James M. Skidmore

Department Chair / Professor and Director, Waterloo Centre for German Studies
James Skidmore
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Literary and film studies (contemporary German literature and culture, comparative literature, politics in literature and film, online learning)


  • MA, PhD - Princeton
  • BA (H. Honours), MA - Saskatchewan


I am a Professor of German Studies and take a keen interest in teaching. My courses focus on cultural, literary, and film studies, and I am currently teaching courses on world cinema, cultural identity, and the global literature of truth and reconciliation. I also have a special interest in online course development and open education. My research focuses on the representation of German political history and thought in the narrative arts. Students who have studied with me have written theses and dissertations on topics as diverse as feminist cinema, music in Wende literature, memory and public memorials to the Holocaust, climate fiction, and ultracontemporary literature.

At the University of Waterloo I am active in university affairs, serving as Chair of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies (an independently funded research institute at UW), and as a University Senator. I have served as a Teaching Fellow at the university, and was an Open Education Fellow with eCampusOntario as well.

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Teaching interests

German Studies; Visual Culture; Cultural Identities

Recent courses:

  • FINE 102/VCULT 100: World Cinema and Visual Culture
  • CI 200: Transcultural Studies
  • CI 250: Truth - Reconciliation - Story
  • GER 600/700: Research Methods
  • GER 620/720: The Berlin Project
  • GER 614/714: Online Teaching and Learning
  • GER 271/272: German Thought and Culture
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Research interests

German literature and film of the 20th and 21st centuries; reconciliation narratives; open and online education

Noteworthy publications:

  • Skidmore, James M. "Renewable Assignments and the Integrity of Intellectual Work." Beyond the Traditional Essay: Increasing Student Agency and Engagement with Nondisposable Assignments. Eds. Melissa Ryan and Kerry Kautzman. Vernon Press, 2022. 89-106.
  • Skidmore, James M. "Reflecting the Empty Values of Modern Finance. From Far and Wide. German Studies in Canada. Eds. Andrea Speltz, Nikola von Merveldt, and Gaby Pailer. Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik Reihe A - Band 141. Peter Lang, 2021. 41-48.
  • Skidmore, James M. "Ricarda Huch's First World War." Women Writing War. From German Colonialism through World War I. Eds. Katharina von Hammerstein, Barbara Kosta, Julie Shoults. Interdisciplinary German Studies 24. De Gruyter, 2018. 163-79.
  • Skidmore, James M. "Reason, Faith, and Europe. Two German Perspectives." Jürgen Habermas and the European Economic Crisis. Eds. Gaspare M. Genna, Thomas O. Haakenson, and Ian W. Wilson. London: Routledge, 2016. 105-20.
  • Skidmore, James M. "Cultural Mediation in the Global Age: Integrating Translations into Literary Scholarship." Translation and Translating in German Studies. A Festschrift for Raleigh Whitinger. Eds. John Plews and Diana Spokiene. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2016. 235-48.
  • 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. (50% contribution)
  • 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.