Department Chair / Professor and Director, Waterloo Centre for German Studies

James M. SkidmoreLiterary and film studies (contemporary German literature and culture, comparative literature, politics in literature and film, online learning)


Contact information | Personal website  | Curriculum vitae



Q & A

What is your favourite class?

I've enjoyed teaching film courses. It's great fun to analyze a scene with students and as a group uncover hidden meanings and connections. We always discover something new.

What is the most interesting aspect of your research?

My interest in German literature and film is very much connected to my desire to understand German political history and social development. German political controversies and ideological debates have often been played out in its fiction and cinema, and that intrigues me to no end.

What should people know about you?

I view universities idealistically. I think they are one of the great treasures of our society, and it's an honour to be involved in this educational enterprise. I want people to share my enthusiasm for universities and the learning opportunities they give us.


  • PhD (Princeton)
  • MA (Princeton)
  • MA (Saskatchewan)
  • BA (Saskatchewan)
  • High School Diploma (Holy Cross High School, Saskatoon)
  • Elementary School Diploma (Bishop Murray School, Saskatoon)
  • Kindergarten Diploma (Albert School, Saskatoon)

Selected publications

Skidmore, James M. "Reason, Faith, and Europe: Two German Perspectives." Jürgen Habermas and the European Economic Crisis. Eds. Gaspare M. Genna et al. London: Routledge, 2016.

Skidmore, James M. The Trauma of Defeat. Ricarda Huch’s Historiography during the Weimar Republic. Canadian Studies in German Language and Literature. Bern: Peter Lang, 2005.

Mueller, Gabriele and James M. Skidmore, eds. Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria. Film and Media Studies Series. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012. 

Schulze, Mathias, James M. Skidmore, David G. John, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach, eds. German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2008. 

Mueller, Gabriele and James M. Skidmore. “Cinema of Dissent? Confronting Social, Economic, and Political Change in German-Language Cinema.” Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria. Film and Media Studies Series. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012. 1-21. 

Skidmore, James M. “W. Günter Plaut – Ein Rabbi für ganz Kanada.” (“W. Günter Plaut: A Rabbi for All of Canada.”) Deutsche Exilliteratur seit 1933. Band III: USA, Teil 5. Ed. John M. Spalek. Berlin: de Gruyter Saur, 2010. 232-48.

Skidmore, James M. “Moving Beyond Hyphenated German Culture: Establishing a Research Agenda for Expatriate and Heritage German Literary Studies.” German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss. Eds. M. Schulze et al. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2008. 161-80.

Skidmore, James. “Good-bye Reality, or the Seduction of Nostalgia: Genre and Cultural Imaginary in Good Bye Lenin! and La grande séduction.” Screening Canadians: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Canadian Film. Ed. Wolfram R. Keller and Gene Walz. Marburg, Germany: Universitätsbibliothek, 2008. 119-31. 

Skidmore, James M. “Berlin, the Unchanging Symphony of the Big City. Determining Story in Der Himmel über Berlin and Lola rennt.” GFL: German as a Foreign Language 2003.1 (2003): 17-29. 1 June 2004 <>. 

Skidmore, James M. “Intellectualism and Emotionalism in Margarethe von Trotta’s Die bleierne Zeit.” German Studies Review XXV (2002): 551-67.

Skidmore, James M. “Memorial to a Haunting Past.” Queen’s Quarterly 108 (2001): 511-19.

Skidmore, James M. “ ‘Nestorin der deutschen Literatur’ or ‘Parasit Hitlers’? The Early East German Debate about Ricarda Huch.” Germanic Review 76 (2001): 3-14.


  • GER 271/272 German Thought and Culture
  • GER 383 Culture of the Third Reich
  • Common Themes, Different Cultures: Case Studies in Comparative Literature (graduate seminar at Universität Mannheim)

Graduate students

  • Stefanie Kullick (MA 2008) earned her doctorate with a dissertation on urban spaces in young adult literature at Queen's university in 2012.
  • Naima M Barki (MA 2008) is active in business and marketing communications in Rheinhessen.
  • Janet Janzen (MA 2007) is writing a PhD dissertation at McGill University in which she is exploring what the proliferation of plants in literature and film during the early twentieth century can reveal about the relationship of German culture to nature.
University of Waterloo

Profiles by type