olivia landry

Olivia Landry, Ph.D.

Job title: Associate Professor
Affiliation: School of World Studies

Landry is a scholar of film, media, theater and performance studies, with a particular focus on the German speaking world.

Olivia Landry is a scholar of film, media, theater and performance studies, with a particular focus on the German speaking world. She has published three books, “Movement and Performance in Berlin School Cinema” (Indiana University Press, 2019); “Theatre of Anger: Radical Transnational Performance in Contemporary Berlin” (University of Toronto Press, 2021); and “A Decolonizing Ear: Documentary Film Disrupts the Archive” (University of Toronto Press, 2022).

Olivia earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2014. She has previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University. Most recently, she served as an assistant professor of German and director of film and documentary studies at Lehigh University.

Q&A with Dr. Landry

Where did you grow up? Can you tell us a little about your educational journey?

I grew up in rural Canada. As a young person, I dreamed of traveling and learning different languages. I studied German literature and film in Montreal, Freiburg, Bloomington, IN, and Berlin. After that, I taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Stanford University and Lehigh University. For my research, I regularly travel to Berlin and Istanbul. I am most interested in contemporary topics with political and social significance.

When did you first fall in love with your field of study? What made you decide to work in academia?

As an undergraduate in Montreal I became a regular at the Goethe Institute there. It had amazing programming and a regular film series. I watched everything. That kind of sealed it. I cannot imagine being in another discipline and I cannot imagine not working in academia.

Can you explain the focus of your research?

I work mostly in film and performance studies. My focus is the German-speaking world.

What attracted you to VCU? What are you most excited about in regards to VCU and Richmond?

I like that VCU is a large public school with a diverse student population and a significant history of political activism and engagement. In general, people are very friendly and Richmond is a beautiful city.

Can you talk a little about your teaching philosophy? What do you most like about teaching?

I see myself as a facilitator of learning. I really enjoy working through ideas with students: pulling things apart (text passages, film images, etc.), discussing and reflecting on them from different perspectives, and finally gaining understanding and insight.

Can you tell us either a quirky fact about yourself or some of your hobbies?

I love old movies, especially early melodramas.