Anna Stainton

Ph.D. Candidate


I received my BA in German from King's College London in 2009 and also spent a year as an Erasmus student at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin from 2007-2008. I entered the PhD programme at UofT in 2011, having also completed my MA here.

My research focuses on the connections between socialist hero figures and formations of East German national identity in the cinema of the GDR. My other research interests include the films of Helke Misselwitz and Chetna Vora, ideas of inner/outer emigration in DEFA films and post-1945 East German literature, and the Solidarity Movement in the GDR.

I currently teach German language from beginner to intermediate level, and I enjoy being involved in the German/Yiddish Graduate Students' Association, most recently as its president. I'm also interested in German theatre, particularly plays written in the last decade, and I am the organiser of the U of T German Drama Club, through which I have co-directed two plays: 'Die Niebelungen' by Moritz Rinke in 2011, and 'Seifenblasen' by Curt Goetz in 2013.


March 25-29, 2015, in Montreal, Canada – Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference. Paper: ‘Outsider/Insider: The Student Films of Chetna Vora.’

December 11-13, 2014, in Berlin, Germany – DAAD Conference “Wende-Punkte 1914-2014: Internationale Perspektiven auf Deutschland und Europa”. Paper: ‘Das Überbrücken der Kluft: Die Herstellung einer Sozialistischen Geschichte im Film und Fernsehen der DDR.’

November 7-8, 2014, in Cambridge, UK – Women in German Studies (UK) Conference, paper: ‘Model Socialists? Women as Conflicted Role Models in the Films of Iris Gusner.’

September 9-11, 2014, in Leeds, UK – German Screen Studies Network Symposium. Paper: ‘Nazi Past, Socialist Future: The Appropriation of Fascist Aesthetics in DEFA’s Ernst Thälmann films.’

June 12-13, 2014, in London, UK - Creating Cultures: Postgraduate conference in Culture, Media, and the Creative Industries, King’s College London. Paper: ‘Historic Heroes at the Foundations of the GDR: Ernst Thälmann and Karl Liebknecht.’

April 11-12, 2014, in Toronto, ON, Canada – Annual Toronto German Studies Symposium, paper: ‘From History to Heroism: DEFA’s Ernst Thälmann Films.’

October 3-6, 2013, in Denver, CO, USA – German Studies Association Conference, paper: 'The German Vaterland and "Mother Russia" in Konrad Wolf's Ich war neunzehn'.


Stainton, A., “Reading Helke Misselwitz's Winter Adé as Multivocal Autobiography.” The Autobiographical Turn in German Documentary and Experimental Film. Eds. Robin Curtis and Angelica Fenner. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2014.