Stefan Soldovieri

Chair [on leave Fall 2022] & Associate Professor of German

Contact info

St. George Campus Office
University of Toronto
Odette Hall 320
50 St. Joseph Street
Toronto, ON M5S 3L5

Phone: 416-926-2323
Secretary: 416-926-2324

Office Hours


Classes 2022-2023

On leave Fall 2022


Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA Duke University
Freie Universität Berlin
Universität Freiburg

Teaching Interests

German Cinema and Cinema Studies, 20th-21st Century German Literature and Cultural Studies, Cold War Culture, Popular Culture, The Future, Tactical German Studies

Research Interests

Remaking the Movies in German Cinemas: Art, Industry, Globalization
The project opens up a new perspective on German cinema, examining the largely unappreciated role of the remake in the history of German cinemas from the beginnings of the medium in the mid-1890s to our multi-media and global present. Considering German reprises of domestic and international precursors, foreign reworkings of German classics, and concept films that self-consciously reflect on the idea of remaking itself, I explore the different modes of remaking as historically shifting and multivalent forms of cultural recycling. The remake phenomenon highlights the tensions between art and industry that are frequently ignored in German film studies. The project’s attention to the frequently transnational valence of the remake complicates the idea of the “national” in German film culture, placing it in its proper global context.

SSHRC Project: Cold War Diversions: Inter-German Film Relations and Popular Cinema
My work on the contentious relations between the cinemas of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) has focused primarily on genre films produced at the height of the cold war during the 1950s and early 1960s. The project has uncovered an unappreciated cinematic dialogue operating on narrative, formal, ideological, and material/industrial levels. My findings have helped to re-conceive what have previously been considered as the separate histories of film in East and West Germany in terms of a fundamentally linked – if frequently diverging – history of cinematic dialogue.

Managing the Movies: Censorship, Modernisation, and the GDR Film Crisis of 1965/66
The book examines the most massive instance of censorship in the history of German cinema. It offers a framework for understanding how censorship functioned under state socialism in East Germany during a critical juncture in the country’s history as modernization efforts in many areas of society met opposition from entrenched ideologues. Whereas previous studies have seen the ideological crackdown of the mid-1960s as a convulsion of totalitarian power typical of authoritarian regimes, I show that the film crisis was not merely another flashpoint of culture and politics in the GDR’s crisis-ridden history, but part and parcel of a complex and uneven process of modernisation within GDR society that affected social, economic and cultural spheres.

Recent Publications

“Betting on Genre: The Cold War Scandal of Spielbankaffäre (1957).” Re-Imagining DEFA: East German Cinema in National and Transnational Context. Eds. Sean Allan and Sebastian Heiduschke. Berghahn: New York/Oxford. Forthcoming 2016.

“Not Only Entertainment: Sights and Sounds of the DEFA Music Film.” DEFA at the Crossroads of East German and International Film Culture. Eds. Marc Silberman and Henning Wrage. DeGruyter: Berlin, 2014. 133-155.

“Sozialistische Sichtweisen. DDR-Kinoarchitektur vom repräsentativen Nationalismus zur internationalen Moderne.” DEFA International. Grenzüberschreitende Filmbeziehungen vor und nach dem Mauerbau. Springer: Wiesbaden 2013. 113-129.

“Socialists in Outer Space: East German Film’s Venusian Adventure. A Companion to Eastern European Cinemas, ed. Aniko Imre. Blackwell: Oxford, 2012. 201-223.

“Edgar Wallace goes East: Locations of Genre and German Identities in Joachim Hasler’s Fog (Nebel, GDR 1962),” The Meaning of Culture, eds. Martin Kagel & Laura Tate. Camden House: New Jersey, 2009. 146-161.

“Germans Suffering in Spain: Cold War Visions of the Spanish Civil War.” Cinémas 18.1 (Fall 2007): 53-69.
“Finding Navigable Waters: Inter-German Film Relations and Modernization in Two DEFA Barge Films of the 1950s.” Film History 18.1 (2006): 59-72.

“Finding Navigable Waters: Inter-German Film Relations and Modernization in Two DEFA Barge Films of the 1950s.” Film History 18.1 (2006): 59-72.