University of Pittsburgh
March 20, 2007

Pitt to Present Conference on State of European Experimental Film March 30-31

The conference will address how changes in European film production shape the aesthetics and politics of film in Europe today Renowned German filmmaker Birgit Hein and noted academic specialists to participate
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Changes in the European political landscape have had a dramatic effect on film production in Europe. The University of Pittsburgh Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures in the School of Arts and Sciences will host a conference, titled "After the Avant-garde: European Experiments With the Moving Image," March 30 and 31 in Room 232 in the Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The goal of the conference is to address dramatic changes in policy, production, technology, and aesthetics in European film production and to explore how these changes shape the aesthetics and politics of the moving image in Europe today.

Conference sessions will include such topics as "Post-Neo-Avant-Garde: The New Visual Artists," "The Post-Cinematic and the Avant-Garde," "Established Filmmakers and the Continuing Significance of the Avant-Garde," "Popular Culture and the Avant-Garde," "After the Cold War: Avant-Garde and (Post) Socialism," and will culminate with "Reflections on the Avant-Garde: A Conversation With Filmmaker Birgit Hein." Hein, one of Germany's most significant filmmakers, is University Professor in the Institute for Media Research at the Academy of Fine Arts Braunschwieg.

For a complete schedule on the free public conference visit

In addition to Hein, visiting conference participants will include Thomas Elsaesser, research professor at the University of Amsterdam and general editor of the series Film Culture in Transition, published by Amsterdam University Press (1994-2007); Rembert Hüser, author of a forthcoming book on Alfred Hitchcock and associate professor in the Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch at the University of Minnesota; Alice Kuzniar, professor of German and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Richard Langston, assistant professor in the Department of German at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Reinhild Steingröver, associate professor in the Humanities Department in the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.

Pitt participating faculty are Lucy Fischer, professor of film studies and English and director of the Film Studies Program; Randall Halle, the Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German and Film Studies; Marcia Landy, Distinguished Service Professor of English and Film Studies; Adam Lowenstein, associate professor of English and film studies; Vladimir Padunov, associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and associate director of the Film Studies Program; and Phillip Watts, assistant professor of French and Italian languages and literatures.

The event is sponsored by a grant from Pitt's Faculty and Research Scholarship Program, European Union Center of Excellence, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and Film Studies Program.

For more information, contact Randall Halle at 412-648-2614 or, or visit