Over the last few decades, the field of film studies has seen a rise in approaches oriented toward genre: studies that look at thematic, narrative, and stylistic similarities between films, contextualizing them within culture and society. Although there now exists a large body of genre-based scholarship on international film, German film studies has largely ignored the importance of genre. Even as the last several years have witnessed increasing scholarly interest in popular cinema from Germany, very few works have substantively engaged with genre theory. Generic Histories offers a fresh approach, tracing a series of key genres -- including horror, science fiction, the thriller, Heimat films, and war films -- over the course of German cinema history. It also addresses detective films, comedies, policiers, and romances that deliberately localize global genres within Germany - a form of transnationalism frequently neglected. This focus on genre and history encourages rethinking of the traditional opposition (and hierarchy) between art and popular cinema that has informed German film studies. In these ways, the volume foregrounds genre theory's potential for rethinking film history as well as cultural history more broadly. Contributors: Marco Abel, Nora M. Alter, Antje Ascheid, Hester Baer, Steve Choe, Paul Cooke, Jaimey Fisher, Gerd Gemünden, Sascha Gerhards, Lutz Koepnick, Eric Rentschler, Kris Vander Lugt. Jaimey Fisher is Associate Professor of German and Cinema and Technocultural Studies, and Director of Cinema and Technocultural Studies, at the University of California, Davis.
Generic Histories of German Cinema
Subjects: Film Studies