Balkan cinema comes to St Andrews

Monday 3 April 2006

A fascinating insight into Balkan cinema will be given at the University of St Andrews next week (Wednesday 12 April 2006).

Professor Dina Iordanova, Chair in Film Studies, School of Modern Languages will deliver her inaugural lecture entitled ‘Watching Across Borders: History and Self-Exoticism in Balkan Cinema’.

Professor Iordanova, who is herself Bulgarian, said, “The very claim that there is such thing as Balkan culture may sound unacceptable to outsiders. They have been told repeatedly that people in the Balkans do not share a feeling of togetherness, that the culture of each Balkan country stands for itself, separated from the others by linguistic and religious barriers, and that there is more hostility than exchange among the groups in the region. But a closer examination of Balkan cultural output, particularly cinema, reveals an astonishing consistency and shared identity, possibly coming from shared turbulent histories, volatile politics and socio-cultural space. What we see when looking at one country, we see even better when we transpose it onto the region at large. That is what makes watching across borders so important”.

As part of her illustrated lecture, Professor Iordanova will give insights into the little known but rich and beautiful cinematic traditions of the Balkan countries, featuring a range of images, from the cobblestoned lanes of Sarajevo to the sumptuous mosques of exotic Istanbul.

The leading international specialist in Eastern European and Balkan cinema, Professor Iordanova, who arrived in St Andrews late 2004, heads the University’s new Film Studies department. The department offers a range of joint MA degrees, with disciplines such as English and various modern languages, International Relations, and Philosophy. A postgraduate degree (MLitt) in Film Studies will be offered from September; a number of international PhD students are already working on film studies doctorates supervised from within the department. Professor Iordanova is also Director of the Centre for Film Studies, which will hold its large international inaugural conference in St Andrews, in June. The Centre collaborates with the local NPH Cinema and Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) in Dundee, as well as with a range of international film festivals, filmmakers and scholars.

The event, which is open to all and free of charge, will take place at 5.15pm on Wednesday 12 April 2006 in School III, St Salvator’s College, St Andrews. Following the lecture, there will be a wine reception for all attendants in Lower College Hall.


Issued by Beattie Media – On behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information, please contact Claire Grainger, Press Officer – 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or [email protected]; Ref: press releases/dinainaugural View the latest University news at

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