Evan Torner

Evan Torner

Assistant Professor of German Studies and Film / Media Studies; Undergraduate Director of German Studies; Director, UC Game Lab

Old Chemistry Building


A&S German Studies - 0372

Professional Summary

Evan Torner defended his dissertation on race representation in East German genre cinema at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013, and spent 2013-2014 at Grinnell College as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow. He has published several articles pertaining to East Germany, critical race theory, DEFA Indianerfilme, science-fiction, transnational genre cinema, and game studies, as well as co-edited several books. His volume Immersive Gameplay: Essays on Role-Playing and Participatory Media co-edited with William J. White was published with McFarland Publishing in 2012, and he is one of the founding editors of the Analog Game Studies journal (http://analoggamestudies.org). His major projects underway include the Handbook of East German Cinema: The DEFA Legacy, co-edited with Henning Wrage and under contract with Walter De Gruyter, and a monograph entitled A Century and Beyond: Critical Readings of German Science-Fiction Cinema.


B.A. with honors, Grinnell College Grinnell, IA, 2004 (German, Second Language Education Grades 7-12)

M.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA, 2008 (German Studies)

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA, 2013 (German Studies with Film Studies Certificate)

Positions and Work Experience

2014 -To Present Assistant Professor of German Studies, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

2013 -2014 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in German, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA

2012 -2013 Visiting Lecturer in German, Smith College, Northampton, MA

2009 -2010 Fulbright Research Fellow, Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen "Konrad Wolf", Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany

2006 -2009 Program Assistant, DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA

2010 -2011 College of Humanities and Fine Arts Dean's Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA

2010 -2011 Translator of the permanent exhibition Dream Factory – 100 Years of Babelsberg, Filmmuseum Potsdam, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany

2018 -To Present Affiliate Faculty in Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

Research and Practice Interests

Primary Research Interests
East German (DEFA) cinema
Transnational genre cinema
Critical Race Theory / Postcolonialism
Science-Fiction (1871 - Present)
Game Studies
Marx and the Global Left

Additional Areas of Interest
Technology and Masculinity
Works of Alfred Döblin
European Film History
Digital Archival Practices
18th-20th Century Literature and Drama
Electronic Music
DaDa and Surrealism
Second-Language Acquisition
Asexuality in the Media
Role-playing Game Theory
Live-Action Role-Playing (Larp)
Analog Game Studies
Digital Adventure Games

Research Support

2013 -2014 Grinnell College Committee on Support for Faculty Scholarship Grant (declined for Cincinnati position) Type:Grant Level:College

2012 DAAD Stipend for DAAD Summer Seminar in German Studies at Cornell University Type:Grant Level:National

2012 DAAD Funding for “Sensing Senses” Graduate Conference Type:Grant Level:National

2011 DEFA-Stiftung Publication Grant, “Die HFF ‘Konrad Wolf’ im globalen Kontext” with Barton Byg Type:Grant Level:International

2011 DEFA-Stiftung Project Grant, Summer Film Workshop “Cold War, Hot Media: DEFA in the Third World,” Type:Grant Level:International

2010 -2011 University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts Dean’s Fellowship Type:Fellowship Level:College

2009 -2010 Fulbright Graduate Research Fellowship Type:Fellowship Level:National

2009 -2010 DAAD Graduate Fellowship (declined for Fulbright) Type:Fellowship Level:National

2008 -2009 University of Massachusetts Amherst Graduate Fellowship Type:Fellowship Level:University

2015 -2016 University of Cincinnati, Charles Phelps Taft Research Center Speaker Funding for "Counterpublics after German Unification" Completed Type:Grant Level:College

2017 UC International Faculty-Led Study Abroad Mentoring Grant Role:Mentee Completed Type:Grant

2019 University of Cincinnati Charles Phelps Taft Research Center Speaker Funding for "Lutz Dammbeck: Art & Power." Active Type:Grant

Grant: #R40527 Investigators:Bastos, Flavia Maria Cunha; Blevins, Jeffrey; Hughes, Sean; Iversen, Kristen; Lind, Amy; Torner, Evan 10-01-2019 -03-31-2020 UC's Urban Futures Digital Futures Anchor Development Program Story-telling & Social Justice Role:Collaborator $10,000.00 Active Level:Internal UC


Peer Reviewed Publications

Torner, Evan (2011. ) “The Red and the Black: Race in the DEFA Film Osceola.” .New German Review, , 25 ,61-81

Torner, Evan; Sarah Lynne Bowman, William J. White (2018. ) "Special Issue – Living Games 2018." .International Journal of Role-Playing, , 9 ,

