Kaes, Anton 1945-

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KAES, Anton 1945-


Born February 4, 1945, in Eggenfelden, Germany; married Christine M. Kaes (a teacher), 1982; children: Bettina, Peter. Education: University of Munich, M.A., 1970; Stanford University, Ph.D., 1973.


Office—5415 Dwinelle Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720. E-mail—[email protected].


University of California at Irvine, assistant professor, 1973-77, associate professor of comparative literature and film, 1977-81, director of comparative literature department, 1978-81; University of California at Berkeley, professor, 1981—, director of film studies program, 1991-98.


President's Research Fellowship, Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation, 1978; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 1984-85 and 1986-87; Guggenheim Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1990; Research Fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1994; University of California, 1995.


Expressionismus in Amerika: Rezeption u. Innovation, Niemeyer (Tübingen, Germany), 1975.

(Editor, with Bernhard Zimmermann) Literatur für viele: Studien zur Trivialliteratur und Massenkommunikation im 19 und 20 Jahrhundert, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (Göttingen, Germany), 1975.

(Editor) Kino-Debatte: Texte zum Verhältnis von Literatur u. Film 1909-1929, Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag (Munich, Germany), 1978.

(Editor, with Benjamin Bennett and William J. Lillyman) Probleme der Moderne: Studien zur deutschen Literatur von Nietzsche bis Brecht: Festschrift für Walter Sokel, M. Niemeyer (Tübingen), 1983.

(Editor) Weimarer Republik: Manifeste und Dokumente zur deutschen Literatur 1918-1933: mit einer Einleitung und Kommentaren, Metzler (Stuttgart, Germany), 1983.

Deutschlandbilder: die Wiederkehr der Geschichte als Film, Edition Text & Kritik (Munich, Germany), 1987.

From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History As Film, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1989.

(Editor, with Wolfgang Jacobsen and Hans Helmut Prinzler) Geschichte des deutschen Films, Metzler (Stuttgart, Germany), 1993.

(Editor, with Martin Jay and Edward Dimendberg) The Weimar Republic Sourcebook, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1994.

M, BFI Pulications (London, England), 2000.

Contributor of articles to The Oxford History of World Cinema, and to numerous journals and anthologies.


The Wounded Nation: German Cinema after the Great War, a cultural history of cinema in the Weimar Republic, for Princeton University Press.


Born in Germany, Anton Kaes earned his doctorate in the U.S. and pursued an academic career in California. He has edited and written a number of volumes in German and English on German film and twentieth-century cultural history.

Kaes's 1989 work, From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History As Film, closely analyzes five films: Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's Hitler: A Film from Germany, released in 1977; Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Marriage of Maria Braun, 1979; Alexander Kluge's The Patriot, 1979; Helma Sanders-Brahms's Germany, Pale Mother, 1980; and Edgar Reitz's Heimat, 1984. Kaes considers each film in relation to the rest of its director's oeuvre, as well as to its wider historical context. Kaes's book responds to Siegfried Kracauer's influential 1947 study From Caligari to Hitler, which sought to expose in early German cinema a propensity toward fascism; From Hitler to Heimat explores the New German Cinema's responses to the country's fascist past. These five films were produced in an anxious and reflective period, in the wake of the 1979 broadcast on German television of NBC's series Holocaust, and "in the aftermath of the wave of terrorist violence which rocked the Federal Republic and traumatized its political consciousness in 1977 and led to repressive governmental security measures," as Joachim Whale remarked in the Journal of European Studies. According to a reviewer for the Journal of Modern Literature, Kaes "surmis[es] that the filmmakers made these films partly to reclaim German history from foreign representation of it." Assessing Kaes's contribution, a reviewer for the Journal of Modern Literature called From Hitler to Heimat an "engaging and thoroughly researched book," and James Franklin, in a review for the American Historical Review, concluded, "Kaes's work succeeds precisely because it so thoroughly examines a limited, undeniably significant subject."

Kaes later coedited a volume of primary sources from Germany's Weimar period, including writings of Hannah Arendt, Adolf Hitler, and Kurt Weill. Thomas G. Anton, in a review of The Weimar Republic Source-book for Library Journal, noted "the selections are geared heavily toward cultural developments rather than politics and leadership," but nevertheless called it "a richly diverse collection." More recently Kaes wrote a monograph on Fritz Lang's silent masterpiece M, for a series produced by the British Film Institute. Leger Grindon, in Film Quarterly, described Kaes's contribution as one of the best in the series. Kaes continues to teach and conduct research in film theory, cultural studies and literary theory, and German cultural history, particularly of the Weimar period.



American Historical Review, April, 1991, James Franklin, review of From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History As Film, pp. 545-546.

Film Quarterly, spring, 2002, Leger Grindon, review of M, pp. 61-63.

Journal of European Studies, June, 1991, Joachim Whale, review of From Hitler to Heimat, pp. 161-162.

Journal of Modern Literature, fall-winter, 1990, review of From Hitler to Heimat, pp. 322-323.

Library Journal, June 15, 1994, Thomas G. Anton, review of The Weimar Republic Sourcebook, p. 62.


UC Berkeley Department of German,http://german.berkeley.edu/people/profiles.html/ (September 27, 2003), author profile.*