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University of Pittsburgh

Randall Halle

Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German Film and Cultural Studies

Department Chair

Director of Graduate Studies

Other Appointments: Film Studies, European Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

1525 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


halle PhD, German Studies, Minor in Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1995.

MA, German Studies. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1987.

BS, German Studies. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1985.

Courses Taught

  • New German Cinema
  • Avant-garde Cinema
  • Visual Alterity
  • German Visual Cultural Studies
  • Proseminar in Literary and Cultural Theory
  • Die Kultur des dritten Reiches
  • Germany Today
  • Advanced Film Seminar


Randall Halle is the Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German Film and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the United States. During high school he was able to participate in an exchange program with the Kolleg St. Blasien in the Hochschwarzwald. This experience proved formative for him, directing him to the study of German culture. He studied at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, the University of Freiburg, the University of Utrecht, and the Free University in Berlin. He received his PhD from Madison in 1995. Halle works primarily on film, visual culture, and social philosophy. He is currently pursuing two different projects tentatively entitled Interzone Europe: Social Philosophy and the Transnational Imagination as well as Visual Alterity: Seeing Difference.

Halle has received numerous grants. Academic year 2004-2005 he was a Senior Fellow in the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at the Free University. In 2006 he was offered the honor of being the first occupant of the Jonas Chair at the University of Pittsburgh. Academic year 2009-2010 he was a Senior Fulbright Researcher in Berlin.


  • The Europeanization of Cinema: Interzones and Imaginative Communities. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2014.
  • German Film after Germany: Toward a Transnational Aesthetic. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2008.
  • After the Avant-garde: New Directions in Experimental Film. Rochester: Camden House Press, 2008.
  • Queer Social Philosophy: Critical Readings from Kant to Adorno. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2004.
  • Light Motives: German Popular Film in Perspective. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003.
  • Marginality and Alterity in Contemporary European Cinema. Special two volumes of Camera Obscura (44 & 46, Fall 2000, Spring 2001).
  • "Toward a Phenomenology of Emotion in Film: Michael Brynntrup and The Face of Gay Shame," in Modern Language Notes (2010).
  • “From Lyric to Militant: Experiments with the Turkish German Image.” Turkish German Dialogues on Screen in New Cinemas Journal (2010).
  • “European Film Beyond its Borders: Neo-Orientalism in Transnational Production Strategies.” Global art cinema: new theories and histories Roalind Galt and Karl Schoonhover eds. Oxford University Press (2010).

Working Papers

  • “Regional, National, Transnational: The European Interzone”
  • “The Eighties in Super-8: The German Small Film Revolution, East and West”
  • “Gay Rights as Human Rights: Warsaw and Berlin in Post-Wall Transnational Conciliation”


  • (Un)Popular Culture:
    As much as popular cultural has been theorized, it remains an elusive concept. High and low, mass and elite, typically discussions of popular culture reinstate even as they seek to overcome these oppositions. This project seeks to take this problem head on by considering instead what is unpopular culture. It positions itself with recent discussions of "the pretty," "nice," or other intermediate terms of aesthetic evaluation. It fosters in this way what we may understand Low Theory. Objects of analysis come primarily from visual culture.
  • Visual Alterity:
    Seeing Difference The discussion of alterity, the relationship to an other through which the sense of subjectivity arises in the individual, has received a great deal of attention beginning at least with Hegel. Although this attention has focused on recognition and appearance, the face of the other, or the phenomenology of perception, it has not interrogated the visual aspects of alterity. How does recognition of the other arise in a visual field. This study addresses that lacuna by focusing on aspects of alterity in film and other visual media.

Awards and Honors

  • Fulbright Senior Research Grant, 2010.
  • NEH Senior Fellow in the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies of the Freie Universität in Berlin 2004-2005
  • G. Graydon Curtis and Jane W. Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching for a Nontenured Member of the Faculty, University of Rochester 2002.
  • DAAD Summer Research Grant, 1999.
  • NEH Summer Research Grant, 1995.

Professional Membership/Offices

  • German Studies Association
  • Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • Modern Language Association