Roger Cook

Roger Cook
Professor of German, Director of Film Studies
449 Strickland Hall
By the Rivers of Babylon:

By the Rivers of Babylon:
Heinrich Heine's Late Songs
and Reflections

A Companion to the Works of Heinrich Heine

A Companion to the
Works of Heinrich Heine

The Cinema of Wim Wenders: Image, Narrative, and the Postmodern Condition

The Cinema of Wim Wenders:
Image, Narrative, and
the Postmodern Condition


Ph.D., 1986, University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests: 

My research interests range from film theory and criticism (with a recent focus on the Berlin School) to German literature and culture. In my current work I engage neuroscience and media theory to investigate issues of embodiment in film viewing. At the moment I am in the process of completing a book entitled Prosthetic Consciousness: The Coevolution of Cinema and the Embodied Mind.

In addition to my position as Professor of German I serve as the Director of Film Studies. I oversee the interdepartmental Film Studies Program, which includes courses from such diverse departments as German and Russian Studies, English, Romance Languages, Theatre, Art History and Archaeology, Philosophy, Classical Languages and the IT Program. We offer a B.A. in Film Studies that focuses primarily on the critical study of film as a cultural practice, but complements this academic area with instruction and practical application in film production - including three feature films shot on campus since 2005. There is also a minor in Film Studies.

Frequently Taught Courses: 

I direct and lecture in the department’s team-taught two-semester course on German Civilization:

  • German 2310, German Civilization: From the Beginnings to 1850
  • German 2320, German Civilization: From 1850 to the Present

Other courses I have taught recently include:

  • Film 4005, Neuroscience and Cinema
  • Film/German 3830, History of German Cinema
  • Film/German 3840, German Film After 1945
  • Film/German 4005/7005, Post-Unification German Cinema
  • German 8087, Graduate Seminar: Adaptations: German Film and Literature
Recent Publications: 


"Embodied Simulation, Empathy, and Social Cognition: Berlin School Lessons for Film Theory.” Screen 56.2 (Summer 2015): 153–71.


Berlin School Glossary: An ABC of the New Wave in German Cinema, eds. Roger F. Cook, Lutz Koepnick, Kristin Kopp, and Brad Prager. Chicago and Bristol: Intellect Books, 2013. 291 pp.

A Companion to the Works of Heinrich Heine, ed. Roger F. Cook. Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 2002. 373 pp.

By the Rivers of Babylon: Heinrich Heine's Late Songs and Reflections, Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1998. 392 pp.

The Cinema of Wim Wenders: Image, Narrative, and the Postmodern Condition, eds. Roger F. Cook and Gerd Gemünden. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1996. 286 pp.

The Demise of the Author: Autonomy and the German Writer 1770-1848, New York: Peter Lang, 1993. 226 pp.


 “Cinema Returns to the Source: Werner Herzog’sCave of Forgotten Dreams,” in Film International11.1 (Winter 2013): 24-41. 
“Ambient Sound Design” (pp. 27–34);“Disengagement” (pp. 87–91); and “Familiar Places” (pp. 117–26), in Berlin School Glossary: An ABC of the New Wave in German Cinema, Ed. Roger Cook, Lutz Koepnick, Kristin Kopp, and Brad Prager, (Chicago and Bristol: Intellect Books, 2013).

The Ironic Ecstasy of Werner Herzog: Embodied Vision in The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner,” in A Companion to Werner Herzog, ed. Brad Prager (Boston and London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), pp. 281–300.

Spatial Orientation and Embodied Transcendence in Werner Herzog’s Mountain Climbing Films,” inHeights of Reflection: Mountains in the German Imagination from the Middle Ages to Present, ed. Sean Ireton and Caroline Schaumann (Camden House, 2012), pp. 302-19.

Correspondences in Visual Imaging and Spatial Orientation in Dreaming and Film Viewing,Dreaming: Journal of the Association of the Study of Dreams 21.2 (2011), 89–104.

Literary Discourse and Cinematic Narrative: Scripting Affect in The Lives of Others,” in Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria, ed. Gabriele Mueller and James M. Skidmore (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011), pp. 81-97

Hollywood Narrative and the Play of Fantasy: David Lynch's Mulholland Drive,” in Quarterly Review of Film and Video 28.5 (2011), pp. 369-81.

Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei: Edukating the Post-Left Generation” in The Collapse of the Conventional: German Film and its Politics at the Turn of the New Century. Ed. Jaimey Fisher and Brad Prager. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2009), pp 309-32.

Nostalgic Travels Through Space and Time: Good Bye Lenin!" in Violating Time: History, Memory, and Nostalgia in Cinema, ed. Christina Lee (London: Wallflower Press, 2008), pp. 70-87. 

Die Wiederkehr der Religion: Heine aus amerikanischer Perspektive,” in Sammelband zum Heine-Schumann Kongress, ed. Joseph A. Kruse (Frankrurt: Metzler Verlag, 2007), pp. 145-58. 

Good Bye, Lenin!: Free-Market Nostalgia for Socialist Consumerism” in Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies. Special Issue. "Between Historisation, Nostalgia and Mythmaking: Contemporary German Culture," (Spring 2007) pp. 25-42.

Re-charting the Skies Above Berlin: Nostalgia East and West” in German Politics and Society (Spring 2005), pp. 39-57.

Vaterlandsliebe in Exile: Heinrich Heine and German-Jewish National Identity” in: Confrontations/Accomodations: German-Jewish Literary and Cultural Relations From Heine to Wasserman, ed. Mark Gelber (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2004), pp. 27-43

The Riddle of Love: Romantic Poetry and Historical Progress” in: A Companion to the Works of Heinrich Heine, Ed. Roger F. Cook (Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 2002), pp. 105-35.

“'Citronia': 'Kennst du das Land …?': A Riddle of Sexuality and Desire,” in: Heine-Jahrbuch (1996), 81-112.
Reprinted in Poetry Criticism, vol . 25. Gale Research (1999).

Postmodern Culture and Film Narrative: Paris Texas and Beyond,” in: The Cinema of Wim Wenders, Ed. Roger F. Cook and Gerd Gemünden (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1996), pp.121-35.

Angels, Fiction, and History in Berlin: Wings of Desire
in: The Cinema of Wim Wenders. Ed. Roger F. Cook and
Gerd Gemünden (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1996), pp. 163-190.