Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Women's and Gender Studies


Women's and Gender Studies 273. Film and German Culture

Film has long been an important means of artistic expression in Germany. From its beginnings, it has reacted to social and political trends that concern the country and its citizens. This course examines major developments of German cinema throughout the twentieth century. We will get an overview of important movements, directors, genres, stars, etc. in the history of German film and will learn about socio-political matters facing Weimar and Nazi Germany, post-war West and East German states, and unified Germany.

For students who wish to receive Women Studies major or minor credit: your primary focus will be on women of German cinema, as filmmakers themselves, as subjects of male filmmakers, and as spectators. The in-class presentations and final paper should incorporate at least one of the following topics:

  • the male gaze: image and representation of the female body and agency in Weimar cinema
  • gender and modernity
  • the fascist body: political aestheticism of Leni Riefenstahl
  • female spectatorship: Cold War and sexual repression
  • Lulu, Lola, Lili, and Leni: sexual politics and female aestheticism