Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

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Pfeifer, Patricia

Patricia Pfeifer (née Vidovic), Dr.

Affiliated Researcher –
Affiliated Doctoral Candidate


Universität Zürich (UZH)
Seminar für Filmwissenschaft / Department for Film Studies
Affolternstr. 56
CH-8050 Zürich

Phone: +41 44 634 3582
Fax: +41 44 634 4910

Website: Webprofile (UZH)

Research Project

Magisch – poetisch – real. Formen des Verstehens im ostmittel- und südosteuropäischen Kino

Magic – Poetic – Real. Forms of Understanding in East and Southeast European Cinemas

Doctoral Project started at and still affiliated with the Graduate School

In recent years a number of East and South East European films have been released, which seem to share a poetical and imaginative approach to reality in terms of their visual arrangement and structural affinity to non-linear narratives. They reveal a new cinematic language, which avoids simplifications and generally accepted concepts of truth by forcing the possibility of multifaceted perceptions of reality. Could it be that this is motivated by a new understanding of the inherent complexity of politics, history and memory? “Magic Realism” is a (highly questionable) term frequently used by critics to describe the visual aesthetics and narratives in the films of a young generation of filmmakers, notably Iglika Trifonova and Zornitsa Sophia (Bulgaria), Bohdan Sláma (Czech Republic) or Jan Jakub Kolski (Poland). What strikes about their work is the specific way of creating a fictional and hermetic space which combines the realistic bleakness of post-socialist urbanity with a subjective and imaginative story-telling that undermines traditional categories of substantiality and reality. The research project discusses and analyzes these new phenomena concerning the poetical tendencies in the current East and South East European films, and questions the artistic expressions as a new articulation of the specific conditions of the post-socialist societies. Following the theses of Jacques Rancière, the observed aesthetic transformations in contemporary arts and film could be conceived as new “modes of intelligibility”. By closing this research gap, the project seeks to respond to the concerns about enhancing the scholarly discussion in the field of East European film studies.

Please also see an overview of her project in the Graduate School's 2012/13 Annual Report.

Curriculum Vitae

Born in Oberhausen. Since March 2014 Assistant Lecturer and doctoral student at the Department for Film Studies at the Universität Zürich (UZH) as well as Affiliated Researcher of the Graduate School. 2006-2012 Study of Art History, Slavic Studies, European Ethnology at Bamberg, Paris and Munich. 2009-2012 Scholarship of the Max-Weber-Programme/"Elitenetzwerk Bayern". Spring 2012 Magister degree, final thesis „Über das Absurde in der Tschechischen Neuen Welle“ [On the absurd in the New Czech Wave]. June 2012 to February 2014, associated doctoral student at ProArt Graduate Programme (LMU Munich) and from November 2012 to February 2014 research associate at the Institute for the History of Art (LMU Munich). Her doctoral thesis has been supervised by Prof. Dr Burcu Dogramaci and Prof. Dr. Fabienne Liptay.


List of publications (UZH website)


"Uncertain Territories. Zwischenbildliche Bewegung und Verschiebung nach 1989". (Jahrestagung der Graduiertenschule für Ost- und Südosteuropastudien "Studying East and Southeast Europe as Area Studies: Paradigms - Themes - Methods for the 21st Century", München, 25.-27.10.2018)

See More Presentations (UZH website)