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Evan Torner

Title: Undergraduate Director and Assistant Professor, German Studies
Office: 730 Old Chemistry Building
Tel: 513-556-2749
Email: torneren@ucmail.uc.edu
Web: http://guyintheblackhat.wordpress.com

Evan Torner defended his dissertation on race representation in East German genre cinema at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013, and spent 2013-2014 at Grinnell College as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow. He has published several articles pertaining to East Germany, critical race theory, DEFA Indianerfilme, science-fiction, transnational genre cinema, and game studies, as well as co-edited several books. His volume Immersive Gameplay: Essays on Role-Playing and Participatory Media co-edited with William J. White was published with McFarland Publishing in 2012, and he is one of the founding editors of the Analog Game Studies journal (http://analoggamestudies.org). His major projects underway include the Handbook of East German Cinema: The DEFA Legacy, co-edited with Henning Wrage and under contract with Walter De Gruyter, and a monograph entitled A Century and Beyond: Critical Readings of German Science-Fiction Cinema.


  • B.A. with honors, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA, 2004 (German, Second Language Education Grades 7-12).
  • M.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, 2008 (German Studies).
  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, 2013 (German Studies with Film Studies Certificate).

Research Information

Research Interests

Primary Research Interests
East German (DEFA) cinema
Transnational genre cinema
Critical Race Theory / Postcolonialism
Science-Fiction (1871 - Present)
Game Studies
Marx and the Global Left

Additional Areas of Interest
Technology and Masculinity
Works of Alfred Döblin
European Film History
Digital Archival Practices
18th-20th Century Literature and Drama
Electronic Music
DaDa and Surrealism
Second-Language Acquisition
Asexuality in the Media
Role-playing Game Theory
Live-Action Role-Playing (Larp)
Analog Game Studies
Digital Adventure Games

Research Support

  • Committee on Support for Faculty Scholarship Grant (declined for Cincinnati position), Grinnell College. 2013 to 2014.
  • Stipend for DAAD Summer Seminar in German Studies at Cornell University, DAAD. 06-2012 to 07-2012.
  • Funding for “Sensing Senses” Graduate Conference, DAAD. 03-2012 to 03-2012.
  • Publication Grant, “Die HFF ‘Konrad Wolf’ im globalen Kontext” with Barton Byg , DEFA-Stiftung. 2011 to 2011.
  • Project Grant, Summer Film Workshop “Cold War, Hot Media: DEFA in the Third World,” , DEFA-Stiftung. 2011 to 2011.
  • Dean’s Fellowship, University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts. 2010 to 2011.
  • Graduate Research Fellowship, Fulbright. 09-2009 to 07-2010.
  • Graduate Fellowship (declined for Fulbright), DAAD. 2009 to 2010.
  • Graduate Fellowship, University of Massachusetts Amherst. 2008 to 2009.


Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Torner, Evan (2011). “The Red and the Black: Race in the DEFA Film Osceola.”. New German Review, 25, 61-81.
  • Torner, Evan (2011). “Rassenpanik in naher Zukunft: Die nihilistische Moderne und imperialistische Sittenlehre in Carola von Eynattens Pereat Austria!”. germanistik.ch, 8, 166-187.
  • Torner, Evan (2014). “A Future-History Out of Time: The Historical Context of Döblin's Expressionist Dystopian Experiment, Mountains Oceans and Giants”. Detectives, Dystopias and Poplit: Studies in Modern German Genre Fiction, 90-118.
  • Torner, Evan (2014). “Casting for a Socialist Earth: Multicultural Whiteness in the East German/Polish Science- Fiction Film Silent Star". Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film, 130-149.
  • Torner, Evan (2011). "The Theory and Practice of Larp in Non-Fiction Film". Think Larp, 104-123.

