Eva Rueschmann

Professor of Cultural Studies
Hampshire College Professor Eva Reuschmann
Contact Eva

Mail Code CS
Eva Rueschmann
Adele Simmons Hall 105
413.559.6299

Eva Rueschmann received her B.A. in English and French languages and literatures at the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg in Germany, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she also worked as a research and administrative assistant in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies.

Her research and teaching interests include world literature and cinema with a special focus on Australian and New Zealand film, exile and migration in transnational literature and film, gender studies, film studies, and contemporary cultural studies of popular culture.

She has published two books, Sisters on Screen: Siblings in Contemporary Cinema (Temple UP, 2000) and Moving Pictures, Migrating Identities (UP of Mississippi, 2003).

She is also the author of several essays on such topics as the film directors Margarethe von Trotta and Jane Campion, New Zealand cinema, diasporic female identities in Asian-American and Asian-Canadian films, African writer Mariama Ba, African American writers Jessie Fauset and Dorothy West, and psychoanalytic criticism. Her current book project focuses on coming-of-age narratives and postcolonial identities in Australian and New Zealand cinema.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • The course explores the thriller as a popular literary and film genre. An amalgam of intrigue, suspense, and mystery, the thriller evolved from Gothic romance novels and both Victorian adventure tales and 'sensation' (crime) fiction in response to shifting social anxieties. We focus on two influential forms of the genre: Gothic-influenced romantic thrillers dramatizing threats to women and the constraints of the domestic sphere; and espionage stories and related crime thrillers reflecting fears of deception, conspiracy, war, and the pursuit of power and wealth. Thrillers evoke a world of psychological and existential uncertainty, where everyday life is infused by suspicion and paranoia and where haunting and psychological doubles express the complexity of identity. Classic thriller novels and films as well as contemporary reformulations and queering of the genre will be discussed. Readings (besides the novels) include articles in film and genre criticism. Keywords: Literature, Film, Genre, Gothic, Thriller

  • This Division I seminar treats the international modern and contemporary short story as a distinctive genre of fiction. Beginning with select influential 19th-century examples of the American and European short story (Poe, Chekhov, Maupassant), we will devote most of the course to the forms, techniques, and themes of short fiction from around the globe. The course will focus on different case studies of short fiction from South Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States. As part of the Time and Narrative Learning Collaborative, this course examines how short fiction engages with, among other themes, the subject of personal and collective trauma. The seminar explores how stories from different countries and cultures address race and power, colonialism and imperialism, and contemporary cultural and social issues. We will study a variety of narrative forms and styles (the parable, allegory, magical realism, ghost story, science fiction, postmodern meta-fiction, etc.), and survey different approaches to literary analysis, especially in a comparative, cross-cultural context. Keywords: comparative literature, literary analysis, short story.

  • From the Australian Film Revival in the 1970s represented by directors such as Peter Weir, Fred Schepisi and Gillian Armstrong to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "Rabbit-Proof Fence," "The Piano," "Mystery Road" and "Mad Max: Fury Road," Australian and New Zealand have made unique contributions to international cinema. In this course, we will examine the ways in which selected films from both countries engage with genre film, national identity, race and gender, history, myth, landscape, and the ability of two small film cultures to thrive despite the economic and cultural dominance of Hollywood. Our weekly film screenings will be supplemented by a discussion of short stories and a novel in order to situate Australian and New Zealand cinema within a broader cultural and historical framework. This course is part of the Time and Narrative Learning Collaborative (LC). Some of the questions we will explore are: How does film narrate national history, heritage, and myth? How do Australian and New Zealand films address the colonial legacy of these two settler nations, and shape postcolonial responses to that legacy? Keywords: Australian film, New Zealand film, national identity, history, cultural studies

  • Cinema travels through time much as the human memory can, reliving moments in various times with "limitless possibilities," wrote Marxist philosopher and literary historian Gyorgy Lukacs. In this seminar, we will explore the ways in which global films engage with and can manipulate time and memory, both thematically and in terms of its aesthetic devices and different genre forms. We will examine how cinema as a time-based medium addresses nostalgia, trauma, dreams, and amnesia on both an individual and collective level. Drawing on historically and autobiographically inspired feature films, science fiction, coming-of-age stories, and other genres, we will discuss cinema's ability to mythologize, memorialize and critically reflect on the past as a space of socio-historical change, addressing class, race and gender roles, family dynamics, war, politics, and other themes. Possible films include Hiroshima, Mon Amour; La Jetee; A Very Long Engagement; Atonement; The Lives of Others; Volver; Au Revoir Les Enfants; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Moonlight; Cinema Paradiso; Atlantics; and others. Keywords: Film studies, time, memory studies, history, trauma

  • In an age of increased movement of people across the globe, this seminar focuses on past and present experiences of (im)migrants, which have inspired a number of recent and contemporary novels, feature films, documentaries, memoirs, and theoretical debates about cultural identity, place and displacement. Using cultural studies of travel, diaspora, ethnicity, and theories of identity and home as critical frameworks for discussion, we will examine some of the following issues addressed in narrative film, fiction and memoirs: the complexities of adaptation or resistance to new cultures; culture transfer, hybridity and biculturality; the journey as metaphor, escape, physical ordeal and psychological odyssey; the meanings of nostalgia and home; intergenerational conflicts between tradition and modernity; representation and negotiations of national and ethnic identities; the cultural and psychological consequences of border crossings; and the interconnections of language, culture and sense of self. This course is part of the Time and Narrative Learning Collaborative (LC). Some of the questions we will address are: How can fictional narratives provide us with insight into different perspectives and experiences of migration and displacement? How does film/literature capture a different imaginary relationship migrants must create to a new homeland? (keywords: migration, literature, film studies, identity, cultural studies)

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