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Photo of Hall, Sara F.

Sara F. Hall, PhD

Associate Professor and Chair of the Minor in Moving Image Arts

Germanic Studies

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Office Phone:

(312) 413-2372

CV Download:


Drop-In Hours - Spring 2023
Monday 11:00am – 01:30pm


Sara F. Hall is Associate Professor of Germanic Studies and Studies and Chair of the Minor of Moving Image Arts. She has received grants from the DAAD/German Academic Exchange Service, the Berlin Program for German and European Studies, and the UIC Institute for the Humanities. Her research interests center on international silent film, contemporary German cinema and transnational film markets, and women film pioneers. She has presented her work in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Israel (as well as the US) and published articles widely in such journals as German Quarterly, German Studies Review, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Modernism/Modernity, Transit: A Journal of Travel, Migration and Multiculturalism in the German Speaking World, and Communications: The European Journal of Communications Research. Her most recent scholarly essays have been published in Different Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives, ed. Konrad Jarausch, Harald Wenzel and Karin Goihl; A New History of German Cinema, ed. Jennifer Kapczynski and Michael Richardson; New Austrian Film, ed. Robert von Dassanowsky and Oliver C. Speck; and Fritz Lang "M—eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder” Texte und Kontexte, ed. Urs Buettner et al.

Selected Grants

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, “Engaged Humanities Initiative” Grant ($1 million), 2018-2022, P.I. Provost Susan Poser, also with Astrida Tantillo and Mark Canuel

German Information Center, “25 Years German Unity Campus Week” Grant (€4,550), 2015, Co-P.I. with Elizabeth Loentz

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign European Union Center, "EU Centers of Excellence Grant " and “Getting to Know Europe Grant” 2014-2018, in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of the Art Institute Chicago

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • “Babylon Berlin: Pastiching Weimar Cinema” Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research 44.3, 2019, 304-322
  • “Generation Mini-Series: Contemporary German Historical Event-Television and the Implications of its Interactive Elements” Transit: A Journal of Travel, Migration and Multiculturalism in the German Speaking World 10.2, 2016,
  • “Promoting Diversity in an Honors Curriculum” co-authored with Hui-Ching Chang and Bette L. Bottoms, Honors in Higher Education: Proceedings from HERU (Honors Education at Research Universities) 1, 2016, ISSN: 2379-481X
  • “Youth Protection and the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency: Keeping Cinema on the Right Side of the Law” Journal of European Studies 39.3, September 2009, 353-370
  • “Moving Images and the Policing of Public Space in Berlin Around 1920” German Studies Review 21.2, May 2008, 285-302
  •  “Open Your Eyes! Public Ordering and the Policing Gaze” Modernism/Modernity 15.2, April 2008, 277-296
  • “Making the Case for German Police Films, 1912-1920” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television27.4, October 2007, 497-511
  • “Trading Places: Dr. Mabuse and the Pleasure of Role Play” The German Quarterly. 76.4, Fall 2003, 381-397
  • “Caught in the Act: Visualizing a Crime-Free Capital” Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft12.1, 2001, 30-45

Chapters in Edited Volumes

  • Stolpersteine and the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project,” co-authored with Peter Cole and Franklin N. Cosey-Gay in Steine des Anstroßes: Die Stolpersteine zwischen Akzentanz, Transformation und Adaption, ed. Silvikja Kavèiè, Thomas Schaarschmidt, Anna Warda, and Irmgard Zündorf. Metropol Verlag, 2021, 264-284.
  • “Inventing the German Film as Foreign Film: The Origins of a Fraught Transatlantic Exchange” in Different Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives, ed. Konrad Jarausch, Harald Wenzel and Karin Goihl. Berghahn Books, 2016, 259-277
  • “A City Seeks a Murderer. Audiences and Critics Seek Their Moral and Political Bearings” in A New History of German Cinema, ed. Jennifer Kapczynski and Michael Richardson. Camden House Press, 2012, 226-232
  • “The Lady in the Lake: Austria’s Images in Götz Spielmann’s Antares New Austrian Film, ed. Robert von Dassanowsky and Oliver C. Speck. Berghahn Books, 2011, 356-367
  • “Verbrechen und andere Konsumgüter. Kommerzialisierung und Massenmedien in ,M’” in Fritz Lang” M—eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder” Texte und Kontexte, ed. Urs Buettner et al. Königshausen & Neumann, 2011. 137 148. Translation Vera Pollina and Urs Buettner
  • “Inflation and Devaluation: Gender, Space and Economics in G.W. Pabst’s Joyless Street(1925)” in Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era, ed. Noah Isenberg. Columbia University Press, 2008, 135-154
  • “Nurturing the New Republic: The Contested Feminization of Law Enforcement in Weimar Culture” in Police Forces: A Cultural History of an Institution, ed. Klaus Mladek. Palgrave Macmillan, USA, 2007, 94-118 Series: Studies in European Culture and History
  • “Drums Along the Amazon: The Rhythm of the System in Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo” co-authored with Lilian Friedberg, in The Cosmopolitan Screen: German Cinema and the Global Imaginary 1945 to the Present, ed. Stephan K. Schindler and Lutz Koepnick. University of Michigan Press, 2007, 117-139. Series: Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany
  • “Prussian Police Reform and The Modernization of the Academy Classroom: The Advent of the German Police Training Film 1919-1920” in Policing Interwar Europe, ed. Gerald Blaney. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, 69-89
  • “Pursuits Across the Threshold of Modernity: Projecting the Primitive Against the Backdrop of Emergent Urban Culture in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” in Die Grossstadt und das Primitive. Text Politik Repraesentation, ed. Kristin Kopp and Klaus Müller Richter. Metzler Verlag, 2004, 177-200

