Nancy Nenno, Ph.D.

Professor of German

Address: JC Long, Room 424
Phone: 843.953.5464
Personal Website:


University of California, Berkeley, California
Ph.D., M.A.

Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Research Interests

German Cinema history, particularly the transition from silent to sound film.

Representation of African Americans in interwar German literature, culture and cinema.

Courses Taught

German 101
German 201
German 102
German 202

Upper-division German Courses

German 314: Conversation & Composition

German 325: Contemporary Issues

German 390: The African Diaspora in German-speaking Europe

German 464: 20th century Literature 1900-1945

German 465: 20th century Literature 1945- Present

German 472: Classics of German Cinema

German 490:  CSI Deutschland:  Der Krimi

German 498 : Independent Study in German

Courses in Translation (LTGR 270/370) and Additional Collateral Credit Courses

Film in Translation: German Film 1919-1945
Film in Translation: Postwar German Cinema
Film in Translation: German Exile Cinema--film noir
Film in Translation: Recent German Cinema (1989-2009)

Honors Seminars

Special Topics: Berlin in the Golden Twenties
Special Topics: Modern Culture/ Degenerate Culture/ Nazi Culture

Honors Western Civilization (second semester)

Honors Bachelors Essays

J. Alexander Porter, " Perceptions of Discrimination and Otherness in Turkish-German Cinema" (AY 2015-16).

Alannah Aldstadt, "Moving from “Being” to “Doing:” How Waldkindergartens could fix Childhood Science Education in the United States," (AY 2014-15).

Stephanie Rhodes, “Linksradikalismus und Terrorismus im deutschen Film” (AY 2012-13)
“Polarized Politics: Fassbinder’s Use of ‘Spiele(n) in Die dritte Generation (1979) as an Explanation of Left-wing Terrorism in West Germany,”    published in Chrestomathy 12 (2013).

Charlotte Gettys, Comparison of the German and American Medical Education (AY 2006-07).


Articles and Book Chapters

“Elective Paternities: Germans and African Americans in Hugo Bettauer’s Das blaue Mal (1922)," German Studies Review 39.2 (2016).  Forthcoming.

“Language, the Voice and Esperantism in Early German Sound film: The case of Niemandsland,” Colloquia Germanica 44:3 (2011): 283-302. 

"From Corpse to Core: Death and Detection Across the Language Curriculum."  Postscript:  The Journal of the Philological Association of the Carolinas 30 (2015).

“Undermining Babel:  Victor Trivas’s Niemandsland (1931),”  The Many Faces of Weimar German Cinema, ed. Christian Rogowski (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2010):

“Projections on Blank Space:  Landscape, Nationality and Identity in Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg.”  (Revised version) Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg: A Casebook, ed. Hans Rudolf Vaget. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008.

“Leni Riefenstahl.”  The Oxford  Encyclopedia of Women in World History.  Ed. Bonnie G. Smith. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008.

“Did German almost become the language of the US?” The Five-Minute Linguist.  Ed. E.M. Rickerson and Barry Hilton (London: Equinox Press, 2006) 170-174.

“'Postcards from the Edge':  Education to Tourism in the German Mountain Film.” Light Motives: German Popular Cinema.  Ed. Margaret McCarthy and Randall Halle.  Detroit:  Wayne State University Press, 2003.  61-83.

“Women, Fascism and Film,” Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 2.2 (2001):  73-90.

“Bildung and Desire:  Anna Elisabet Weirauch's Der Skorpion.”  Queering the Canon:  Defying Sights in German Literatures and Culture.  Ed. Christopher Lorey and John Plews.  Columbia, SC: Camden House,1998.  207-221.

“Primitivism, Femininity and Modern Urban Space:  Josephine Baker in Berlin.”  Women in the Metropolis:  Gender and Modernity in Weimar Culture.  Ed. Katharina von Ankum.  Weimar and Now 11.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1997.  145-161. 
Published in translation as:  "Weiblichkeit-Primitivität-Metropole: Josephine Baker in Berlin.”  Frauen in der Großstadt:  Herausforderung der Moderne?  Ed. and trans. Katharina von Ankum.  Dortmund:  Edition Ebersbach, 1999.  136-158.

“Between Magic and Medicine:  Images of the Woman Healer in Medieval German Literature.”  Climbing a Long Hill:  Women Healers and Physicians.  Ed. Lilian R. Furst.  Lexington, KY:  University of Kentucky Press, 1997.  43-63.

“Projections on Blank Space:  Landscape, Nationality and Identity in Thomas Mann's Der  Zauberberg.”  The German Quarterly 69.3 (Summer 1996):  305-321.
“Biographies.”  “Political Chronology.”  The Weimar Republic Sourcebook.  Ed. Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, Edward Dimendberg.  Weimar and Now:  German Cultural Criticism 3.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1994.  743-63.  765-71.


Book Reviews:

Choe, Steve. Afterlives: Allegories of Film And Mortality in Early Weimar Germany. Bloomsbury, 2014.  Invited review for The German Studies Review. 

Anne Anlin Cheng.  Second Skin:  Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface.  Invited review in African American Review: 46.1 (Spring 2013): 176-78.

Reinhard Kargl, Wie Film erzählt: Wege zu einer Theorie des multimedialen Erzählens im Spielfilm (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2006).  Die Unterrichtspraxis 40.2 (2007): 221-22.

