UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

People / Faculty

Permanent Faculty

Anton Kaes

Class of 1939 Professor of German and Film & Media

Weimar cinema, German film theory, film noir, trauma and memory; early cinema; film historiography; Frankfurt School theory of media


  • 5415 Dwinelle Hall
  • Wednesday 1:00-3:00PM and by appointment



Professor Kaes is the author of several books in English and German that deal with multidisciplinary and comparative aspects of film history and theory. He teaches silent film, the history of German cinema, and American film noir, with special emphasis on the film culture of the Weimar Republic as well as the relationship between film, memory, and trauma. He also offers courses in film theory and critical theory, including Frankfurt School and its aftermath. Teaching at Berkeley since 1981, he served as Director of Film Studies at UC Berkeley from 1991-1996 and Co-director (with Kaja Silverman) 1996-1999. In 1985 he co-founded the bi-annual German Film Institute; he has given lectures and workshops in Amsterdam, Berlin, Canberra, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Vienna, and Tel Aviv. Since 1990 he is the co-editor of the book series “Weimar and Now: German Critical History.” Major awards include Fellowships of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1978 and the Humboldt Foundation in 1984/85, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1990, and an NEH and UC President’s Research Fellowship in 1995. He was also a Scholar in Residence at the Getty Center for Art History and the Humanities in 1989/90 and at Bellagio in 1998. In 2007 he was the recipient of the Humboldt Research Prize. He was a Visiting Professor at the Australian National University in 1995, at Harvard University in 1999; and Tel Aviv University in 2007. 


The Promise of Cinema: German Film Theory, 1907-1933
Shell Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War
The Weimar Republic Sourcebook
From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History as Film
Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration, 1955-2005
Geschichte des Deutschen Films
Kino-Debatte: Texte zum Verhältnis von Literatur und Film
Expressionismus in Amerika: Rezeption und Innovation