Associate Professor of German and Women's and Gender Studies Dr. Hester Baer joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma in Fall 2002. She received her Ph.D. in German from Washington University in St. Louis, where she also earned a graduate certificate in Women's Studies. Her education included a fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to conduct research in Berlin and exchange years in Tübingen and Vienna. After completing her degree, Dr. Baer spent a year at Duke University as the Lisa Lee and Marc Ewing Postdoctoral Fellow in German Studies and Women's Studies. In 2007, she was awarded the Irene Rothbaum Prize for the Outstanding Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, and in 2012 she won the Cecil B. Woods Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Modern Foreign Languages. She serves as affiliate faculty in Film and Media Studies and Judaic Studies at OU, where she teaches courses on literary theory, feminist research methods, German cinema, the culture of Weimar Germany, postwar German culture and literature, and the city of Berlin. She also accompanied a group of OU students on the inaugural OU Summer in Germany program in 2009. Dr. Baer has served on the Steering Committee of Women in German and as the president of the South Central Modern Language Association. In 2012, she began a two-year elected term as President of Women in German, having served since 2010 as Vice President. The recipient of a Fulbright award for travel to Germany in 2004, she will spend summer 2012 in Berlin on a DAAD Research Visit Grant to conduct research for her new book project.
Dr. Baer's research interests focus on gender and popular culture, with particular emphasis on German film and literature from the postwar period. She is the author of Dismantling the Dream Factory: Gender, German Cinema, and the Postwar Quest for a New Film Language (Berghahn Books, 2009), which came out in paperback in 2012. She has also published articles and book chapters on women's cinema in Germany; on the role of sound in German cinema from the 1950s; on the women's magazine Film und Frau and 1950s film audiences; on the transition from popular to avant-garde filmmaking practices in Germany in the early 1960s; on transnational cinema and the Mexican film Y tu mamá también; on contemporary German women writers; and on gender and the Holocaust. Dr. Baer is the translator and co-editor of The Blessed Abyss: Inmate #6582 in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp for Women by Nanda Herbermann (Wayne State UP, 2000), originally published in Germany in 1946. She is the guest editor of a special issue of the journal Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature 35.1 (2011), entitled "Contemporary Women's Writing and the Return of Feminism in Germany." Her new book project focuses on German cinema from 1980-2010. An article related to this project, "Das Boot and the German Cinema of Neoliberalism," appeared in German Quarterly 85.1 (2012).
The University of Oklahoma Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics