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Inga Pollmann

Associate Professor of German; Associate Professor of Comparative Literature; Director of Graduate Admissions


Ph.D., Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago

Intellectual Biography & Awards

My scholarly work focuses on the history of film theory. My primary interests are the intersections of film, science and philosophy, as well as the place of the moving image within aesthetic theory. As a consequence, my work often explores interdisciplinary connections between film studies, history and theory of science, philosophy, art history, and literary studies. I have written on vitalist conceptions of life in German and French film theory and practice from the 1910s to the 1960s, as well as on Russian cinema, melodrama and contemporary cinema. My current project analyzes how mood, medium and milieu interact in European cinema.

Recent Publications

Cinematic Vitalism: Moving Images and the Question of Life Amsterdam University Press, 2018.

“The Forces of the Milieu: Angela Schanelec’s Marseille and the Heritage of Michelangelo Antonioni.” A Transnational Art-Cinema: The Berlin School and Its Global Contexts, eds. Marco Abel and Jaimey Fisher (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, forthcoming Spring 2018).

“Environmental Aesthetics: The Politics of a Latent Image from Early Hunting Films to
Contemporary Art Cinema.” Cinema of Exploration, eds. James Cahill and Luca Caminati (New
York: Routledge, forthcoming).

“Zum Fühlen gezwungen: Mechanismus und Vitalismus in Hans Richters Neuerfindung des Kinos.“ In: Mies van der Rohe, Richter, Graeff & Co.: Alltag und Design in der Avantgardezeitschrift G. Hg.v. Karin Fest, Sabrina Rahman, Marie-Noëlle Yazdanpanah. Vienna and Berlin: Turia+Kant, 2014. 169-176.

“Invisible Worlds, Visible: Uexküll’s Umwelt, Film, and Film Theory.” Critical Inquiry 39:4 (Summer 2013). 777-816

Kalte Stimmung, or the Mode of Mood: Ice and Snow in Melodrama.” Colloquia Germanica 43:1-2 (2010), published April 2013. Special Issue: Cold Fronts. Kältewahrnehmungen in Literatur und Kultur im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. 79-96.

“Film as Medium and the German Aesthetic Tradition.” The German Quarterly 85:1 (Winter 2012). Special Issue: German Film Studies. xvi-xviii.

“Hook and Loop, Strip and Sprocket: Enchanted Cinema”/ “Haken und Schlaufe, Schnüre und
Streifen: Das verzauberte Kino.” In: Dziga Vertov: The Vertov Collection at the Austrian Film
Museum/Die Vertov-Sammlung im Österreichischen Filmmuseum. Vienna: Synema, 2006. 22-24.

Frequently Taught Courses

  • GSLL 69: Laughing & Crying at the Movies: Film and Experience (FYS)
  • CMPL 143: History of Global Cinema (Lecture Course)
  • CMPL 240: Introduction to Film Theory: Melodrama (Seminar)
  • GERM 250/WMST 250: Women in German Cinema
  • GERM 266: Weimar Cinema in Context
  • GERM 267/367: Contemporary German and Austrian Cinema (Seminar)
  • GERM 301-302: Advanced German I & II (Seminar)
  • GERM 303: Introduction to German Literature and Cinema (Seminar)
  • GERM 880: Stimmung and Film Aesthetics / Form and Experience: Film and the Melodramatic / Man, Animal, Cinema / Frankfurt School, Film, and Film Theory

Undergraduate and Graduate Advising and Mentoring

  • Miguel Penabella, B.A. ’15, Department of Comparative Literature – ‘Reflections on Time and Cinema: The Suspended Memories of Kiarostami, Alea, and Oshima’ (Honors Thesis Co-Advisor with Prof. Rick Warner)

To learn more about Dr. Pollmann, see her Curriculum Vitae.