You are here

Remapping European Media Cultures during the Cold War: Networks, Encounters, Exchanges

March 30, 2017 - 3:00pm to April 1, 2017 - 5:00pm



Recent research on Cold War Europe has sketched the image of a deeply interconnected continent, with cultural exchanges, travel and tourism, scientific collaborations, and the like creating dense networks between countries on both sides of the “Iron Curtain,” and beyond. Media scholars, similarly, have begun to trace the active collaborations between Eastern and Western European broadcasting institutions; the networks formed by artists and technicians at and through film festivals; the movement of samizdat and tamizdat texts; and the relationships between professionals in specialized fields such as children’s entertainment, television, and industrial film.

This symposium aims to systematically examine European media during the Cold War in terms of such histoires croisées, tracing the transnational encounters between Eastern and Western European media industries and cultures between 1945 and 1990. The symposium will engage with a wide range of media forms and practices, from the moving image to sound to print.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

3:00 - 5:00 pm, Nicholson Hall 135

Keynote and reception

Katie Trumpener (Yale University), Cold War Mediascapes: World Literature from East Berlin


7:00 - 8:45 pm, Walker Art Center Mediatheque

Screening: East, West, Home is Best

Taking its title from Czechoslovak director Josef Kluge’s allegorical 1969 puppet film about a young chicken leaving home, this series of shorts from postwar East Central Europe—many drawn from the Walker Art Center's Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection—bridges beloved children’s animation and the avant-garde. Free & followed by a panel discussion. 


Friday, March 31, 2017

All events in Nicholson Hall 135

9:30 - 10:00 am

Opening remarks


10:00 - 11:15 am

Translation and Mediation

Cate Reilly (Princeton University), Remains of Red Letters: Mediating World Literature in the Eastern Bloc

Elena Razlogova (Concordia University), Discovered in Live Translation: Forming Canons and Networks at Soviet Film Festivals


11:30 am - 12:45 pm

Film Festival Geopolitics

Maria Vinogradova (New York University), Narrow Gauge, Broad Outlook: International Connections of the Soviet Amateur Film Movement in the 1960s

Ilona Hongisto (Macquarie University), Nodes of Friendship: European Documentary Film Festivals in Transition


1:45 - 3:00 pm

Imagining Yugoslavia

Sonja Simonyi (New York University), Gojko Get Your Gun: Mapping East/West Relations through DEFA’s Location Shooting in Socialist Yugoslavia

Anita Buhin (European University Institute), “Western Propaganda or Socialist Entertainment?” Yugoslav TV Programming under Italian Influences


3:00 - 4:00 pm



4:00 - 5:30 pm


Anikó Imre (University of Southern California), Agents of the Cold War: The Circulation of European Crime TV


Saturday, April 1, 2017

All events in Nicholson Hall 135

9:15 -10:30 am

Programming Socialism in Nordic Television

Marie Cronqvist (Lund University), The Entangled Television Histories of Sweden and the GDR

Anu Koivunen (Stockholm University/University of Helsinki), Soviet Drama with Commercial Breaks: Negotiating the Cold War in 1970s Finnish Television Theatre


10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Media Industries and Coproductions

Mari Pajala (University of Minnesota), Shared Pasts, Progressive Futures? Visions of History in Finnish Commercial Broadcaster MTV’s Socialist Coproductions, 1966–1985

Stefano Pisu (University of Cagliari), Projecting across Iron Curtain: Italian-Soviet Film Co-productions through the Prism of History


1:00 - 2:15 pm

Traveling Productions

Petr Szczepanik (Charles University, Prague), Hollywood Going East: American Producers in the State-Socialist Studios in the 1960s

Rosie Johnston (New York University), Fellow Travelers? Hanzelka and Zikmund’s Radio Broadcasts from Africa and South America, 1947–1952


2:30 - 3:45 pm

Film Distribution and Cultural Diplomacy

Viktoria Paranyuk (Yale University), Sergei Iutkevich’s Engagement Calendar in the 1950s

Ekaterina Mityurova (European University Institute), Selling Ideology: Commercial and Non-Commercial Distribution of Soviet Films in France (1950s–1970s)   


4:00 - 5:00 pm



Sponsored with generous support from the Imagine Fund at the University of Minnesota and the Government of Finland/David and Nancy Speer Visiting Professorship in Finnish Studies. Cosponsored by the European Studies Consortium, the Center for Austrian Studies, the Department of Communication Studies, the CLA Associate Dean for Arts & Humanities, the Department of History, the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch, the Program in Slavic Languages & Literatures, the Department of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, the Moving Image Studies Program, and the Center for German & European Studies.