Natur, Räume, Landschaften.  2. Internationales Kingstoner Symposium.  Ed. Burkhardt Krause and Ulrich Scheck.  München:  Iudicium-Verlag, 1996, and The Idea of the Forest.  German and American Perspectives on the Culture and Politics of Trees.  Ed. Karla L. Schulz and Kenneth S. Calhoon.  German Life and Civilization 14.  New York:  Peter Lang, 1996.  The German Quarterly 74.3 (2001):  328-29.

Triangulated Visions:  Women in Recent German Cinema.  Ed. Ingeborg Majer O'Sickey and  Ingeborg von Zadow.  German Studies Review 22.2 (1999):  358.

Andrea Stuart.  Showgirls. Feminist Studies in Aotearoa Journal 24 Dec 1998.  Online.  Internet.  Available

Marc Silberman. German Cinema: Texts in Contexts.  The German Quarterly 70.2 (Spring 1997): 189.

Karin Bruns.  Kinomythen 1920-1945.  Die Filmentwürfe der Thea von HarbouThe German Quarterly 69.3 (Summer 1996):  444-445.


Conference Presentations / Invited Lectures  (2001-Present)

Commentary on the panel:  "The Migrating Black Female Body in 1920s Central and Eastern Europe:  Josephine Baker's Reception in Vienna, Zagreb, Belgrade, and Istanbul."  Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Atlanta, GA, 7 January 2016.

"'Like a Stone in a Rushing River': Charles Ofoedu's Account of the Austrian Spring 1999," Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference, Charleston, SC, 16 October 2015.

"Memory and Activism:  Marcus Omofuma and Operation Spring in Austria," Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, "Black German Studies Seminar," Washington, DC, 2-4 October, 2015.

"Reading the 'Schwarz" in Schwarz-Rot-Gold:  Black German Studies," The Future of the Past, Berkeley, CA, 10-12 April 2015.  Invited talk. 

"From Corpse to Core: Death and Detection Across the Language Curriculum," Keynote Address. Annual Meeting of the Philological Association of the Carolinas, Wilmington, NC, 10 March 2015. 

"Expanding the Diaspora:  Afro-Austrians and Black German Studies," Workshop II:  Black German/Diaspora Studies, Southeast German Studies Consortium, Davidson, NC, 26-27 February 2015.

"Thinking in Multiples:  Generating Black Diasporas in Austria."  Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, "Black German Studies Seminar," Kansas City, MO, 19-21 October 2014.

“Visualizing the Voice in Victor Trivas’ Niemandsland (1931).” Annual Meeting of the German Studies Association, Milwaukee, WI, 4-7 October 2012.

"K:  Ein Disziplin sucht einen Killer," Annual Meeting of the Philological Association of the Carolinas, Myrtle Beach, SC, March 2012.

“The Color of Culture:  Fatih Akin’s Farbenlehre,” Annual Meeting of the Philological Association of the Carolinas, Charleston, SC, 12-13 March 2010.

 “Undermining Babel:  Victor Trivas’s Niemandsland (1931),” Annual Conference of the European Cinema Research Forum, Binghamton University, Binghamton NY, 9-12 July 2009.

 “Triumph of the Will, Hollywood and an Iconography of Evil,” Annual Meeting of the Philological Association of the Carolinas, Myrtle Beach, SC  March 2009. 

 “DiasporAfro:  Teaching Afro-German/Afro-Austrian Identity,” Annual Meeting of the American Conference of Teachers of Foreign Language, San Antonio, TX, 17 Nov 2007.

Der weiße Neger:  Reading the Harlem Renaissance into German-speaking Europe,” Philological Association of the Carolinas, Myrtle Beach SC, 24 March 2007.

“African Americans in Germany:  Stories and Images from Between the World Wars,” (sabbatical lecture),  College of Charleston, 26 April 2006.

“Bildung zur Mündigkeit.  An African American-German Family Romance Between the Wars,”  Crossovers:  African Americans and Germany, Westphälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, FRG, 22-26 March, 2006.

Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei (Baumgarten, 2004)” and “Teaching Film in the Classroom,” Keynote, 7th Annual Film Festival, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, 7-9 March 2006.

“Ultra-primitive/ultra-modern:  Josephine Baker and Berlin,” invited lecture at Symposium on Nazi Berlin, Dartmouth College, 30-31 October 2003.

Niemandsland/No Man's Land:  Race and Nation in 1931,” Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference, Charleston, SC, 10 October 2003.

“Madonna and Whore:  German Revision of the Europa Myth after the First World War,” Philological Association of the Carolinas, Asheville, NC, 22 March 2002.

“Moderne Europa:  Racial and Gender Insubordination in Works by Karl Goetz, Werner Peiner, and Philippe Soupault,” Modern Languages Association Meeting, 29 December 2002.

“A Visible Difference:  Communication about Culture,” First Annual Charleston Connections:  Innovations in Higher Education Conference, The Citadel, 1 June 2001.

“Of Black-face and Ventriloquism:  Hans Paasche's Die Forschungsreise des Afrikaners Lukanga Mukara ins innerste Deutschland,” Philological Association of the Carolinas, Charleston, SC, 3 March 2001.