Professor Paul Cooke

Professor Paul Cooke

Centenary Chair in World Cinemas

+44 (0)113 3430210

Summary: Contemporary German cinema in its political, aesthetic and industrial context; the role of Hollywood in World Cinema; European Heritage Cinema


Educated at the University of Birmingham (BA and PhD) and Nottingham (MA), I worked for a year as a Lektor at the University of Cologne and for 3 years as a Lecturer at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. I came to Leeds in September 2002.

Research interests  

  • Contemporary German Cinema in its political, aesthetic and industrial context
  • The role of Hollywood in World Cinema
  • I am currently working on a project looking at the relationship between European Heritage Cinema and the wider Heritage Sector  

Potential areas of supervision

  • German Film and Media Studies
  • The role of Hollywood in World Cinema
  • European Heritage Cinema
  • East German Studies

Recently supervised research students 

 Luke Postlethwaite (PhD) Berlin as a Cinematic City
 Rachel Green (PhD) Contemporary Austrian Film and the Image of the Family
 Rachel Green (MA) Contemporary Heimat Film
 Joanna Gilbert (PhD)
Gender and the films of Alexander Kluge
 Elizabeth Ward (PhD) Representing Jewish Identity in GDR Film
  Stephen Connor (PhD) Contemporary 'Apocalyptic' Cinema
 Nicole Sparwasser (PhD) The British representation of the GDR during the Cold War
 Sarah Metcalf (PhD) Surrealism and the films of Jan Švankmeyer
 Anastasia Malama (PhD) New Realism in Contemporary Independent Filmmaking
 Lee Broughton (PhD)  The European Western
 Karina Berger (PhD) Representations of German Female Wartime Suffering in Contemporary Writing 
 Klemens Czyzdlylo (PhD)   The Autorenfilm today Tykwer and Haneke
Tiago de Luca (PhD) Realism of the Senses: a Tendency in Contemporary World Cinema 
Jenny McKay (PhD) 
Representing the German Democratic Republic in literature since the Wende: the case of emergin East German Writers
 Martine Roick (MA)  Representing the East German Past in the Enquete Kommissions 
 Chris Homewood (PhD) Renegotiating Terror: Representations of West German Urbanterrorism in the films of the New German Cinema to the Present Day



  • Contemporary German Cinema, pp. 286, Manchester, MUP, 2012  
  • Representing East Germany: From Colonization to Nostalgia, pp. 236., Oxford, Berg, 2005.
  • The Pocket Essential to German Expressionist Film, 96 pp., London, Pocket Essential Press, 2002.
  • Speaking the Taboo: a study of the work of Wolfgang Hilbig, 247 pp., Amsterdam/Atlanta, Rodopi, 2000. 

Edited Volumes

  • The Lives of Others and Contemporary German Cinema, pp. 294, Berlinde Gruyter, 2013.
  • with  Chris Homewood, Recent Trends In German Cinema, 256 pp., London, I.B. Tauris, 2011.
  • with Marc Silberman, Screening War: Perspectives on German Suffering, 304 pp., Rochester, Camden House, 2010.
  • Dialogues with Hollywood: the place of American Film to World Cinema , 266 pp., Basingstoke , Palgrave ( 2007)  
  • with Rob Stone, Screening Identities: Special edition of Journal of European Studies 15: 1( 2007)   
  • with Danielle Hipkins, ECRF 2005: Special edition of Studies in European Cinema 3:3 (2006)  
  • with Jonathan Grix (eds.), East Germany - Continuity and Change: German Monitor, 46, 185 pp., 2000.  
  • with Rob Stone, Images of Europe in European Film: Special edition of New Cinemas 4:2 (2006)  
  • with Stuart Taberner (eds), German Culture, Politics, and Literature into the Twenty-First Century Beyond Normalization, 245pp, Rochester: Camden House, 2006.   
  • with Rob Stone (eds.), Special Edition of Studies in European Cinema, 2/1, 2004  
  • with Andrew Plowman (eds.), German Writers and the Politics of Culture: Dealing with the Stasi, 261pp., Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2003.  
  • with Jonathan Grix (eds.), East German Distinctiveness in a unified Germany, 171pp., Birmingham, University of Birmingham Press, 2002.

