GSA 2019 Panels: Documenting Socialism. East German Perspectives on Documentary Film

Sebastian Heiduschke's picture
Call for Papers
Oregon, United States
Subject Fields: 
Film and Film History, German History / Studies

Documenting Socialism: East German Perspectives on Documentary Film


For a panel series at the 2019 GSA conference in Portland, we invite papers that address the relative lack of systematic, transdisciplinary English-language scholarship on East German documentary film. We are interested in contributions focusing on (a) mainstream centres of production such as the DEFA-Studio für Wochenschau und Dokumentarfilme and the DEFA-Studio für populärwissenschaftliche Filme, and relationship of these institutions to both smaller studios (e.g. Studio H&S, DEWAG and AGRA), as well as in documentary cinema produced outside the DEFA studio system (“Amateurfilm”) by Betriebsfilmstudios, by Pionier- und Jugendfilmstudios, and clubs for individuals interested in home film production; (b) historical perspectives on the treatment of key topics in East German documentary film production; (c) the work of individual filmmakers fromthe GDR including those female directors (e.g. Petra Tschörtner and Helke Misselwitz) for whom documentary offered greater possibilities for self-expression than conventional feature films; and (d) papers exploring how documentary production in the GDR both shaped and was shaped by developments in the transnational sphere.


Please send abstracts between 350 and 600 words to both Sean Allan ( and Sebastian Heiduschke ( by January 25th, 2019.