Summer Film Institute

Culture in the Cold War:

East German Art, Music and Film

This NEH Institute for College and University Teachers—as well as professionals working in museums and other cultural institutions—will take place at UMass Amherst from June 17 to July 14, 2018: Culture in the Cold War.  Applications due March 1, 2018 


The Institute will explore the role of the visual arts, music and film in socialist modernity. Selected topics—such as censorship and artistic freedom, the role of the state and surveillance, and race and gender in art and politics—present a compelling historical perspective on issues being raised in classrooms today. Held at UMass Amherst, the inter-disciplinary program will break new ground in the study of culture during the Cold War, applying a sustained examination of the role of arts and artists to the case of East Germany. (NB: German language skills are not required.)


At the Institute, participants will:

  • Focus on learning and teaching about culture in the Cold War in dynamic seminar discussions
  • Compare canonical and new approaches in art history, musicology, and German and film studies   
  • Critically assess a wide selection of primary and secondary materials for teaching
  • Build lasting communities of inquiry and develop future projects


Participants will comprise a robust mix of college and university teachers in multiple disciplines, including film studies, art history, musicology, German studies, history, performance studies, and library, museum and archival studies. Contingent faculty, independent scholars and advanced graduate students are welcome to apply, as are professionals working in cultural institutions and libraries. (NB: Participants must be US citizens or have resided in the U.S. since March 1, 2015.) 


More questions? Please email us: 




Shibboleth login