Angelica Fenner

Associate Professor
Innis College, IN-325E, 2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5


Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures


Angelica Fenner’s research engages questions of (dis)affiliation and (un)belonging at the scale of the psychical, familial, community, (trans)national, (post)human, and environmental, also with attention to intersectional vectors such as race, class, gender. In addition to articles and book chapters on migration and diaspora in European cinemas, she is author of Race Under Reconstruction in German Cinema (2011), which investigates the implications of early West German discourses on race and integration for visualizing the early postwar terms of citizenal belonging. She has also guest edited with anthropologist Uli Linke (Rochester Institute of Technology) a themed 2014 issue on “Contemporary Remediations of Race & Ethnicity in German Visual Cultures” for UC Berkeley’s online journal Transit 

Drawn to women’s authorship, especially those filmmakers whose creative practice constitutes a minor or countercinematic stance in visual storytelling, financing, and production, Professor Fenner has guest co-edited with Hester Baer (U Maryland) a 2018 edition of Camera Obscura, "Revisiting Feminism and German Cinema: Contemporary Women's Film Authorship in Neoliberal Times," and with Barbara Mennel (U Florida) “The Singular Plural of Feminist Film Practice” for Feminist German Studies (2022). Building on her keen interest in the first-person film, she co-edited with Robin Curtis the volume The Autobiographical Turn in Germanophone Documentary and Experimental Film (2014), and regularly teaches a graduate seminar on personal documentary. She publishes filmmaker interviews that discuss this and other documentary modes and fiction genres, and has publications in progress or forthcoming that grapple with naturecultural entanglements read through the lens of animal studies and posthumanism within the Environmental Humanities.


Race Under Reconstruction in German Cinema: Robert Stemmle's Toxi. University of Toronto Press, 2011. 283 pp.

Books Edited

The Autobiographical Turn in German Documentary and Experimental Film. Co-edited with Robin Curtis. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2014. 390 pp

Fascism and Neo-Fascism: Critical Writings on the Radical Right in Europe. Co-edited with Eric Weitz. NY: Palgrave, 2004. 286 pp.

Guest Editor

Special Issue: The Singular Plural of Feminist Film Practice. Guest Editors, Angelica Fenner and Barbara Mennel. Feminist German Studies 30.1 (2022)

Special Issue: Rethinking Gender and German Cinema: Women’s Film Authorship in Neoliberal Times.  Guest Editors, Hester Baer and Angelica Fenner. Camera Obscura 99 (2018).

Special Issue: Contemporary (Re)Mediations of Race and Ethnicity in German Visual Cultures.  Guest Editors, Angelica Fenner and Uli Linke. Transit: A Journal of Travel, Migration, and Multiculturalism in the German-speaking World (UC Berkeley), 9.2 (December 2014).

Articles in Academic Journals

"Das Antlitz dem Offenen Zugewandt: Posthuman(istisch)e Weltenbildung in Mein Lehrer, der Krake."  Nach dem Film, 21 (2023).

“Introduction: The Singular Plural of Feminist Film Practice.” Co-authored with Barbara Mennel. Feminist German Studies 30.1 (2022): 1-26. Special Issue: The Singular Plural of Feminist Film Practice

“Introduction: Revisiting Feminism and German Cinema.”Co-authored with Hester Baer. Special Issue: Revisiting Feminism and German Cinema: Women’s Film Authorship in Neoliberal Times. Camera Obscura 99 (2018): 1-19.

“Introduction: Cultivating Peripheral Vision.” Special Issue: “Contemporary (Re)Mediations of Race and Ethnicity in German Visual Cultures.” Co-edited with Uli Linke. Transit: A Journal of Travel, Migration, and Multiculturalism in the German-speaking World (UC Berkeley), 9.2 (December 2014).

“Jennifer Fox’s Transcultural Talking Cure: Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman.” Journal of Feminist Media Studies 9.4 (2009): 427-445. Special Issue: Transcultural Media and the Transnational Politics of Difference.

“Aural Topographies of Migration in Yamina Benguigui’s Inch’Allah dimanche.” Camera Obscura 66 (2007): 93-127.

 “Turkish Cinema in the New Europe: Visualizing Ethnic Conflict in Sinan Çetin's Berlin in Berlin.Camera Obscura 44 (2001): 105-149.

"Personal Vendettas and their Public Appropriations: The Politics of Film Reception in Sibylle Schönemann’s Verriegelte Zeit." GDR Bulletin24 (Spring 1997): 47-57.

"Versuch eines interkulturellen Dialogs: Mehrstimmigkeit als Erzählstrategie in Helma Sanders-Brahms' Shirin's Hochzeit." Frauen in der Literaturwissenschaft Rundbrief 49 
(Dezember 1996): 25-29.

