I am generally interested in historical and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of modern culture. Within this framework I also have a number of more specific interests, including visual culture, the various technologies and institutions that produce it, and the historical experiences associated with them. I have published on several forms of nineteenth-century display culture, including zoological gardens, ethnographic exhibitions, and Wild West shows in Germany. I have also published on the interrelationship of science, technology, and popular culture in specific situations: the vital importance of the phonograph and the archive to the formation of ethnomusicology, and the cinema’s function as an instrument of cultural power in the writings of Hugo Münsterberg. I am co-editor of Germany’s Colonial Pasts (Nebraska, 2005) and author of Carl Hagenbeck’s Empire of Entertainments (Washington, 2009) and of Ferocious Reality: Documentary according to Werner Herzog (Minnesota, 2012). My edited collection, Werner Herzog: Interviews (Mississippi, 2014), is now available in paperback. Most recently, I published a little book on Aguirre, the Wrath of God in the BFI Film Classics series.
Currently, I am working with my colleagues to develop a new graduate degree program in Cinema and Media Studies. In Autumn 2019, I will teach a new version of CMS 271: Great Directors, focusing on the films of Werner Herzog. And in Spring 2020, I will lead the Senior Capstone course, CMS 480, exploring the intersection of documentary and avant-garde cinemas.
- Eric Ames. Aguirre, the Wrath of God. BFI Film Classics. Palgrave Macmillan / British Film Institute, 2016.
- Eric Ames, ed. Werner Herzog: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi, 2014. Paperback 2015.
- Eric Ames. Ferocious Reality: Documentary according to Werner Herzog. University of Minnesota Press, 2012.
- Eric Ames. Carl Hagenbeck's Empire of Entertainments. University of Washington Press, 2009.
- Eric Ames, Marcia Klotz, Lora Wildenthal, eds. Germany's Colonial Pasts. University of Nebraska Press, 2005.
- New faculty publication: Aguirre, the Wrath of God - September 27, 2016
- Cinema Dissection at SIFF - October 22, 2015
- Notes from the Chair - September 29, 2015
- Eric Ames featured on The Whole U - March 27, 2015
- Filmmaker Werner Herzog examined in new book of interviews - May 19, 2014
- New faculty publication: Werner Herzog: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers) - April 4, 2014