Published Books

  • Evan Torner and Victoria Lenshyn (Eds.) (2009). MYTH: German & Scandinavian Studies. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press (Co-Editor).
  • Evan Torner and William J. White (Eds.) (2012). Immersive Gameplay: Essays on Role-playing and Participatory Media. Jefferson, NC: McFarland (Co-Editor).
  • Michael Wedel, Barton Byg, Andy Räder, Sky Arndt-Briggs u. Evan Torner, hrsg. (2013). DEFA International: Grenzüberschreitende Filmbeziehungen vor und nach dem Mauerbau. Wiesbaden: VS Springer Verlag (Co-Editor).
  • Barton Byg, Sky Arndt-Briggs and Evan Torner (2015). (In Progress). Travels and Travails: East German Cinema in the International Arena. New York: Berghahn Books (Co-Editor).
  • Henning Wrage and Evan Torner (2015). (In Progress). The Handbook of East German Cinema: The DEFA Legacy.. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter (Co-Editor).

Book Chapters

  • Torner, Evan (2007). “To the End of a Universe - A Brief History of the DEFA Science Fiction Film”. From Weimar to Christiania. (pp.89-106). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Scholars Press.
  • Torner, Evan (2010). “Civilization's Endless Shadow: Time of the Wolf.”. The Blackwell Companion to Michael Haneke (pp.532-550). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Torner, Evan (2012). “The Poles of Wantonness: Asexuality in Alan Moore’s Film Adaptations”. Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore (pp.111-123). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
  • Byg, Barton and Evan Torner (2013). “Divided Dirigisme: Nationalism, Regionalism and Reform in the German Film Academies”. The Education of the Filmmaker in Europe, Australia, and Asia (pp.105-126). New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
  • Torner, Evan (2015). (Under Review). “Adventures in Stagnation: Gottfried Kolditz’s Unfilmed DEFA Project Zimtpiraten”. German Television: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives New York: Berghahn Books.
  • Torner, Evan (2015). “Nation and Adventure in Die Jagd nach dem Schatz der Nibelungen (2008)". Televising the Past: Small Screen Medievalisms Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
  • Torner, Evan and Victoria Rizo Lenshyn (2015). (In Press). "Imposed Dialogues: Joerg Foth and Tran Vu's GDR- Vietnamese Co-Production Dschungelzeit (1988)". Comrades of Color: East Germany and the Varieties of World Socialism New York: Berghahn Books.
  • Torner, Evan (2015). (Under Review). “The DEFA ‘Indianerfilm’: Narrating the Postcolonial through Gojko Mitic". Re-imagining DEFA. East German Cinema in its National and Transnational Context New York: Berghahn Books.
  • Torner, Evan (2015). (In Progress). "DEFA and the Third World: A Taxonomy of Transnationalisms". GDR Film and the Global Cold War New York: Berghahn Books.
  • Torner, Evan (2012). “Where the Game Begins: Kid Nation and Systemic Violence”. Immersive Gameplay: Essays on Role-playing and Participatory Media (pp.127-146). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Electronic Journal Articles

  • Torner, Evan (2010). "The Cinematic Defeat of Brecht by Artaud in Peter Brook’s Marat/Sade"., 1 (1).
  • Torner, Evan (2010). “Transnational System Schlock: The Case of Uwe Boll”., 2.
  • Torner, Evan (2014). "The DEFA Indianerfilm as Artifact of Resistance."., 4.

Encyclopedia Articles

  • Torner, Evan (2015). (In Progress). “Wunschkonzert (1940),” “Die Nibelungen (1924),” “Cyankali (1930),”. German Cinema: A Critical Filmography to 1945.
  • Torner, Evan (2014). "The Blue Angel (1930)". Routledge Encyclopedia of Films. (pp.94-98).
  • Torner, Evan (2014). "The Blum Affair (1948)," “Director: Gottfried Kolditz,” “The German Musical,” “Midnight Revue (1962),” “Three Good Friends (1930),” “The Zernik Murder Case (1972).” . World Cinema Directory: Germany
  • Torner, Evan (2013). "'Das Steckenpferd' und die Jugendzeitschriften der fünfziger Jahre." . Handbuch Nachkriegskultur: Literatur, Sachbuch und Film in Deutschland (1945-1962) (pp.652-4).
  • Torner, Evan (2012). “Faust (1926),” “The German Adventure Film,” “The German Fantastic Film,” “Krabat (2008),” “Tecumseh (1972),” “The Tiger of Eschnapur / The Indian Tomb (1959).”. World Cinema Directory: Germany

