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Eric Ames (he/him/his)

Professor and Department Chair
Eric Ames

Contact Information

(206) 543-7542
Box: 354338
B-537 PDL
Office Hours: 
By appointment


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2000
PDF icon CV (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).

In Autumn 2021, I will be offering a graduate seminar in pedagogy (CMS 525) for our teachers in training as well as a lecture course on "Great Directors: Werner Herzog" (CMS 271). In Spring 2022, I will teach our gateway to the major (CMS 301), focusing on the language of cinema and media studies.

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


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