'Re-reading East Germany’: The Literature and Film of the GDR


Dr. Seán Allan

is Associate Professor for German at Warwick University. He published DEFA: East German Cinema 1946-92 with John Sandford in 1999 and has continued to publish widely on GDR and post-unification German cinema. He is currently working on a monograph on contemporary German cinema.

Prof. Gerrit-Jan Berendse

published the pioneering Die ‘Sächsische Dichterschule’. Lyrik in der DDR der sechziger und achtziger Jahre in 1990 and, along with two recent volumes on terrorism and literature, also published a volume of essays on the underground scene of Prenzlauer Berg in 1999, as well as numerous articles about poetry in the GDR. He is currently working on a monograph on the GDR writer Adolf Endler.

Prof. Stephen Brockmann

is well known for his prize-winning volume Nuremberg: The Imaginary Capital (2006) but also for volumes which tackle both the beginnings and the end of the GDR: German Literary Culture at Zero Hour (Rochester: Camden House, 2004); Literature and German Reunification (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) and New German Critique n. 52 (Winter 1991), Special Issue on German Unification.

Prof. Carol Anne Costabile-Heming

has published widely on Wende literature and post-Wende Berlin: including Textual Responses to German Unification: Processing Historical and Social Change in Literature and Film (2001) and Berlin: Orchestrating Architectural, Social, and Artistic Change in Germany’s New Capital (2004).

Prof. Birgit Dahlke

published Papierboot. Autorinnen aus der DDR - inoffiziell publiziert. in 1997, a pioneering work on the female authors of the GDR unofficial cultural scene, and the follow up volume, Zersammelt. Die inoffizielle Literaturszene der DDR nach 1990. Eine Bestandsaufnahme, in 2000. She was one of the editors of an innovative literary journal in the last years of the GDR. Since then she has edited a volume on the GDR writer Kerstin Hensel, as well as a major volume on literary movements in the GDR: LiteraturGesellschaft DDR. Kanonkämpfe und ihre Geschichte(n) in 2001. She is currently writing a biography of the GDR writer Wolfgang Hilbig.

Prof. Wolfgang Emmerich

is well known as the author of some twenty volumes on aspects of modern German and especially GDR literature, including the standard volume Kleine Literaturgeschichte der DDR, first published in 1981, and most recently updated and reprinted by Kiepenheuer in 2006. He is currently working on a monograph on generations in the GDR.

Prof. Karen Leeder

has published widely on GDR literature and on modern German poetry. Work on the GDR specifically includes a monograph on the youngest generation of GDR poets Breaking Boundaries (Oxford, 1996), two volumes on Brecht (Libris 1992 and 2002) and a special edition of Edinburgh German Studies on Brecht & the GDR: Politics, Culture, Posterity, for 2011 edited with Laura Bradley. She recently edited a volume of essays on the GDR twenty years after the fall of the wall: From Stasiland to Ostalgie: the GDR Twenty Years After (special number of Oxford German Studies), OGS, 38.3 (2009) and is writing a monograph, Spectres of the GDR: The Haunting of the Berlin Republic.

Prof. Alison Lewis

has published very widely on GDR authors including a notable volume on Irmtraud Morgner (1995). She is particularly known for her work on the work on the secret police and its impact on literature culminating in the volume Die Kunst des Verrats: Der Prenzlauer Berg und die Staatssicherheit (2003). A new monograph Eine schwierige Ehe: Liebe, Geschlecht und die Geschichte der deutschen Wiecervereinigung im Spiegel der Literatur, appeared 2010.

Dr. Georgina Paul

has an established reputation on literature in the GDR including ground-breaking articles on Christa Wolf especially. Her Perspectives on Gender in Post-1945 German Literature appeared with Camden House in 2009, including chapters on various GDR authors (Wolf, Müller, Köhler). She has an active interest in theories of gender and sexuality.

Prof. Dennis Tate

published the invaluable Shifting Perspectives: East German Autobiographical Narratives Before and After the End of the GDR in 2007. He is also the author of monographs on Franz Fühmann and the East German Novel and seven edited volumes on aspects of GDR literature and culture.

Holger Teschke

is a prize-winning German writer (dramatist, novelist and poet) who was born on Rügen (GDR). He works as an independent author in Berlin but also teaches at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. In addition to directing his own plays, as chief Dramaturg at the Berliner Ensemble, Teschke has worked with Heiner Müller, Peter Palitzsch, and Robert Wilson. He has published widely on GDR drama.

Dr. Peter Thompson

regularly publishes on aspects of GDR and post-Wende culture and politics including The Crisis of the German Left. The PDS, Stalinism and the Global Economy with Berghahn in 2005 and is currently working on a monograph on the GDR philosopher Ernst Bloch.

Prof. Jill Twark

specialises in literature of the GDR and the Berlin Republic. She published Humor, Satire, and Identity: Eastern German Literature in the 1990s in 2007 which examines the humorous and satirical literary modes in the prose texts of ten Eastern German authors coming to terms with their GDR experiences and the fall of the Berlin Wall. She is currently editing Strategies of Humor in Post-Unification German Literature and Film, which will be published in 2010.

Durs Grünbein

One of the world’s greatest living poets and essayists, Dresden-born Durs Grünbein has been the recipient of many national and international awards, including the Friederich Nietzsche prize, the Hölderlin Prize, The Berlin Literature Prize and the Georg Büchner Prize. Since 1988 when he published Grauzone morgens, a mordant reckoning with life in the former East Germany, he has published more than twenty books of poetry and prose. He holds the Chair for Poetics and Artistic Aesthetics at the Düsseldorf School of Fine Arts and lives in Berlin. Transaltions of his poetry by Michael Hofmann, Ashes for Breakfast: Selected Poems was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry prize in 2006. His Descartes’ Devil: Three Meditations was translated by Anthea Bell for Upper West Side Philosophers Press, Inc.

Durs Grünbein

Michael Eskin

is the cofounder and Vice President of Upper West Side Philosophers, Inc. – Studio & Publishing, and author of, among other books, the award-winning The DNA of Prejudice: On the One and the Many (2010). A former Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, Michael Eskin has taught at the University of Cambridge and at Columbia university. He lectures regularly on cultural, philosophical, and literary subjects across the US and Europe – most recently, as a guest of the US Consulate General Germany, The Federation of German-American Clubs, and Limmud, an international organization fostering cross-cultural Jewish education.

Michael Eskin


A Symposium
New College
24-25 March 2011



Registration Form    (pdf)
Registration Form    (rtf)
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Conference Programme    (pdf)
Conference Abstracts    (pdf)
A4 Conference Poster    (pdf)
A4 Book Launch Poster    (pdf)


Book Launch

24th March, 6pm
The Long Room,
New College.
Durs Grünbein
Michael Eskin.
Book Launch Info...


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