Book Chapters

“Creating Emotion with Space in Nanouk Leopold’s Brownian Movement.” In Ecologies of Gender: Contemporary Nature Relations and the Nonhuman Turn, edited Sabine Nessel and Susanne Lettow, 147-167. NY: Routledge, 2022.
“Facing Life in the Open: The Posthumanist Worldmaking of My Octopus Teacher.” In Faces on Screen: New Approaches, ed. Alice Maurice, 150-164. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2022.

“Rising in the East/Sett(l)ing in the West: Tibetan Buddhism in Contemporary Documentary.” In The Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Documentary Film, eds. Alex Juhasz and Alisa Lebow, 341-365. Boston: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.

"The Redistribution of the Sensible in Thomas Arslan’s From Afar.” In European Visions: Small Cinemas in Transition, eds. Janelle Blankenship and Tobias Nagl, 367-388.  Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2015.  

“Whither Autobiography? The Difficulties of Saying ‘I’ in the German Context.” Co-authored with Robin Curtis. In The Autobiographical Turn in German Documentary and Experimental Film, ed. Robin Curtis & Angelica Fenner, 1-34. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2014.

“Clearing Out Family History in Seven Dumpsters and a Corpse.” Co-authored with Waltraud Maierhofer. In The Autobiographical Turn in Contemporary German Documentary and Experimental Film, edited by Robin Curtis and Angelica Fenner 210-31. Rochester, NY: Camden, 2014.

“The Gen(t)rification of Heimat: Framing Hamburg’s Creative Class in Fatih Akin’s Soul Kitchen.” In The Place of Politics in German, edited by Martin Blumenthal-Barby, 243-268. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2014.

"Roots and Routes of the Diasporic Documentarian: A Psychogeography of Fatih Akin's Wir haben vergessen zürück zu kehren." In Turkish-German Cinema in the New Millenium: Sites, Sounds, and Screenseds. Sabine Hake and Barbara Mennell, 59-71. New York: Berghahn Press, 2012.

"Jennifer Fox's Transcultural Talking Cure: Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman." In The Cinema of Me: The Self and Subjectivity in First Person Documentary Filmed. Alisa Lebow. 119-141. London: Wallflower Press, 2012. [Reprint]

Cinematic Discourses of Race and Reconstruction in Transnational Perspective.” In From Black to Schwarz: Cultural Crossover between African America and Germanyeds. Maria Diedrich & Jürgen Heinrichs, 227-244. LIT Verlag, 2010.

“The Reterritorialization of Enjoyment in the Adenauer Era.” In Framing the Fifties: Cinema in a Divided Germany, eds. John Davidson & Sabine Hake, 166-179. NY: Berghahn, 2007.

"Beyond the Pleasure Principle: Repetition Trauma and the Tyrannies of Genre in Frieder Schlaich's Otomo." In Fascism and Neo-Fascism: Critical Writings on the Radical Right in Europe, eds. Angelica Fenner & Eric Weitz, 259-278. NY: Palgrave, 2004.

"Traversing the Representational Politics of Migration in Xavier Koller's Journey of Hope." In Moving Pictures, Traveling Identities: Exile, Migration, Border Crossing in Cinema, ed. Eva Rueschmann, 18-38. Oxford: University of Mississippi Press, 2003.

"Theorizing the Internet: Scholarly Collaboration, Authorial Identity, and the Bounds of Listserver Culture." In After Postmodernism: Austrian Literature and Film in Transition, ed. Willy Riemer, 348-361. Riverside, CA: Ariadne Press, 2001.

Filmmaker Interviews

Feminist Filmmaking Before Feminism: Interview with Ula Stöckl.” Co-authored with Hester Baer. Feminist German Studies 30.1 (2022): 54-72. Special Issue on The Singular Plural of Feminist Film Practice.

“Refracting the Gaze: Ines Johnson-Spain on Becoming Black.” Feminist German Studies 30.1 (2022): 118-140. Special Issue on The Singular Plural of Feminist Film Practice.

“On Mobilizing for Gender Equity and Diversity in the German Film Industry: A Conversation with Yvonne de Andres, Pro Quote Film.” MAI: Journal of Feminism and Visual Culture 8 (2022).

“Reframing Diversity for German Screens: Sheri Hagen in Conversation.” MAI: Journal of Feminism and Visual Culture 5 (2020).

“Representation Matters: Tatjana Turankyj on Women’s Filmmaking and the Pro Quota Film Movement.” Camera Obscura 99 (2018): 129-145. Special Issue: Revisiting Feminism and German Cinema: Women’s Film Authorship in Neoliberal Times,” eds Hester Baer and Angelica Fenner.

"If People Want to Oppress You, They Make You Say ‘I’: Hito Steyerl in Conversation.” In The Autobiographical Turn in Germanophone Documentary and Experimental Filmedited by Robin Curtis and Angelica Fenner, 37-51. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2014.

"The Hybrid Approach: An Interview with the Filmmaker Branwen Okpako." Women in German Yearbook 28 (2012): 113-137.

