CfP: Comparative and Transnational Perspectives on Women’s Cinema in the GDR and Poland 1945-1989

International Workshop: Leipzig, 14-16 November 2019: Deadline July 30, 2019

Das Kino von Gdynia in der ul. Tuwima w Łodzi, I/4715/10. Fotograf: Ignacy Płażewski, Łódź, 1950er/1960er Jahre. Quelle: Wikimedia Commons / Lodz City Museum, Lizenz: CC BY-SA 3.0 PL

Leibniz-Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) is now accepting submissions for the international academic workshop focusing on women’s cinema in the GDR and Poland from the end of the World War II in 1945 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. We invite proposals from researchers and practitioners working in the following fields: history and theory of film, television and other audiovisual media; production studies; film and literary genre theory; gender studies; queer theory; cultural studies; social studies; philosophy; history of Central and Eastern Europe.

The workshop aims to encourage reflection on the position of women in Polish and East German socialist film industries and film cultures. The goal of the workshop is not only to highlight examples of film- and media-related work by women, but also to expand existing methodological approaches as well as to develop new comparative and transnational modes of evaluating Central and Eastern European woman’s film-making in its various sociopolitical, ideological and aesthetic dimensions.



The workshop will be held at GWZO in Leipzig on 14-16 November 2019.

Papers will be presented in thematic sessions which will be followed by round-table discussions. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

1. Women’s authorship and creative practices in film-making:

Individual artistic choices of topics, genres, and styles
Narrating women’s issues: visions of everyday life and social relations in terms of gender, age, living conditions, family and motherhood, professional environment, education and career
Models of womanhood, constructions of female identity in relation to dominant cultural or ideological patterns, national traditions (e.g. Polish romanticism, Heimat), and propaganda policies in Poland and the GDR

2. Position of women in national film cultures and industries:

Histories of women’s creative practice in film, television and other media
Gendering of functions and jobs in film industries
Women’s work on film sets and in post-production
Women in non-professional cinema: amateur film-making and film clubs, home movie tradition
Women as students, teachers, and practitioners in film schools

3. Women as film critics and academic researchers in the field of film and other media:

Women’s writing on film, television and other media in film journals, daily press and popular magazines
Women’s participation in film festivals and film clubs
Film and media studies, crucial research projects and publications by women


During the last day of the seminar, there will be a discussion forum providing opportunities to dialogue over all sessions and topics. Beyond a simple summary of the workshop, the goals of this closing format are: to compare participants’ diverse research methodologies; to foster fuller understanding of the cultural, social, geopolitical, and economic history of Central and Eastern European film industries; and to encourage conversations towards collaboration or continued academic cooperation (e.g. a full-time research project) on the subjects of women’s cinema in Eastern, Central and Western Europe.


Proposals for twenty-minute presentations should include the title of the presentation, an abstract specifying the main issues and the methodology (up to 400 words), as well as a short CV or a short biographical statement. The proposals can be written in either English, German or Polish. The presentations during the workshop are to be held in English.


Deadline for the proposals: July 31st, 2019


Please send the proposals to both:


There will be no workshop fee. Accommodation and meals (coffee breaks, lunch, dinner) will be provided. Travel costs will be reimbursed up to 150 €. The workshop is supported by the funds of the Deutsch-Polnische Wissenschaftsstiftung. The Polish partner institution for the workshop is the Institute of Audiovisual Arts of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.


Maciej Peplinski

Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa (GWZO)
Specks Hof (Eingang A) Reichsstr. 4-6, D-04109 Leipzig

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