Melanie Lorek

Melanie Lorek is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Before coming to the Graduate Center, she finished her M.A. (Diplom) in Social Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Germany. Her research interests include sociology of culture, research methods, and visual sociology. Her dissertation focuses on how East Germans and the reunified Germany remember the GDR. Her work centers on topics of identity after the German reunification in 1989, as well as issues of critique, subculture, and censorship in the German Democratic Republic. Melanie has presented her work on East German memory and identity, and collective representations at several conferences. She has taught courses at The City College of New York, The College of Staten Island, and CUNY’s online campus, the School of Professional Studies. Her courses include Research Methods, Mass Communication, Social Problems, Visual Sociology, and Sociology of Culture. Melanie’s work has an interdisciplinary focus combining film theory, media analysis, and biographic interviews to understand how culture and memory operate in the creation of contemporary narratives. Her aim is to engage people from various disciplines in a dialogue about the reminiscences of Germany’s socialist past. You can reach Melanie at

Katrin Bahr

Katrin Bahr is a doctoral candidate in German and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Before starting her PhD, she worked for the German non-profit organization Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP) in Philadelphia. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst she was able to combine her personal interest in German History and Culture and Memory Studies with her life experience and academic passion. Her research interests cover GDR culture and history, colonialism and post-colonialism with focus on Africa, 1933-1945 German history and Memory Studies. In her dissertation, she focuses on the everyday life of East German citizens in Mozambique during the 1980s. In addition to her teaching, she works for the DEFA Film Library. You can reach Katrin at

In 2016, Katrin Bahr and Melanie Lorek published the article “Ja wohin gehen sie denn?“: Die “3. Generation Ostdeutscher” zwischen Suchen und Finden am Beispiel des 1.5 Generationskonzepts”  in the anthology Die Generation der Wendekinder“: Elaboration eines Forschungsfeldes.

Claudia Sandberg

Born and raised in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Claudia Sandberg is a film historian and filmmaker who currently works at the University of Melbourne in the School of Languages and Linguistics. Her research focuses on German and Latin American film, transnational cinematic relations between Europe and Latin America and questions of exile and migration. One of her most recent projects traces the participation of Chilean film personnel in German cinema East and West during the Cold War era. In 2016, she made a feature-length documentary, Películas escondidas. Un viaje entre el exilio y la memoria (in collaboration with Alejandro Areal Vélez), a work that explores DEFA ‘Chile’ films as part of the audio-visual documentation of the Pinochet dictatorship. Currently, Claudia co-edits a volume on neoliberalism and Latin American cinema, and finishes a monograph about German-Jewish-Uruguayan filmmaker Peter Lilienthal. You can reach Claudia at

Regine Criser

Regine Criser is an Assistant Professor of German at the University of North Carolina Asheville. She received her M.A. from the University of Kansas and her Ph.D from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation analyzed representations of family in post-unification fiction, particularly in their relationship to memory, agency, and space. At the University of North Carolina Asheville, Regine is coordinating the German program teaching courses across all levels. Her pedagogical scholarship has focused on issues of inclusion and diversity. You can reach Regine at