Book Chapters

  • ‘The German Flavour of Europudding: the Place of Europe in Contemporary German Film’, in The Routledge Handbook for German Politics and Society, ed. by Sarah Colvin, London, Routledge, 2013, forthcoming.
  • ‘Von Donnersmarck’s Dialogue with Hollywood: from The Lives of Others to The Tourist (2010)’, in The Lives of Others and Contemporary German Cinema, pp.221-40.
  • 'Watching the Stasi: authenticity, Ostalgie and history in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's The Lives of Others (2006)', , in New Directions in German Cinema, ed. by Paul Cooke and Chris Homewood, London, I.B. Tauris, 2011, pp. 111-127. 
  • with Chris Homewood, 'Beyond the Cinema of Consensus? New Directions in German Cinema since 2000', in New Directions in German Cinema, ed. by Paul Cooke and Chris Homewood, London, I.B. Tauris, 2011, pp. 1-20. 
  • with  Marc Silberman, 'German Suffering?', in Screening War: Perspectives on German Suffering, ed. By Paul Cooke and Marc Silberman, pp. 1-16,  Rochester, Camden House, 2010.  
  • 'The Limits of Consensual Filmmaking? Representing National Socialism on the Screen and German 'Normalisation', in Aesthetics and Politics in Modern German Culture, ed. By Brigid Haines, Stephen Parker and Colin Riordan, pp. 65-77, London, Peter Lang, 2010.  
  • 'GDR Literature" in the Berlin Republic', Stuart Taberner (ed.), Contemporary German Fiction: Writing in the Berlin Republic, pp. 56-71, Cambridge, CUP, 2007. 
  • 'From Dr Seltsam to Lieutenant Surf: The Berlin "Vorlesebuhnen" and Contemporary German Literature', Julian Preece, Frank Finlay and Ruth J. Owen (eds), New German Literature: Life-Writing and Dialogue within the Arts, vol 1, pp. 161-181, Bern, Peter Lang, 2007. 
  • 'Introduction: World Cinema's "Dialogues" with Hollywood, in Dialogues with Hollywood, pp. 1-16.
  • 'From Caligari to Edward Scissorhands: the continuing metacinematic journey of German Expressionism', in Dialogues with Hollywood, pp. 17-34.
  • with Stuart Taberner, 'Introduction', in German Culture, Politics, and Literature into the Twenty-First Century , pp. 1-17.
  • 'Abnormal Consensus The New Internationalism of German Cinema',in German Culture, Politics, and Literature into the Twenty-First Century , pp. 223-237. 
  • 'German Neo-noir Film', Andrew Spicer (ed.), European Film Noir , pp. 164-184, Manchester, MUP, 2006.
  • 'The Continually Suffering Nation? Cinematic Representations of German Victimhood', in Bill Niven, (ed.), Germans as Victims: Remembering the Past in Contemporary Germany, pp. 76-92, Basingstoke , Palgrave, 2006.
  • with Christopher Young, 'Selling Sex or Dealing with History? German football in literature and film and the quest to normalize the nation Selling Sex or Dealing with History? German football in literature and film and the quest to normalize the nation', Alan Tomlinson, Christopher Young (eds), German Football: History, Culture, Society , pp. 181-203, London , Routledge, 2005.
  • 'East German Writing in the Age of Globalisation', Stuart Taberner (ed.), Literature and Globalisation, pp. Birmingham, University of Birmingham Press, 2004.
  • 'The Stasi as Panopticon: Wolfgang Hilbig's »Ich«', Paul Cooke and Andrew Plowman (eds.), German Writers and the Politics of Culture: Dealing with the Stasi pp. 139-153, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2003.
  • 'German Cultural Studies', Jonathan Grix (ed.), Approaches to the Study of Contemporary Germany, pp. 78-112, Birmingham, University of Birmingham Press, 2002. 
  • 'Literature and the Question of East German Cultural Identity since the Wende', Paul Cooke and Jonathan Grix (eds.), East German Distinctiveness in a unified Germany, pp. 151-167, Birmingham, University of Birmingham Press, 2002.
  • 'From Opfer to Täter? Identity and the Stasi in Post-Wende East German Literature', Martin Kane (ed.), Legacies and identity: East and West German literary responses to unification, pp. 51-66, Oxford, Peter Lang, 2002. 
  • 'Countering "Realitätsverlust": Wolfgang Hilbig and the Postmodern Condition', Ronald Speirs (ed.), The Writers' Morality: Festschrift for Michael Butler, pp. 121-142, Oxford, Peter Lang, 2000. 
  • 'Aufarbeitung oder Ästhetisierung? Die Stasi-Vergangenheit in der Literatur: Wolfgang Hilbigs »Ich«, Heiner Timmermann (ed.), Die DDR- Politik und Ideologie als Instrument, pp. 859-871, Berlin: Dunker & Humblot, 1999.  

