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Photo of Inga Pollman, taken by Sarah Boyd

Associate Professor, Germanic Languages and Literatures / English and Comparative Literature

2011, PhD Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago

2005, MA German Literature, Humboldt University, Berlin / Film Studies, Freie Universität Berlin


In her work, Pollmann situates film and media theory within larger questions concerning aesthetics, philosophy and theories of science. In addition to her monograph Cinematic Vitalism: Film Theory and the Question of Life (Amsterdam UP, 2018), she has published on contemporary German cinema, early hunting films, melodrama, and many other topics. Her current book project Mood, Medium, Milieu: Environmental Film Aesthetics draws on films, artworks, and media objects to map out a critical environmental aesthetic at the intersection of atmospheres, affections, ecology, and mediation.


  • Cinematic Vitalism: Film Theory and the Question of Life (Amsterdam University Press, Film Theory in Media History, 2018)
  • “Die Kräfte des Milieus: Angela Schanelecs Marseille und das Erbe von Michelangelo Antonioni.“ Die Berliner Schule im globalen Kontext: Ein transnationales Arthouse-Kino, Marco Abel and Jaimey Fisher, transl. Valentina Djordjevic (Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2023).
  • “Environmental Aesthetics: Tracing a Latent Image from Early Safari Films to Contemporary Art Cinema.” Cinema of Exploration, James Cahill and Luca Caminati (New York: Routledge, 2020).
  • “The Forces of the Milieu: Angela Schanelec’s Marseille and the Heritage of Michelangelo Antonioni.” A Transnational Art-Cinema: The Berlin School and Its Global Contexts, eds. Marco Abel and Jaimey Fisher (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2018).
  • “Invisible Worlds, Visible: Uexküll’s Umwelt, Film, and Film Theory.” Critical Inquiry 39:4 (Summer 2013). 777-816.
  • Kalte Stimmung, or the Mode of Mood: Ice and Snow in Melodrama.” Colloquia Germanica 43:1-2, 2013. Special Issue: Cold Fronts. Kältewahrnehmungen in Literatur und Kultur im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. 79-96.


  • Senior Fellow, Cinepoetics Center for Advanced Film Study, Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with Konrad-Wolf-Filmhochschule Babelsberg, Berlin, Germany (2022-23)
  • Visiting Professor (Teach@Tübingen) at the Deutsches Seminar, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Summer Semester 2016)
  • Visiting Professor at the Graduate Research Program “Mediale Historiographien – Media of History / History of Media” (Bauhaus Universität Weimar, Universität Erfurt, and Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena), Weimar (June-July, 2012)

Courses Taught:

  • CMPL 143: History of Global Cinema
  • CMPL/GERM 579: What Is a Medium? German Media Theory
  • CMPL/GERM 468: Auteur Cinema
  • CMPL/GERM 266: Weimar Cinema
  • CMPL/GERM 465 Contemporary German, Austrian and Swiss Cinema
  • CMPL/GERM/WGST 271: Women in German Cinema
  • GSLL 69: Laughing and Crying at the Movies
  • GERM 880: graduate seminar in German Film Studies; rotating topics
  • CMPL 240: Introduction to Film Theory