I am generally interested in historical and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of modern German culture. Within this framework I also have a number of more specific interests--including visual culture, the various technologies and institutions that produce it, and the historical experiences associated with them. I have published on various forms of nineteenth-century display culture, including zoological gardens, ethnographic exhibitions (Völkerschauen), and Wild West shows in Germany. I have also published on the interrelationship of science, technology, and popular culture in specific situations--namely, the vital importance of the phonograph and the archive to the formation of ethnomusicology in Germany, and the cinema’s function as an instrument of cultural power in the writings of Hugo Münsterberg. I am co-editor of Germany’s Colonial Pasts (Nebraska, 2005) and author of Carl Hagenbeck’s Empire of Entertainments (Washington, 2009). I also wrote Ferocious Reality: Documentary According to Werner Herzog, which was published by Minnesota in fall 2012. My edited collection, Werner Herzog: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi), appeared in spring 2014. Currently, I'm writing a little book on Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God.
My course offerings span the history of German cinema, including early silent film, Weimar cinema, film noir (German filmmakers in exile), New German Cinema, East German cinema, and nonfiction film. In addition, I regularly teach courses in German cultural studies. In spring, I will offer a course on the intersections of documentary and avant-garde film.
- Eric Ames. Aguirre, the Wrath of God. British Film Institute: 2016 Download PDF (343.63 KB)
- Eric Ames. Werner Herzog: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi: 2014
- Eric Ames. Ferocious Reality: Documentary according to Werner Herzog. University of Minnesota Press: 2012.
- Eric Ames. "Spoofing Herzog and Herzog Spoofing." Transit 6(1). TRANSIT, Department of German, UC Berkeley: 2010.
- Eric Ames. Carl Hagenbeck's Empire of Entertainments. University of Washington: 2008.
Research Advised: Graduate Dissertations
- Kevin Johnson. “Annexation Effects: Cultural Appropriation and the Politics of Place in Czech-German Films, 1930-1945.” Diss.
- Jasmin Krakenberg. "Visual Arts and the Berlin School of Filmmaking." Diss., in progress.
- Rachel Herschman. "Puppet Modernism: Avant-Garde and Propaganda Puppetry in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich." Diss., in progress.
- Faculty Friday: Eric Ames featured on The Whole U - April 3, 2015
- Popular Germanics courses offered in English - October 30, 2014
- UW Today talks with Eric Ames about new book: Werner Herzog: Interviews - May 16, 2014
- New faculty publication by Eric Ames (editor): Werner Herzog: Interviews - April 4, 2014
- Eric Ames Interviews Werner Herzog at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival - September 26, 2013
- UW Today Interview with Eric Ames - February 25, 2013
- Podcast of Book Interview on Ferocious Reality: Documentary according to Werner Herzog - November 4, 2012
- Faculty News - Spring 2012 - June 15, 2012
- Autumn Courses Offered in English: Cinema Crime Scenes - May 15, 2012
- Book Interview for Carl Hagenbeck's Empire of Entertainments - May 4, 2009