Sabine Haenni

Associate Professor 


Sabine Haenni, Associate Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts and the American Studies Program, is an interdisciplinary scholar broadly interested in how cinema and media address and intervene in social issues. She is the author of The Immigrant Scene: Ethnic Amusements in New York, 1880-1920 (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), which looks at the roles immigrant (and foreign-language) theatres as well as early cinema played in mediating a major wave of migration to the United States. She is also co-editor of Fifty Key American Films (Routledge, 2009), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Films (2014), and of a special issue on “New Images of the City” of the journal The Global South (vol. 9.2, 2015). And she has published on a wider range of topics, ranging from American immigrant fiction in the early 20th century, animals in silent film, and Hamlet in film, to questions of intermediality, cinematic aesthetics after 1968, the city symphony aesthetic of Alexander Kluge, Martin Scorsese, and more. She also serves as a contributing editor to the journal New German Critique, and serves on the advisory board of Mediapolis: a journal of cities and culture. 

She is currently completing a book manuscript, entitled The Location of Cinema: Mediterranean Marseille and the Geopolitics of Film History, which uses Marseille, the port city situated on the Northern edge of the Mediterranean that for much of the twentieth-century served as a key nodal point in Europe’s connections with its colonies in Africa and the Far East, to show how different (often transnational, minoritarian) stories become visible and audible when we look at cinema from a location other than centers of production and of power.

She is also working on two new projects. One examines what kinds of (transnational) public cultures and public spheres are created by film festivals around the Mediterranean. The other focuses on how cinema literally and figuratively creates new ways of looking at contemporary flows of migration.

At Cornell she teaches classes in world cinema, American cinema, migration and the arts, cinematic cities, film & media festivals, film genres (film noir, melodrama, the gangster film), and graduate seminars in film and media theory. 



The Routledge Encyclopedia of Films. Co-edited with Sarah Barrow and John White, Routledge, 2014. 

Fifty Key American Films. Co-edited with John White, Routledge, 2009.

The Immigrant Scene: Ethnic Amusements in New York, 1880-1920, University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

Special Issues:

The Global South 9.2 (2015), special issue co-edited with Leigh Anne Duck; “Introduction: New Images of the City” pp. 1-16, co-written with Leigh Anne Duck. 

Articles and Essays:

“Marcel Pagnol and Filmmaking in Marseille in the 1930s,” Screen Studies, Bloomsbury Digital Resource.

“Urban Pores as Media: Questions of Aesthetics and Access,” Mediapolis, vol. 5, no. 1, March 2020. 

“Introduction: The Porous City,” Mediapolis, vol. 5, no. 1, February 2020. 

“Urban, Historical, and Musical Loops: László Moholy-Nagy, Alexander Kluge, and the City Symphony Film,” New German Critique 139, Vol. 47. No.1, February 2020, 81-103.

“Geflüchtete in der Grenzzone Mittelmeer und die Erzählstrategien des Dokumentarfilms,” in LEAVE, LEFT, LEFT. Migrationsphänomene in den Künsten in aktueller und historischer Perspektive, edited by Burcu Dogramaci, Berenika Szymanski-Düll qnd Wolfgang Rathert, Berlin, Neofelis, 2020, 127-45.

“’To Show People in Paris How We Live’: Working-Class Representation, Paul Carpita, and Film History,” Framework 58 (Spring/Fall 2017): 79-89.  

“Migrating Globally, Fighting Back Locally,” Mediapolis vol. 2, no. 1, 4 February 2017.

“Are Cities Sanctuaries? Mapping Migration in the Mediated Metropolis,” Mediapolis vol. 2, no. 1, 20 January 2017.

“Animal Empire: Thrill and Legitimation at William Selig’s Zoo and Jungle Pictures,” in The Zoo and Screen Media: Images of Exhibition and Encounter, edited by Karen Lury and Michael Lawrence, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, 87-110.

“Intellectual Promiscuity: Cultural History in the Age of the Cinema, the Network, the Database,” New German Critique 122, Vol. 41. No. 2, Summer 2014, 189-202.

“Handlungsort Hafen,” Anschauen und Vorstellen: Gelenkte Imagination im Kino, edited by Heinz-Peter Preusser, Marburg, Schüren Verlag, 2014, 235-52.

"Hamlet im Film," in Hamlet Handbuch, edited by Peter Marx, Stuttgart, Metzler, 2014,  491-501.

“Imagining the Global City: Whose Urban Imaginary?” CriticalProductive 2.1, special issue on “Post-Capitalist City?” (Winter 2013): 66-77.

"Intermediality of Hunger, Intermediality of Effect: Two Commercial Models," in Literatur: Inter- und Transmedial, edited by David Bathrick, Heinz-Peter Preusser and Matthias Wilde, Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2012.

"Geographies of Desire: Postsocial Urban Space and Historical Revision in the Films of Martin Scorsese," Journal of Film and Video 62 (Spring/Summer 2010): 67-85.

 “Sensorial Styles: Cinema in the Wake of 1968,” in Politik mit dem Körper: Performative Praktiken in Theater, Medien und Alltagskultur seit 1968, edited by Friedemann Kreuder and Michael Bachmann, Bielefeld, Transcript, 2009, 209-22.

“Cinematic Cultures and Ethnic Politics on New York City’s Broadway,” in Hostile Takeovers: On Violence and Media, ed. Friedemann Kreuder and Constanze Schuler, Tectum Verlag, 2008, 101-115.

"'A Community of Consumers': Legitimate Hybridity, German American Theater, and the American Public," Theatre Research International 28.3 (November 2003): 1-22.

“Filming ‘Chinatown’: Fake Visions, Bodily Transformations,” in Screening Asian Americans, ed. Peter Feng, Rutgers University Press, 2002, 21-52.

“Constituting a Public: German Jewish Contact, German American Theater, and the Formation of German American Ethnicity in the 1890s,” in German? American? Literature?  New Directions in German-American Studies, ed. Winfried Fluck and Werner Sollors, Peter Lang Publishing, 2002, 217-48.

“Visual and Theatrical Culture, Tenement Fiction, and the Immigrant Subject in Abraham Cahan's Yekl,” American Literature 71.3 (September 1999): 493-527.

“Staging Methods, Cinematic Technique, and Spatial Politics,” Cinema Journal 37.3 (Spring 1998): 83-108.

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