youth rebellion and state authority—and their complex interplay—while remaining mindful of a historical context marked by political changes and a state that attempted to both undermine and re-appropriate reform impulses. Screenings, readings and virtual discussions will explore differences between dissent and alterity as socio-political manifestations, as well as how the example of the GDR can function as a springboard for discussions of artistic and personal responses to other political systems, past and present.


The Summer film Institute was postponed from June 2020 due to Covid-19. Still a few seats left!


JUNE 1-21:

The films selected for the virtual Authority and Alterity film series will be available to stream ahead of and during the Institute.


JUNE 13-20:

During one intensive virtual week, participants from different disciplines will discuss the films and selected readings, exploring topics such as:

  • Utopia and social reform in film and media imaginings
  • Cinematic representations of alterity, authority and dissent
  • Rebellion, civil unrest and youth subcultures
  • Law and order: institutional practices and diffuse forms of authority
  • Films as both tools of the state and vehicles for change


The 2021 Summer Film Institute will be co-directed by Mariana Ivanova (Academic Director, DEFA Film Library, UMass Amherst) and Seth Howes (Univ. of Missouri). For more information: 


College and university teachers, including contingent faculty and advanced graduate students are invited to apply, as are curators and others at museums and cultural centers. The Institute will take place virtually and in English. Accepted participants will be able to stream all the films in the series with English subtitles and will have access to assigned readings, discussion forums and more via the UMass Amherst online teaching platform.


The fee for the 2021 Summer Film Institute is $250 USD. Financial aid is available for graduate students and contingent faculty. Please include a request for financial assistance in your application materials if needed.


More information about virtual format:

  • Zoom sessions to 2-3 hours per day (including roundtables, plenaries and small group discussions);
  • Virtual coffee breaks and cocktail hours will provide further opportunities to chat and network;
  • Resources, as well as further options to collaborate will take place on a teaching platform and our Google drive;
  • Other East German films will be available to participants who wish to view them for research.


TO APPLY: Email Mariana Ivanova at by March 1, 2021. In your application, please include a letter of interest (2-3 pages) and a current 2-3 page CV. Acceptance notifications will be sent March 15, 2021.