Professional Leadership

President, 2023-2024, German Studies Association

Vice President/President-Elect, 2021-2022, German Studies Association

Acting Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs, Spring 2021, UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Interim Director, 2018-December 2019, School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics

Executive board member, Literature and Culture Representative, 2015-present, German Studies Association

Editorial board member, 2014-present, Screen Bodies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Experience, Perception, and Display

Notable Honors

2019, Essay Prize “Babylon Berlin: Pastiching Weimar Cinema” Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research 44.3,2019, 304-322., Society for Cinema and Media Studies South/Central/East European Cinemas

2018, UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Illinois at Chicago

2004 & 2017, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning - Teaching Recognition Program Award, University of Illinois at Chicago

2003-2004, Institute for the Humanities Faculty Research Fellowship, University of Illinois at Chicago

1998-1999, Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies Dissertation Fellowship, Social Science Research Council


Ph.D. German Literature and Culture, University of California at Berkeley 2000
Freie Universität Berlin 1998-1999 (Social Science Research Council Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies)
M.A. German Literature and Culture, University of California at Berkeley 1994
German and American Studies, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena 1992-1993 (DAAD/German Academic Exchange Service)
B.A. German Studies, Columbia University 1988-1992
Universität Heidelberg January-August 1991

Selected Presentations

Plenaries, Keynotes and Invited Talks (selected)

  • “Haunted Screens: Cinematic Expressionism” Opening lecture for the “Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s” Exhibition, Milwaukee Art Museum, October 2016
  • “Moving Memories of Post-War Germany and Its Cinema History” The Good Germans? New Transatlantic Perspectives. Berlin Program Alumni Conference. Berlin (Germany), June 2011
  • “Rationalizing Modern Life: The Visual Codes of the Weimar Police Film,” Conference on Criminality and Madness in Germany 1914-1949, The Richard Koebner Minerva Center for German History at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (Israel), May 2007
  • “Fiction Meets Non-Fiction: A Moment of Crisis in the Image of Authority and the Authority of the Image,” Indiana University Horizons of Knowledge Lecture/Plenary Address at the Looking Forward, Looking Back: Image, Imagination, and Media: Germanic Studies Graduate Student Conference, Bloomington, February 2005

Conference Presentations (selection)

  • “Sirk’s La Habanera in the HSI Classroom,” Incorporating Latinx Issues in the German-Language Classroom Panel, American Association of Teachers of German/American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Convention, virtual, November 2021
  • “Teaching with Media and Material Culture,” Teaching Network roundtable contribution, German Studies Association Conference, Indianapolis, IN, September 2021
  • “Moblizing the Intertexts of Policing: The Great Police Exhibition of 1926” Across the Borders of Text and National: Intertextuality and Intermediality in 20th and 21st Century Film, Art, and Exhibition Culture Panel sponsored by the Berlin Program of Advanced German and European Studies, German Studies Association Conference, Portland OR, October 2019
  • “The Entanglement of Historical Reckoning in the German-American Transfer Film” Paradoxes and Misunderstandings in Cultural Transfer Conference, UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), May 2019
  • “Stumbling Blocks of History: Stolpersteine and Chicago Remembrance Culture” with Peter Cole (Western Illinois University). Stones of Contention—Provocation or Mainstream Ritual? The Role of the Stolpersteine Project in Contemporary Memory Conflicts, Gedenkstätte deutscher Widerstand/German Resistance Memorial Center, Berlin (Germany), February 2019
  • “Monumental Absences: Historical Hauntings in U.S. Remakes of German Films” Monuments and Monumentality: Cinematic Traces Panel sponsored the MLA Executive Committees on 20th and 21st Century German Literature and Screen Arts and Cultures, Modern Language Association Convention, Chicago, January 2019
  • “Babylon Berlin: Remaking Weimar Cinema in the Era of Global Streaming” Remaking European Cinema: A symposium on the theory and practices of the film remake in the European context, Ghent University, Ghent (Belgium), June 2018
  • “Stars of Beat and Screen: The Unique Star Culture of the Weimar Police Film” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Chicago, March 2017
  • “Curriculum Diversity: The UIC Model” with Hui-Ching Chang and Bette L. Bottoms, Honors Education at Research Universities, Oregon State University, May 2015
  • "Diversifying the College from the First Year Up: UIC's President's Award Program Honors Scholarship" First bi-annual meeting of the organizations Honors Education at Research Universities, Penn State University, State College PA, May 2013
  • "Urban Spaces, National Appeal, International Circuits: The Location of the Great Berlin Police Exhibition of 1926 in German Film History,” Exhibition “Glocales” Panel, Second International Berkeley Silent Film Conference: On Location, University of California Berkeley, February 2013
  • “Mostly Martha But Considerably Kate: Remaking Bella Marta in the Shadow of 9-11,” Gender, Space and Place Conference, University of Notre Dame, March 2010
  • “The Reality of the Remake”, New Realisms Panel, German Studies Association Conference, Washington DC, October 2009

Research Currently in Progress

  • The Investigating Camera: Cinema and the Production of Law and Order in Weimar Germany.
  • Moving Images: Hollywood Remakes and the Revision of German History.