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Western Kentucky University

Kentucky Fulbright Association

Laura McGee

As an Assistant Professor of German at WKU, Laura McGee applied for and was awarded a Fulbright "Junior Researcher" grant to spend the 2002-2003 academic year conducting research at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen "Konrad Wolf" (HFF) in Potsdam-Babelsberg, near Berlin, Germany. WKU supported her in accepting this pre-tenure opportunity to conduct research abroad. In Germany, she studied the cultural-political constraints on the last generation of feature film directors to be educated in the former East Germany. Articles based on her work at the library and associated film archive of the HFF appeared in German Studies Review in 2003 and in Film History: An International Journal, also in 2003.

As a result of the focused research period funded by Fulbright, she developed a new research emphasis on the cinematic work of film director Andreas Dresen, a member of the group she studied on her Fulbright. Dresen was born in Gera in 1963 and has been called the most important German film director working today. His oeuvre of some dozen feature and documentary films is accessible to international audiences on DVD with English subtitles. McGee has published articles on Dresen's works in the British pedagogy journal German as a Foreign Language in 2006, in Colloquia Germanica in 2007, and in the international journal Literatur für Leser in 2010. She also contributed a chapter to an anthology on contemporary German cinema appearing in Germany titled Kino in Bewegung: Perspektiven des deutschen Gegenwartskinos (2011: VS Verlag) and to another in published in Britain with the title New Directions in German Cinema (I.B. Tauris: 2011).

McGee is currently writing a book on the work of Andreas Dresen. Her research has inspired her teaching, adding to her expertise in teaching Introduction to German Cinema and to Special Topics: The Cinema of Andreas Dresen. Professional contacts she has made at the HFF have been lasting and productive for her career development. Her year-long research stay in Berlin also led to contacts to local teachers of English and German. These became the seeds of a small network of educators with whom McGee subsequently cooperated on teaching projects, grant proposals for student exchange and a series of visits by groups of students from Bowling Green to Berlin, and from Berlin to Bowling Green.

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 Last Modified 9/25/14