Eva Rueschmann

Professor of Cultural Studies
Hampshire College Professor Eva Reuschmann
Contact Eva

Mail Code CS
Eva Rueschmann
Adele Simmons Hall 105

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

  • This course examines the European New Waves of the 1960s and 1970s, a pivotal era of artistic innovation and revisionism in narrative filmmaking. Focusing on the cinema of this period as a cultural text and formal experiment, we will begin by exploring the importance of Italian Neorealism and continue with a close examination of modernism in European cinema focusing on key works from France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, and Czechoslovakia. We conclude with a foray into the Japanese New Wave and Cinema Novo in Brazil. Strong emphasis will be placed on the attempts to expand traditional film language, visual representations of social and psychological realities, and the complexities of perception. Films by Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Melville, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ingmar Bergman, Luis Bunuel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, John Schlesinger, Vera Chytilova, Nagisa Oshima, and Glauber Rocha. KEYWORDS:New Wave cinemas, film history, film studies, European modernism

  • This Division I seminar treats the international modern and contemporary short story as a distinctive genre of fiction. Beginning with selected influential 19th- and early 20th-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 stories 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 and explore how short fiction has engaged with, among other themes, the subject of personal and collective trauma, and addressed race and power, colonialism and imperialism, and contemporary cultural and social issues. Beyond the various narrative forms of the story (parable, allegory, fantasy, ghost story, science fiction, postmodern meta-fiction etc.), the course also offers an introduction to different approaches to literary analysis, especially in a comparative, cross-cultural context. KEYWORDS:Comparative literature, literary analysis, short fiction

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  • This course explores contemporary world cinemas from 2000 to the present. We will focus on the narrative tradition of feature filmmaking, examining different cinematic styles, story traditions, authorship, genre conventions, and politics of representation as they have developed in different parts of the globe. The course will emphasize close readings of films and will also serve as an introduction to analyzing films critically in terms of camera work, editing, art direction, narrative and style. Students will be introduced to the concepts of world cinema, national film, and transnational cinema, the role of individual directors, and the historical, political, and cultural contexts in which the films were produced. Essays in film history and criticism will contextualize and critique the feature films under study, which include works from Great Britain, Spain, Eastern Europe, Australia, China, Korea,India, Hong Kong, Latin America, and others. Keywords:Film, film studies, world cinema

  • 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) and will address the central challenge question: How can art and creative practices engage trauma? in the context of migration literature and film. How can fictional narratives provide us with insight into different perspectives and the traumatic experiences of 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

  • 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

  • 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