Nosferatu: 100 Years of Horror

Register for the event HERE.

Organizers: Ervin Malakaj & Evan Torner

Date: Friday, March 18, 2022

Co-Sponsored by the CES Cinema Studies Network and the Weimar Film Network

“Nosferatu: Does not this word sound like the call of the death bird at midnight?” For a century, audiences have passed into a haunting world of corruption, pandemic, and death through the silent film classic Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922). This one-day symposium takes the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the film’s public release (March 15, 1922) to examine the contours of this still-unsettling text. 

Speakers will addresses a range of formal and thematic features of Nosferatu, ranging from detailed scene analyses to studies of the broader social issues that still speak to contemporary audiences (e.g., marginalization, unrest, queerness, Jewishness, and more). In the symposium’s distilled academic form, we embrace the continued public interest in this film and hope to pique the interest of the audience to watch it yet another time (or, better still, for the first time).

The symposium is divided into five blocks, each of which follows one of these formats: focus takes or long(er) takes. The focus takes permit speakers to offer a deep-dive into one scene: description and analysis of a pertinent part of the film. The long(er) takes provide speakers the chance to advance extensive arguments about the film on the whole. Both formats are devised to generate a discussion and incentivize more engagement with the film. 

All times below listed in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -4)

9 – 10:30 am Block 1 Focus Take

Moderator: Evan Torner (University of Cincinnati)

• “Unfathomable Animals”

Michael Wedel (Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf)

• “Cross-Cutting and Vampiric Correspondences” 

Steve Choe (San Francisco State University)

• “No(w)sferatu: the Borrowed and Rejected Legacy of the Vampire in Modern Visual Media” 

Brandy E. Wilcox (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

11 am – 12:30 pm Block 2 Long(er) Take

Moderator: Evan Torner (University of Cincinnati)

• “‘Jewish’ Vampirism in Nosferatu

Molly Harrabin (University of Warwick)

• “The Viral Spread of Rumors”

Nicholas Baer (University of Groningen)

• “Embargoes, Socialist Jesus, and the Rights to Dracula: Exporting Nosferatu in the 1920s” 

Sara Friedman (University of California Berkeley)

2 – 3:30 pm Block 3 Focus Take

• Moderator: Ervin Malakaj (University of British Columbia)

“The Tentacular Polyp: Animality, Tentacularity, and Dead Time” 

William Brown (University of British Columbia)

“In the Dark?”

Wendy Timmons (Vanderbilt University)

Nosferatu’s Knock Chase Sequence”

Evan Torner (University of Cincinnati) 

• “Watching Knock Reading” 

Ilinca Iurascu (University of British Columbia)

4 – 5:30 pm Block 4 Long(er) Take

Moderator: Ervin Malakaj (University of British Columbia)

• “Hypnosis as Cultural Phenomenon and Metaphor”

Anjeana Hans (Wellesley College) 

• “Location Shooting, Nature, and Gender”

Adrian Daub (Stanford University)

7 – 8:30 pm Block 5 Long(er) Take

Moderator: Evan Torner (University of Cincinnati)

• “‘The Death Ship Has a New Captain’: Middle Passage Epistemologies, Colonial Fantasies, and the Monstrous Other” 

Adrienne Merritt (University of Colorado Boulder)

• “On Asociality and Queer Loneliness in Nosferatu

Ervin Malakaj (University of British Columbia)

• “Murnau’s Cinema of Contamination” 

Paul Dobryden (University of Virginia) 

Register for the event HERE.