Peter Kramer
  • 1.55 Arts

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Personal profile

Key Responsibilities

  • I am currently on study leave.

Biography

My teaching and research deal with American film history from the beginnings to the present, and with the global dimensions of Hollywood cinema, especially its relationship with Germany. My work concentrates on thematic currents and formal developments in mainstream American cinema and on the changing social, political, cultural and industrial contexts in which films are made and seen. 

I have written extensively on silent cinema, stars and acting, Buster Keaton, the relationship between film and other media, Hollywood and the Germans, Audrey Hepburn, Disney and contemporary American cinema. I teach courses on film history, Stanley Kubrick and contemporary Hollywood.

Born in Germany in 1961, I studied at Cologne University in Germany and at the University of East Anglia. Before I returned to UEA as a lecturer in Film Studies in 1998, I taught American Studies at Keele University and Media Studies at Staffordshire University. I am a regular guest lecturer in the Film Studies department at Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic) and at the University of Television and Film Munich (Germany).

During the last ten years, I have been supervising PhD students from the UK, the Czech Republic and China. Their topics have ranged from contemporary Hollywood epics, recent American movies about the 60s, slasher films, the film careers of Saturday Night Live comedians and the films of Michael Mann to the circulation of Chaplin’s early comedies in movie theatres and on small gauge formats in the UK, the relationship between Hollywood and Czechoslovakia after World War II and the distribution and reception of Hollywood family films in contemporary China. I have also worked with visiting PhD students from the Czech Republic, Spain, China and Turkey.

Across the last twenty years, I have presented more than eighty conference papers in the UK, continental Europe, North America and Australia and published over sixty journal essays and book chapters in the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Together with Alan Lovell, I co-edited a collection of essays on film acting in the United States and Britain across the 20th century. It is entitled Screen Acting (Routledge, 1999). I have also co-edited, with Lee Grieveson, The Silent Cinema Reader (Routledge, 2004). Furthermore, jointly with Paul Willetts I co-authored a children’s book entitled American Film: An A-Z Guide (Franklin Watts, 2003). My most recent books are The New Hollywood: From Bonnie and Clyde to Star Wars (Wallflower, 2005), a volume on 2001: A Space Odyssey in the BFI Film Classics series (2010) and A Clockwork Orange (Palgrave, 2011).

Together with Richard Daniels and Tatjana Ljujic, I am about to complete the edited collection Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives (to be published by Black Dog in 2014). I am also currently working on a volume on Dr. Strangelove. My research projects for the next few years include work on American Graffiti and on The Day After Tomorrow, also a volume tentatively entitled “The Good German? Oskar Schindler and the Movies, 1951-1993”.

I am regular contributor to the ThinkingFilmCollective blogspot and the on-line film magazine Pure Movies.

Publications List

Key Research Interests and Expertise

My main research interests in recent years include:

Hollywood since the 1960s, with an emphasis on its biggest hits and hitmakers (notably George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Ronald Emmerich and James Cameron)

Women in contemporary Hollywood and Hollywood’s female audiences

The career and films of Stanley Kubrick

Disney films and the Disney company

Hollywood’s global dimensions

Hollywood and the Germans, including both the presence of Germans in Hollywood and the presence of Hollywood films in Germany

Oskar Schindler and representations of the Holocaust

Stars ranging from Buster Keaton to Audrey Hepburn and Sandra Bullock

The relationship between Hollywood cinema and public debates about global issues (such as global warming and global justice)

 

Key Responsibilities

 

 

Professional Activities

Invited speaker at conferences in Spain, Australia, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany and the UK, as well as at the 54th Berlin Film Festival in 2004, and the Sight and Sound panel ‘Kubrick’s Critical Odyssey’ at the National Film Theatre in 2009, also at the Star Wars 30th anniversary event and the American Graffiti 35th anniversary event, both in Modesto, California, in 2007 and 2008 respectively

Six series of guest lectures at Masaryk University, Brno (Czech Republic), annual workshops at the University of Television and Film Munich (Germany) as well as regular guest teaching and research papers at other universities in the UK, Germany , the Czech Republic and the Netherlands

Member of the editorial boards of The New Review of Film and Television Studies and the on-line journals Scope and Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture; occasional reader for Popular Music, the Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Convergence, Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies, the European Journal of American Culture, Screen, the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Iluminace, Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, Cinema Journal, Economy and Society and the Journal of Greek Media and Culture

Reader’s reports for Intellect, Palgrave, Continuum, Oxford University Press, Wiley-Blackwell, Routledge, Indiana University Press, the BFI, Berghahn, Edinburgh University Press, Polity, University of Exeter Press, Manchester University Press, Pluto, Pearson Education, Blackwell and Wallflower Press

External examiner, from 2001 to 2005, for the BA in Screen Studies at Liverpool John Moores University, and currently for MAs in Film Studies at the University of Winchester and at University College London, also for PhD dissertations at Loughborough University, the University of Southampton, the University of Warwick, the University of Cambridge, the University of Bristol and the University of Kent

Peer reviewer for grant applications submitted to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Austrian Science Foundation, the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Czech Science Foundation and the AHRC

Interviews for the local and national press as well as local and national radio, also for the Czech film journal Iluminace, for podcasts and for the digital edition of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange

Reprints of several essays in edited collections

 

Specialisms

American film history; contemporary American cinema; Hollywood and Europe; Hollywood and globalisation; film and TV comedy in the US; film stars; film acting; turn-of-the-century American popular entertainment; Buster Keaton, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick.

Teaching Interests

Across 2012/13 and the autumn semester of 2013/14, I was teaching the Level 1 module “What is Film History?”, the Level 3 module “Stanley Kubrick: Films in Context” and the MA module “The Big Picture: Contemporary Hollywood Cinema”.

Areas Of Expertise

ACTING||AMERICAN||COMEDY (US)||COMEDY, US||ENTERTAINMENT||FILM & CINEMA||FILM AND CINEMA||FILM STARS||HOLLYWOOD||KUBRICK, STANLEY||LUCAS, GEORGE||SPIELBERG, STEVEN