“The Dialogical Documentary: Jennifer Fox on Finding a New Film Language.” CineAction 77 (May 2009): 25-33.

“Seyhan Derin: ‘She has her own way of asserting herself.’” Women in German 21 (2005): 43-61.

DVD Audio Commentary

Toxi (Robert Stemmle, 1952, Germany, 89 min.). Produced by the DEFA Library, University of Massachusetts, 2011).

Book Reviews

Hester Baer, German Cinema in the Age of Neoliberalism (Edinburgh University Press, 2022) in German Quarterly 95.3 (2022): 343-345.

Olivia Landry, Movement and Performance in Berlin School Cinema (Indiana University Press, 2018) in Discourse 44.1 (2022): 93-96.

Gunda Werner Institute/Heinrich Böll Foundation. Reach Everyone on the Planet: Kimberlé Crenshaw and Intersectionality (Berlin: Rucksal, 2019) in Feminist German Studies 36.2 (2020): 115-117.

Nora Alter and Timothy Corrigan. Essays on the Essay Film (Columbia University Press, 2017) in Studies in 20th& 21st Century Literature 43.2 (2019).

Eric Rentschler. The Use and Abuse of Cinema: German Legacies from the Weimar Era to the Present. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015) in Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies 55.1 (2019): 81-82.

Sara Lennox, ed. Remapping Black Germany: New Perspectives on Afro-German History, Politics, and Culture (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2016) in The Germanic Review 93.4 (2018).

Marion Kraft, ed. Kinder der Befreiung: Transatlantische Erfahrungen und Perspektiven Schwarzer Deutscher der Nachkriegsgeneration(Berlin: Unrast, 2015) in Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies 53.1 (2017): 93-96.

Marco Abel, The Countercinema of the Berlin School(Rochester,NY: Camden, 2012) in Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies 52.3 (2016): 346-348.

Matthias Frey. Postwall German Cinema: History, Film History, and Cinephilia (NY: Berghahn, 2013) and Gabrielle Mueller and James Skidmore, eds. Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria (Waterloo, ON: Wilfried Laurier, 2012) in Seminar 50.4 (November 2014): 511-515.

Eli Goldblatt. Coming Home: A Literacy Autobiography (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University, 2012) in International Journal of Communication 8 (2014): 2-10.

Monika Albrecht. “Europa ist nicht die Welt.” Postkolonialismus in Literatur und Geschichte der westdeutschen Nachkriegszeit (Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 2008) in Gegenwartsliteratur 13 (2014): 347.

Tina Campt. Image Matters: Archive, Photography, and the African Diaspora in Europe (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012) in Journal of Family History 38.3 (July 2013).

Tobias Nagl. Die unheimliche Maschine: Rasse und Representation im Weimarer Kino. (München: Edition Text+Kritik, 2009) in Film Blatt15.43 (Fall 2010).

Christine Haase. When Heimat Meets Hollywood: German Filmmakers and America, 1985-2005 (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2007) in German Studies Review 33.3 (October 2010): 706-7.

Heide Fehrenbach. Race after Hitler: Black Occupation Children in Postwar Germany and America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005) in German Studies Review 31.1 (February 2008): 178-79.

Michael Renov. The Subject of Documentary (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2004) in Quarterly Review of Film & Video 25.3 (2008): 251-256.

Jacqueline Levitin, Judith Plessis, Valerie Raoul, eds. Women Filmmakers Refocusing (NY: Routledge, 2003) in Jump Cut 49 (Spring 2007)

Nora Alter & Lutz Köpnick, eds. Sound Matters: Essays on the Acoustics of Modern German Culture (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004) in German Studies Review 30.1 (February 2007): 235.

Ian Balfour & Atom Egoyan, eds. Subtitles: On the Foreignness of Film. (Boston: MIT Press, 2004) in Journal of Popular Film & Television34.2 (June 2006): 95-96.

Caryl Flinn. The New German Cinema: Music, History, and the Matter of Style (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004) in Journal of Film Music 1.4 (Winter 2006).

Linda Schulte-Sasse. Entertaining the Third Reich: Illusions of Wholeness in Nazi Cinema (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996) in Film Quarterly 54.1 (Fall 2000): 44-46.

Marc Silberman, German Cinema: Texts in Context (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1995) and Wallace Steadman Watson. Understanding Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Film as Private and Public Art (Columbia: University of South Carolina, 1996) in Film Quarterly 51.2 (Winter 1998): 57-58.


PhD, University of Minnesota
MA, University of Massachusetts Amherst
BA, Oberlin College

Administrative Service

Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, German, 2016-19, 2020-21, 2023-24
Acting Chair, German, 2022-23
Undergraduate Coordinator, Cinema Studies Institute, 2019-20
Graduate Coordinator, Cinema Studies Institute, 2015-18