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Professor Tim Bergfelder 

Professor, Director of Research,Internationalisation

Professor Tim Bergfelder's photo

Professor Tim Bergfelder is Professor of Film at the University of Southampton.

After studying English Literature, Journalism, and History at Berlin's Free University, and working as a film critic in Germany for some years, I initially came to the UK in the 1980s to do a Masters degree in Film Studies at the University of East Anglia. I subsequently completed my PhD there on 'The Internationalisation of the German Film Industry in the 1950s and 1960s', and took up a teaching position at Southampton in 1995 where I have been based ever since, and where I have been promoted, first to Senior Lecturer, and later to full Professor.  Over the last ten years my research has become recognized both nationally and internationally, evidenced by regular invitations to be a keynote speaker at conferences, and through invited talks and public events in locations including the Far East, Australia, Latin America, the United States, and Europe. I have also appeared in and advised on television and film documentaries, radio programmes, museum exhibitions, film retrospectives, and in the print media. Since 2009, I have been on the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong.

My research and publications since the 1990s focused on various aspects of European and international cinema. In 2002, I co-edited The German Cinema Book, a collection of essays that became a successful textbook in many University courses on the subject (a second edition is currently in progress). In 2004, The Titanic in Myth and Memory: Representations in Visual and Literary Culture was published, a book that analysed the multiple ways in which the tragic disaster has been imagined and transformed by authors, visual artists, and filmmakers throughout the 20th Century. International Adventures: Popular European Co-productions (2005) was a book-length study of a previously under-researched period and mode of filmmaking in European film history, and was hailed by critics as a groundbreaking intervention. It was shortlisted for the prestigious annual ‘Willy Haas-Prize' for best international book in film history, as was my next book, co-written with Sue Harris and Sarah Street, which was called Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema (2007). In 2008 I co-edited with Christian Cargnelli Destination London: German-speaking émigrés and British Cinema, 1925-1950. The latter was one of several outputs of a large research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which I coordinated between 2004 and 2007.

Apart from my book projects I have published numerous articles and chapters in collections and peer-reviewed journals. Since 2005 I have been a series editor for the book series ‘Film Europa: German Cinema in an International Context' for Berghahn Publishers, and advised on topics including Peter Lorre, Michael Haneke, and Memory and Nostalgia in German Film. Since 2006 I was on the advisory board of Screen, one of the world's most highly regarded academic journals in the field, and I have been one of the main editors since 2010. I am also involved with two other journals, Transnational Cinemas, and Cinema&Cie, the latter published in Italy.

In addition to my editorial work, I am keen to engage with policy and strategy pertaining to my field, at both national and international levels. I have been a founding member of and actively involved in organisations such as NECS (Network of European Film and Media Studies) and BAFTSS (British Association of Film and Television Studies), and am also a member of MeCCSA (Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies Association), and the German GfM (Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaften). Since 2010 I am a member of the national Peer Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), assessing research proposals for funding.

I have organised or co-organised a number of conferences and workshops in Southampton and elsewhere, on topics including musicals, the Titanic, film exile, and stardom and intertextuality in Brazilian cinema. Most recently I co-curated the annual Screen conference (Repositioning Screen History) at the University of Glasgow in 2011, and in 2012 I hosted a delegation of scholars from eleven different countries for a workshop on transnational exile film histories across Europe, an event that was funded by the European Science Foundation (ESF).

Encyclopedia of German Cinema. Author: Hans-Michael Bock (Editor), Tim Bergfelder (Editor), Kevin Brownlow (Foreword)
The Concise Cinegraph
Destination London
Destination London
by Tim Bergfelder
International Adventures
The German Cinema Book
The German Cinema Book

Research interests

My research interests include the history of European film industries, in particular the area of multinational co-productions and their relationship to Hollywood. Further interests include comparative studies of cinema audiences; popular genres such as melodrama, exotic adventure films, and horror; the aesthetics of silent cinema; the relationship between tourism and travel and cinema; the cultural reception of popular European film genres; and the biographical and aesthetic trajectories of émigré or exiled filmmakers. My research is closely tied to my teaching, for example, in the preparation of my book on set design in the 1930s, I tested a number of my ideas in seminar discussions on my Weimar cinema module in the final year. My teaching on first and second year modules and on the MA is also usually informed by my current or past research. I am also keen to communicate my research beyond the University, and to this end have designed courses and study days open to the general public relating to my research, and have given talks at cinemas, museums, schools, and other public institutions.

I particularly welcome research proposals on the above interests, but I am generally open to any innovative and exciting ideas. In the past and at present I have supervised and advised such diverse PhD projects as: The Film programme on British television; Auteurism and Reception in the Films of David Lynch; Radio Programming in Postwar Germany; Stars in East German Cinema; British Audience Responses to French and Swedish Cinema; German cinematographers working in the British film industry in the 1920s and 30s; the synergy of Brazilian cinema, music and television industries; the films of German director Peter Lilienthal; heroic masculinity in the peplum film; the Hong Kong film industry since 1997; female authorship in Soviet cinema and the films of Elizaveta Svilova; masculinity and trauma in contemporary Korean cinema; representations of terrorism in German and Italian film since 2000; recent developments in Indian genre cinema; the on-screen representation of Istanbul; Contemporary Migrant European Cinema.

Research project(s)

German-speaking émigrés in British cinema, 1925-1950

Stardom and Intertextuality in Brazilian Cinema

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Book Chapters

Professor Tim Bergfelder
University of Southampton
Avenue Campus
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/1069

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