Reinhild Steingröver

Professor of German




Photo Credit: Gerry Szymanski

Reinhild Steingröver is a Professor of German at the Eastman School of Music.  She is also an affiliate Professor of Film Studies in the Program of Film and Media Studies at the University of Rochester. Her main research interests focus on contemporary German film and literature, in particular the intersection of art and politics and the role of the artist in society.

Steingröver is the author of Last Features; East German Cinema’s Lost Generation (2014), which appeared in German translation as Spätvorstellung – Die chancenlose Generation der DEFA (2014). She also authored a monograph on Thomas Bernhard (2000) and co-edited with Randall Halle the volume After the Avant-garde: Engagements with Contemporary German and Austrian Experimental Film (Camden House, 2008), as well as the anthology Not so plain as Black and White; Afro-German History and Culture 1890-2000 (with Patricia Mazon, 2005). Steingröver’s publications include essays on DEFA film, Kerstin Hensel, Autobiographical writing, Lilian Faschinger, Werner Herzog, and Glenn Gould. She is currently writing a book on cinematic miniatures.

Steingröver has won many grants and awards, including from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the DEFA Foundation, the Suhrkamp Foundation, as well as the Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Eastman School of Music.  She has lectured widely in Germany, UK, Canada, and the US. Steingröver has curated silent film/live music programs for the George Eastman House, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Cinematheque Berlin.  In 2009 she co-curated with the DEFA Film Library at UMASS Amherst the film festival Wendeflicks – Last Films from East Germany in Los Angeles.


Works / Publications



Last Features – East German Cinema’s Lost Generation Camden House, 2014.  “Outstanding Academic Title List” Choice Magazine,2014.

Spätvorstellung-Die chancenlose Generation der DEFA Bertz & Fischer, Berlin, 2014, (my translation of Last Features).

After the Avant-garde: Engagements with Contemporary German and Austrian Experimental Film.
Edited with Randall Halle, Camden House, 2008.

“Not So Plain As Black and White:” Afro-German History and Culture 1890-2000. Edited with Patricia Mazón, University of Rochester Press, 2005.

Einerseits und Andererseits, Essays zur Prosa Thomas Bernhards. New York: Peter Lang, 2000, in the series “Literature and the Science of Man.” Editor Peter Heller. 

Book Manuscripts in Progress

Cinematic Miniatures—DEFA Short Films


‘Lies, Sex and Narrative; Confessional Politics in Magdalena the Sinner and Private Confessions.” Winning Back Lost Territory – The Writing of Lilian Faschinger. Eds. Vincent Kling, Laura McLary.  Riverside:  Ariadne Press. Invited contribution. 2014.

“Experimental Film” lead essay in History of World CinemaGermany 2. Ed. Michelle Langford. Bristol: Intellect Boooks, 2013.

“Encountering Herzog at the End of the World” in Blackwell Companion to Werner Herzog. Ed. Bradley Prager. London: Blackwell, March 2012.

“The Unread Manifesto: DEFA’s Last Generation” in New History of German Cinema. Ed. Michael Richardson, Jennifer Kapczynski. Camden House, September 2012.

“From Farbe Bekennen to Schololadenkind – Generational Change in Afro-German Autobiographies” in Generational Change in German Literature Ed. Lauren Cohen Pfister, Suzanne Vees-Guliani, Rochester: Camden House, 2011, 287-307.

“The Films of Jörg Foth.” Essay on Foth in special features section of DVD Latest aus der DaDaeR Amherst: Icestorm International 2009.

“Blackbox GDR – DEFA’s Untimely Avant-garde.” After the Avant-garde: Engagements with Contemporary German and Austrian Experimental Film. Edited with Randall Halle. 2008.

“Gesichter der DEFA” Introduction (German and English) to photographer Sandra Bergemann’s. Gesichter der DEFA/ Faces of DEFA.Edition Braus, 2008, 4-11, invited contribution.

“Filming the End of the Cold War.” A Fearsome Heritage-Traces of the Cold War.  Eds. John Schofield and Wayne Concroft.  London: University College of London Press, 2007.

“Narren und Clowns: Abschied von der DDR in den letzten Defaproduktionen.” apropos: Film 2005, Das Jahrbuch der DEFA-Stiftung. Ed. Ralf Schenk. Berlin: Das Neue Berlin. 2005, 37-57. Translated and expanded version of  “On Fools and Clowns.” Invited contribution

“On Fools and Clowns: Generational Farewell in Two Final DEFA Films; Egon Günther’s Stein and Jörg Foth’s Letztes aus der DaDaeR.” German Quarterly. 78.4 (Fall 2005) 441-460.

“’The most sharp-witted fool’: Glenn Gould, Schopenhauer and Thomas Bernhard.” Seminar, Journal for German Studies. 39:2 (May 2003): 135-52.

“Violent Acts- Comic Savagery in the Theater of Kerstin Hensel.” Violence and Patriarchy in Literature and the Arts: Perspectives for the New Millenium. Eds. Agatha Schwartz and Fernando Diega. Ottawa: Ottawa University Press, 2003, 87-98.

Not Fate, Just History.” Contemporary German Writers: Kerstin Hensel. Eds. Birgit Dahlke and Beth Linklater. Swansea: University of Wales Press, UK, 2002, 91-106.

“’Der Hellsichtigste aller Narren’: Diskurse über das Genie.” Thomas Bernhard, Die Zurichtung des Menschen. Eds. Alexander Honold and Markus Joch. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1999, 83-91.