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.

If you want to contact Melanie directly you can email her at:


Katrin Bahr photo

Katrin Bahr is a doctoral student in the Department of German and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She holds a master’s degree in Social Science from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. After completing her studies in 2007, with a major in Political Theories, she accepted a position with the German non-profit organization Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP)  in Philadelphia, before starting her PhD program in 2011. At the University of Massachusetts she was able to combine her personal interest in modern German History and Memory Studies with her life experiences and her academic passion. Katrin grew up in East Berlin and has lived in Mozambique and Israel. Her research interests cover GDR culture and history, colonialism and neo-colonialism with focus on Africa, 1933-1945 German history, Holocaust studies and collective memory – history and remembrance. In her dissertation she focuses on the relations between the GDR and Mozambique through the representation of visual art such as photographies and documentaries.

She has presented at several conferences on satire in the GDR, the memory discourse of the “Third Generation East” and DEFA documentaries such as Jenseits von Kleinwanzleben by Andreas Dresen. In addition to her involvement with the Third Generation Ost network, she also teaches German culture in the Thatcher Language Program and works for the DEFA Film Library. In Spring 2014 she taught an undergraduate class, introducing students to landmarks in former East Berlin and the change of memory culture.