Dr Elizabeth Ward


Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

School of Histories, Languages and Cultures


+44 (0) 1482 465636

Elizabeth Ward researches East German cinema in its social and historical context, with a particular focus on the relationship between GDR cinema and the West.

She is completing a monograph on East German film and the Holocaust, and has published on both East German film and 21st century German cinema. Her current research project examines the GDR’s use of film as “soft power” in the West.

Alongside her research and teaching, Elizabeth regularly works with schools and museums to support and promote German studies beyond the academy.




Research Interests

  • East German cinema
  • German cinema
  • The Holocaust on film
  • Soft power and film
  • 20th and 21st Century German culture
  • 20th and 21st Century German politics

Research groups

  • Popular Cultures
  • Political and Cultural Encounters


‘Revisiting the crimes of the past. The image of the perpetrator in recent German Holocaust films’, Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History (2018) [forthcoming]

‘Dismantling Images of National Socialism in Cate Shortland’s Lore’, Film & History , 47.1, (2018), pp.18-27

‘Contesting the Memory of Frank Beyer’s Jacob the Liar’. In: The Holocaust in the Twenty-First Century: Contesting/Contested Memories, edited by David Seymour and Mercedes Camino (New York: Routledge, 2016), pp.163-181

'Screening out the East. The Playing Out of Inter-German Relations at the Cannes Film Festival', German Life and Letters, vol. 67, no.1 (2015), pp.37-55

‘Zur strategischen Aneignung der Anne Frank-Figur in Konrad Wolfs Professor Mamlock (1961)’. In Anne Frank. Mediengeschichten, edited by Peter Seibert, Jana Piper, and Alfonso Meoli (Berlin: Metropol Verlag, 2014), pp.54-62



Programmes taught on (2018)

Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

Level 4

  • German Language 1 - Advanced
  • German Language 2 - Advanced
  • Skills for Communicating Cultures
  • Ideas and Identities: The Construction of National Cultures

Level 5

  • German Language 3
  • German Language 4
  • Representing Germany: Gender, Nation and Identity
  • European Popular Culture

Level 6

  • Representations of the Past in European Film
  • Modern Languages Extended Research Project
  • Modern Languages Dissertation

Level 7

  • Translation Studies Dissertation

Research PhDs

Dr Ward welcomes applications from potential Ph.D students in:

  • East German film
  • German film (all periods)
  • East German politics and society
  • Vergangenheitsbewältigung

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in German, University of Leeds
  • MPhil in Screen Media and Cultures, University of Cambridge
  • MA in Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge

External roles

  • Steering Committee Member of the German Screen Studies Network

Awards and accolades

Received external funding from several bodies including the Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Skills Award, the Worldwide Universities Network Research Mobility Programme, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council Block Grant Partnership.


Professional highlights

Collaborated on exhibitions with

  • Nottingham Trent University and the National Holocaust Museum ('Legacies of the Past')
  • the University of Leeds and the South Africa Holocaust and Genocide Foundation ('Germany's Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context')
  • the Deutsches Filminstitut ('The Curt Jürgens Collection' and 'The Volker Schlöndorff Collection')