Eric Ames (he/him/his)

Professor and Department Chair
Eric Ames

Contact Information

B-537 PDL
Office Hours
By appointment


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2000
Curriculum Vitae (147.34 KB)

I am generally interested in historical and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of modern 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 several forms of nineteenth-century display culture, including zoological gardens, ethnographic exhibitions, and Wild West shows in Germany. I have also published on the interrelationship of science, technology, and popular culture in specific situations: the vital importance of the phonograph and the archive to the formation of ethnomusicology, 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) and of Ferocious Reality: Documentary according to Werner Herzog (Minnesota, 2012). My edited collection, Werner Herzog: Interviews (Mississippi, 2014), is now available in paperback. Most recently, I published a little book on Aguirre, the Wrath of God in the BFI Film Classics series (2016).

This fall, I'm teaching the pedagogy seminar for graduate student instructors in CMS. In Winter 2024, I'll be offering a large lecture course on the films of Werner Herzog (CMS 271). And in Spring 2024, I'll give another lecture course, "Introduction to Film" (CMS 270), which is also a pre-req for the CMS major.

Questions about CMS courses or degree programs? I'd be happy to help! Best way to reach me is email:


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