Jaimey Fisher


Position Title
Professor of German
Professor of Cinema

408 Sproul Hall/225 Voorhies Hall

Education and Degree(s)

  • Ph.D., Cornell University
  • M.A., Cornell University
  • A.B. (with Honors and Distinction), Stanford University

Research Interest(s)

  • Film and media studies
  • German literature
  • Intellectual history


Currently the Director of the UC Davis Humanities Institute, Jaimey Fisher is Professor of German and Cinema and Digital Media. He studied German literature and thought at Stanford University, at the Freie Universität Berlin, and at Cornell University, where he received his Ph.D. with an emphasis in German intellectual history as well as in Film and Video Studies. His primary research and teaching interests include film and media studies, German literature, and intellectual history.

Prof. Fisher is the author of two books: Christian Petzold (University of Illinois, 2013) and Disciplining Germany: Youth, Reeducation, and Reconstruction after the Second World War (Wayne State University, 2007). He has also edited or co-edited four books, including on film (Generic Histories of German Cinema: Genre and its Deviations [2013, Camden House's Screen series], and Collapse of the Conventional: German Cinema and its Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century [2010, Wayne State University]) as well as on literature and theory (Spatial Turns: Space, Place, and Mobility in German Literary and Visual Culture [2010, Rodopi] and Critical Theory: Current State and Future Prospects [2001, Berghahn]).

He has also published over 30 articles and book chapters, including in the journals New German Critique, The German Quarterly, Seminar, Iris, The Goethe Yearbook, and Zeitschrift für Germanistik, among others. He is currently working on a study of German war films from the first half of the twentieth century.

Prof. Fisher teaches courses at UC Davis in German and Cinema and Digital Media, on topics ranging from Bertolt Brecht to contemporary European cinema. He has also developed a summer-abroad course for UC Davis, entitled "World Cinema and the European Film Festival," which is based in Berlin but travels to the Locarno Film Festival in southern Switzerland/northern Italy. At UC Davis, Prof. Fisher is an affiliated faculty member in Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, and Jewish Studies.

Before coming to Davis in 2004, Prof. Fisher taught at Tulane University as an Assistant Professor of German. He has held two fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (the DAAD) and was awarded a Federal Chancellor (Bundeskanzler or Buka) Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Video Links:

Professor Fisher at the Munich Film Festival masterclass with Director Christian Petzold and Senior Programmer Robert Fischer (July 2016; in German): 

Professor Fisher presenting at the United Nations in New York on German reeducation after World War II (January 2017):

Selected Publications


Christian Petzold (A Ghostly Archeology of Genre) (University of Illinois Press, Contemporary Film Directors series, forthcoming 2013).

The Collapse of the Conventional: German Film and its Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century, co-editor with Brad Prager (Wayne State Press, Series:Contemporary Approaches to Film and Television, 2010).

Spatial Turns: Space, Place, and Mobility in German Literary and Visual Culture, co-editor with Barbara Mennel (Amsterdamer Beiträge zur neueren Germanistik, 2010).

Disciplining Germany: Youth, Reeducation, and Reconstruction after the Second World War (Wayne State University Press, Kritik series, 2007).

Critical Theory: Current State and Future Prospects, co-editor with Peter Uwe Hohendahl (New York: Berghahn Press, 2001).

Selected Essays:

“German Historical Film as Production Trend: European Heritage Cinema and Melodrama in The Lives of Others” in The Collapse of the Conventional: German Film and its Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, ed. Jaimey Fisher and Brad Prager (Wayne State University Press, 2010).

“Adorno’s Lesson-Plans? The Ethics of (Re) Education In “The Meaning of ‘Working through the Past”,” in Gerhard Richter, ed., “Language Without Soil”: Adorno and Late Philosophical Modernity (Fordham University Press, 2010).

“Home-Movies, Film-Diaries, And Mass Bodies: Péter Forgács’s Free Fall (1996) Into The Holocaust,” in David Bathrick, Brad Prager, Michael Richardson, eds., Visualizing the Holocaust: Documents, Aesthetics, and Memory (Camden House, 2008).

“On the Ruins of Masculinity: The Figure of the Child in Italian Neorealism and the German Rubble-Film,” in Laura E. Ruberto, Tomas Taraborrelli, and Kristi M. Wilson, eds., Radical Fantasy: Italian Neorealism’s Afterlife in Global Cinema (Wayne State University Press, 2007).

“Bombing Memories in Braun’s Zwischen Gestern und Morgen (1947):Flashbacks to the Recent Past in The German Rubble-Film,” in William Rasch and Wilfried Wilms, eds., Bombs Away: Representing the Air War over Europe and Japan, in series Amsterdamer Beitraege zur neueren Germanistik (Rodopi 2005): 329-43.

“Wandering In/to the Rubble-Film: Filmic Flânerie and The Exploded Panorama after 1945,” The German Quarterly 78.4 (Fall 2005): 461-80.

“Familial Politics and Political Families: Consent, Critique, and the Fraternal Social Contract in Schiller's Die Räuber,” Goethe Yearbook (2005): 75-103.

“Globalisierungsbewältigung: Global Flows and Local Loyalties in Contemporary German Cinema," special issue on "Globalization and the Image,” Genre XXXVI/3-4 (Fall/Winter 2003): 405-28.

“Children of the Stars: Youth and Reconstruction in the Early West-German Cinema,” Zeitschrift für Germanistik [in German] XIV:1 (2004): 83-101.

“Who's watching the Rubble-Kids? Youth, Pedagogy and Politics in Early DEFA Films,” New German Critique 82 (Winter 2001): 91-125.

“Normativity and its Limits: Toward a Negative Ethics in Critical Theory,” Epilogue, in Peter Uwe Hohendahl and Jaimey Fisher, eds., Critical Theory: Current State and Future Prospects (New York: Berghahn, 2001)

“Deleuze in a Ruinous Context: German Rubble-Film and Italian Neorealism,” iris, Special Issue: Gilles Deleuze, Philosopher of Cinema 23 (Spring 1997): 53-74

Forthcoming book on Christian Petzold

The Collapse of the Conventional

Disciplining Germany: Youth, Reeducation, and Reconstruction after the Second World War (Kritik: German Literary Theory and Cultural Studies Series)

Critical Theory: Current State and Future Prospects