Gerd Gemünden

Academic Appointments

Professor of German Studies
Professor of Film and Media Studies
Professor of Comparative Literature
The Sherman Fairchild Professor in the Humanities

Gerd Gemünden is the Sherman Fairchild Professor of the Humanities, and Professor of German Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Comparative Literature.

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He studied German, English and Philosophy at the University of Tübingen and Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon (Ph.D. 1988). His specialties include critical theory and cultural studies, the history and theory of German cinema, global art cinema, an the study of exile, migration and diaspora. He is the author of Die hermeneutische Wende: Disziplin und Sprachlosigkeit nach 1800 (1990); Framed Visions: Popular Culture, Americanization, and the Contemporary German and Austrian Imagination (1998), and A Foreign Affair: Billy Wilder's American Films (2008 - also published in Austria as Filmemacher mit Akzent: Billy Wilder in Hollywood). His volumes as editor include Wim Wenders: Einstellungen (1993); The Cinema of Wim Wenders (1997); Germans and Indians: Fantasies, Encounters, Projections (2002); Dietrich Icon (2007); and Culture in the Anteroom: The Legacies of Siegfried Kracauer (2012); as well as special issues of New German Critique on the director Rainer Werner Fassbinder and on Film and Exile. He serves on the editorial board of New German Critique and Film Criticism and is co-editor (with Johannes von Moltke '89) of the series "Screen Cultures" for Camden House.

In 2014, he published Continental Strangers: German Exile Cinema, 1933-1951 with Columbia University Press in 2014 (see: This study investigates the contribution of German-language filmmakers to the Hollywood studios during their exile from Nazi Germany.

In recent years, his focus has shifted to global art cinema, particularly from Latin America. Together with his wife, Silvia Spitta (Professor of Spanish and Portguese), he has developed the course "Migration Stories," which takes a comparative look at immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers coming to Europe and to the United States. He has also developed a course on recent Latin American cinema, and he has begun attending film festivals in Havanna, Lima, and Cusco. His latest monograph is dedicated to Argentine director Lucrecia Martel.


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330 Dartmouth Hall
HB 6084
Comparative Literature
Film and Media Studies
German Studies
B.A. Universität Tübingen
M.A. University of Oregon
Ph.D. University of Oregon

Selected Publications

Lucrecia Martel (Urbana, IL: The Univesrity of Illinois Press, 2019)

Continental Strangers: German Exiles in Hollywood, 1933-1951 (Columbia University Press, 2014)

A Foreign Affair: Billy Wilder's American Films (Berghahn, 2008)

“Hollywood in Altona: Minority Cinema and the Transnational Imagination.” In: German Pop Culture. Editor Agnes Mueller, 2004.

Germans and Indians: Fantasies, Encounters, Projections . Edited with Colin Calloway and Susanne Zantop (Nebraska University Press, 2002).

Framed Visions: Popular Culture, Americanization, and the Contemporary German and Austrian Imagination (Michigan University Press, 1998).

Die hermeneutische Wende: Disziplin und Sprachlosigkeit nach 1800  (Berghahn, 1990).

Works in progress

A monogrpah on Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade's 2016 film, will be published in the series "German Film Classics" by Camden House Press in September 2021.