    Popular Magazine Articles

    • Torner, Evan (2014). "Uncertainty in Analog Role-Playing Games, Part 1". Analog Game Studies, 1 (1).
    • Torner, Evan (2014). "Uncertainty in Analog Role-Playing Games, Part 2". Analog Game Studies, 1 (2).
    • Torner, Evan (2013). "Transparency and Safety in Role-Playing Games". WyrdCon Companion Book 2013, 14-17.
    • Torner, Evan (2013). "Air Castles Built on Concrete". The Official Book of Knutepunkt 2013: Crossing Physical Borders, 9-20.
    • Torner, Evan (2012). "Futurity and Larp". WyrdCon Companion Book 2012, 70-84.
    • Evan Torner and M.-Niclas Heckner (2014). Wolfenstein: The New Order. History Respawned.
    • Torner, Evan (2012). "Playing with Plague or Solmukohta 2012". Playground Magazine (6), 48-52.

    Additional Publications

    Creative Translation

    • Döblin, Alfred. (Carl Gelderloos and Evan Torner, trans.) (2016)..
    • Torner, Evan (2015). Potsdam-Babelsberg: rbb.
    • Torner, Evan (2013). Potsdam-Babelsberg: Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen "Konrad Wolf".
    • Torner, Evan (2012). Brookline, MA: Memory Productions.


    • Torner, Evan (2015). (Rev. of Von Außen- und Innenräumen – Eine Analyse zeitgenössischer deutschsprachiger Science-Fiction-Literatur). Gegenwartsliteratur. St. Louis: Washington University.
    • Torner, Evan (2013). (Rev. of Legal Tender: Love and Legitimacy in the East German Cultural Imagination). EDGE: German & Scandinavian Studies. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Amherst.
    • Torner, Evan (2012). "States of Stasis" (Rev. of States of Play). Playground Magazine (5). Copenhagen: Rollespilsakademiet.
    • Torner, Evan (2011). "To Complicate a Vision" (Rev. of Vision – Aus dem Leben von Hildegard von Bingen). H-German Reviews. East Lansing, MI: H-German.
    • Torner, Evan (2010). (Rev. of After the Digital Divide? - German Aesthetic Theory in the Age of New Media). Focus on German Studies (17). Cincinnati, OH: University of Cincinnati.
    • Torner, Evan (2010). (Rev. of Die Zeit der Kunst. Literatur, Film und Fernsehen in der DDR der 1960er Jahre. Eine Kulturgeschichte in Beispielen.). The German Quarterly 83.4..
    • Torner, Evan (2010). "Fragments of Socialist Film Worlds" (Rev. of Film im Sozialismus - Die DEFA). H-German Reviews. East Lansing, MI: H-German.

    Experience & Service

    Work Experience

    • 2014 to To Present, Assistant Professor of German Studies, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.
    • 2013 to 2014, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in German, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA.
    • 2012 to 2013, Visiting Lecturer in German, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
    • 2009 to 2010, Fulbright Research Fellow, Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen "Konrad Wolf", Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany.
    • 2006 to 2009, Program Assistant, DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA.
    • 2010 to 2011, College of Humanities and Fine Arts Dean's Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA.
    • 2010 to 2011, Translator of the permanent exhibition Dream Factory – 100 Years of Babelsberg, Filmmuseum Potsdam, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany.

    Courses Taught

      Level: Undergraduate

    • Level: Graduate