Project Team

Four resident faculty members will be present throughout the Summer Institute. Three of these are based in German and film studies, while one is in art history:

seanallan2 CroppedSean Allan, Professor of German at the University of St. Andrews, is a leading authority on GDR cinema and is currently completing a new monograph on the Künstlerfilme (artist films), about which he will give a talk during the Week III of the Institute.


sky CroppedSkyler Arndt-Briggs (Institute director) is the Executive Director of the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst, which specializes in the cinema and culture of the GDR. She has directed and/or been a faculty member for five Summer Film Institutes, as well as an NEH Summer Institute in 2005. Her recent research and writing focus on GDR film and its reception in the U.S., and film in the global Cold War.

byg CroppedBarton Byg (Institute director) is a Professor in the program in German and Scandinavian Studies and in the Interdisciplinary Program in Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he founded the DEFA Film Library in 1991. He is a leading authority on East German cinema and on the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. He has directed and/or been a faculty member for five Summer Film Institutes, as well as NEH Summer Institutes in 2005, 1998 and 1996. 

AE CroppedApril Eisman, Associate Professor of Art History at Iowa State University and founder of the Transatlantic Institute for East German Art, is an authority on the visual arts in East Germany. In addition to giving her keynote lecture on “Five Myths about East German Art,” she will give a talk on East German women painters, about which she is currently completing a monograph. 

We are also pleased to welcome three part-time faculty members, all musicologists:

joy Cropped

Joy Calico, Professor of Musicology and European Studies at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, is the author of Brecht at the Opera. She will give a talk on “Opera on Film, DEFA Style” and spend the entire third week at the Institute.


elaine CroppedElaine Kelly, Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) at the University of Edinburgh’s Reid School of Music, is the author of Composing the Canon in the German Democratic Republic: Narratives of Nineteenth-Century Music. She will give an introductory lecture on “Music, Modernity, and Socialist Ideology” and spend the entire second week at the Institute.

Yunker CroppedJohanna Yunker, a musicologist whose research on GDR music focuses on female composers, opera performance, and film music, will give a short lecture on “GDR Music and Race.” Currently focusing on pedagogy in higher education, she will be present on alternating days throughout the four weeks. She will work with Institute faculty to give three targeted pedagogy workshops, and facilitate small-group discussions with participants about how they would use materials in their classrooms.

For the Film Series accompanying the Institute:

HSWe are grateful to have the contributions of film curator Hiltrud Schulz, an expert on GDR cinema and art based at the DEFA Film Library. Her work has been invaluable in discovering little-known films that enrich academic programming.



Staffing the Institute will be:

fullsizeoutput_4 CroppedKathryn Julian, a recently-minted PhD in GDR and European history, will be taking care of our public Film and Lecture Series, as well as financial and other logistical issues.



Close-up_4 zu 3Konstanze Schiller, a Master’s student in German studies at UMass Amherst, will be taking care of: corresponding with participants; housing, meals and facilities; readings and other Institute resources; general participant support.


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