 Journal Articles

  •  ‘Reconfiguring the National Community Transnationally: teamWorx, Television and the “Eventization” of German History’, Modern Languages Review, 108, 597-617, 2013.
    'The Long Shadow of the New German Cinema: Deutschland 09 (2009), Deutschland im Herbst (1978) and National Film Culture', Screen,  52/3, 327-341, 2011. 
  • 'Recent Trends in German Film Studies', Monateshefte, 102, 384-399, 2010.
    'Dresden(2006), TeamWorx and Titanic (1997): German Wartime Suffering as Hollywood Disaster Movie', in German Life and Letters, 61, 279-294, 2008.
  • 'Supporting Contemporary German Film: How Triumphant is the Free Market?' , in Journal of Contemporary European Studies 15:1, 35-46, 2007.
  • 'Oliver Hirschbiegel's Der Untergang (2004): an image of German Wartime Suffering too far?', German Monitor, 67, 247-261, 2007.
  • Ostalgie's Not What It Used to Be: The German Television GDR Craze of 2003, German Politics & Society Vol. 22 · No. 4, 2004.
  • 'Surfing for Eastern Difference: Ostalgie, Identity and Cyberspace', Seminar, 40, 207-220, 2004.
  • 'Whatever happened to Veronica Voss? Rehabilitating the "68ers" and the problem of Westalgie in Oskar Roehler's Die Unberührbare (2000)', German Studies Review, 27, 33-44, 2004.
  • Paul Cooke, 'Ostdeutsche kulturelle Identität und der Cyberspace', Berliner Debatte Initial, 1 15-26, 2003
  • 'Escaping the burden of the past: Questions of East German Identity in the Work of Ingo Schramm', Seminar, 27, 33-44, 2003.
  • 'Beyond a Trotzidentität? Storytelling and the Postcolonial Voice in Ingo Schulze's Simple Storys', Forum for Modern Language Studies, 39, 290-305, 2003.
  • 'Performing Ostalgie: Leander Haußmann's Sonnenallee', German Life and Letters, 56, 156-167, 2003.
  • 'The Krimi and the Criminal State: Wolfgang Hilbig's Eine Übertragung', Modern Languages Review, 96, 1029-1041, 2001.
  • '"Das schreiende Amt": the "Bourgeois" Tradition and the Problem of "Objectivity" in Wolfgang Hilbig's abwesenheit', German Life and Letters, 53, 261-278, 2000.
  • 'Continuity and Taboo: Sexual Repression and Vergangenheitsbewältigung in Wolfgang Hilbig's Die Weiber', East Germany - Continuity and Change: German Monitor, 46, 1-14, 2000.
    with Nicholas Hubble, 'Die volkseigene Opposition? The State, the Stasi and the Alternative Culture in the GDR', German Politics, 6/2, 117-138, 1997.


  • Georg Büchner, Woyzeck, London, Larks Theatre, 1996, translated by Paul Cooke. First performed at the Bird's Nest Theatre, London, 10 September 1996. 

Other projects  

  • Co-editor of the New Germany in Context book series, with Dr. Jonathan Grix, published by the University of Birmingham Press.
    Co-editor of New Cinemas (Journal of Contemporary Film, published by Intellect Press)
    On the advisory board for Studies in European Cinema (published by Intellect Press) 
  • Part of an International Networks Project Beyond 'Normalisation': Politics, Culture and Society in Germany in the Social Democratic Era funded by the The British Academy  
  • Principal Investigator in International Networks Project Screening  Identities: 
    Reconfiguring Identity Politics in Contemporary European Cinema funded by the The British Academy
  • Co-investigator on Major AHRC award on 'Discourses on German Wartime Suffering'
  • Principal Investigator on a BA/WUN-funded project in collaboration with Professor Marc Silberman, Wisconsin Madison, 'Screening War in Germany'.  

Conferences Organised

  • ‘Screening European Heritage’, Weetwood Hall, November 2012.
  • ‘The Lives of Others and Contemporary German Film’, Weetwood Hall, December 2011.
  • 'Postwall German Cinema', a film series curated during the 2009 Leeds International Film Festival, to coincide with the 20 anniversary of the Wende
  • Screening War workshop in Leeds, July 2007 and in Wisconsin in November 2008East Germany: Continuity and Change 1945-1998, held at the Institute for German Studies, University of Birmingham, May 1998.
  • European Cinema Research Forum, July 2005.
  • Screening Identities: Second Annual Conference of the European Cinema Research Forum, University of Wales Aberystwyth, January 2002
  • Workshop on European Identity in Contemporary European Cinema, University of Leeds, May 2003
  • University of Wales German Studies Conference, Gregynog Hall, November 1999
  • Workshop on 'Representations of the Stasi in German Literature', University of Liverpool, April 2001
  • Workshop on 'East Germany Today', Institute for German Studies, University of Birmingham, June 2001