Torner, Evan (2015. ) "Bodies and Time in Tabletop Role-Playing Game Combat Systems." .WyrdCon Companion Book 2015, , 160-176

Torner, Evan (2016. ) "The Self-Reflexive Tabletop Role-Playing Game." .The Italian Journal of Game Studies, , 5 (1 ) ,

Torner, Evan (2016. ) "Teaching German Literature through Larp: A Proposition." .International Journal of Role-Playing, , 7 ,

Published Books

Torner, Evan and Victoria Lenshyn (Eds.) (2009. ) MYTH: German & Scandinavian Studies .Newcastle, UK , Cambridge Scholars Press (Co-Editor)

Torner, Evan and William J. White (Eds.) (2012. ) Immersive Gameplay: Essays on Role-playing and Participatory Media .Jefferson, NC , McFarland (Co-Editor)

Wedel, Michael, Barton Byg, Andy Räder, Sky Arndt-Briggs u. Evan Torner, hrsg. (2013. ) DEFA International: Grenzüberschreitende Filmbeziehungen vor und nach dem Mauerbau .Wiesbaden , VS Springer Verlag (Co-Editor)

Wrage, Henning and Evan Torner The Handbook of East German Cinema: The DEFA Legacy. Berlin , Walter De Gruyter (Co-Editor)

Torner, Evan A Century and Beyond: Critical Essays on the German Science-Fiction Film .

Trammell, Aaron, Evan Torner and Emma Leigh Waldron; (2016. ) Analog Game Studies Vol. 1 .Pittsburgh, PA , ETC Press (Co-Editor)

Torner, Evan, Aaron Trammell, and Emma Leigh Waldron (2017. ) Analog Game Studies Vol. 2 .Pittsburgh, PA , ETC Press (Co-Editor)

Waldron, Emma Leigh, Aaron Trammell, and Evan Torner (2019. ) Analog Game Studies Vol. 3 .Pittsburgh, PA , ETC Press (Co-Editor)

Book Chapter

Torner, Evan (2007 ) “To the End of a Universe - A Brief History of the DEFA Science Fiction Film” From Weimar to Christiania. .(pp. 89-106).Cambridge, MA, Cambridge Scholars Press

Torner, Evan (2010 ) “Civilization's Endless Shadow: Time of the Wolf.” The Blackwell Companion to Michael Haneke .(pp. 532-550).Malden, MA, Wiley-Blackwell

Torner, Evan (2012 ) “The Poles of Wantonness: Asexuality in Alan Moore’s Film Adaptations” Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore .(pp. 111-123).Jefferson, NC, McFarland

Byg, Barton and Evan Torner (2013 ) “Divided Dirigisme: Nationalism, Regionalism and Reform in the German Film Academies” The Education of the Filmmaker in Europe, Australia, and Asia .(pp. 105-126).New York, Palgrave-Macmillan (Co-Author)

Torner, Evan (2015 ) “Adventures in Stagnation: Gottfried Kolditz’s Unfilmed DEFA Project Zimtpiraten” German Television: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives .(pp. 183-199).New York, Berghahn Books (Author)

Torner, Evan (2015 ) “Nation and Adventure in Die Jagd nach dem Schatz der Nibelungen (2008)" Televising the Past: Small Screen Medievalisms .(pp. 78-96).Jefferson, NC, McFarland (Author)

Torner, Evan and Victoria Rizo Lenshyn (2015 ) "Imposed Dialogues: Joerg Foth and Tran Vu's GDR- Vietnamese Co-Production Dschungelzeit (1988)" Comrades of Color: East Germany and the Varieties of World Socialism .(pp. 243- 264.).New York, Berghahn Books (Co-Author)

Torner, Evan (2016 ) “The DEFA ‘Indianerfilm’: Narrating the Postcolonial through Gojko Mitic" Re-imagining DEFA. East German Cinema in its National and Transnational Context .(pp. 227-247).New York, Berghahn Books (Author)

Torner, Evan (2014 ) “Casting for a Socialist Earth: Multicultural Whiteness in the East German/Polish Science- Fiction Film Silent Star.” Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film. .(pp. 130-149).Liverpool University Press, Liverpool University Press (Author)

Torner, Evan (2012 ) “Where the Game Begins: Kid Nation and Systemic Violence” Immersive Gameplay: Essays on Role-playing and Participatory Media .(pp. 127-146).Jefferson, NC, McFarland

Torner, Evan (2018 ) "Volatile Intimacies and Queer Polyamory in GDR Film." Gender and Sexuality in East German Film: Intimacy and Alienation. (pp. 104-125).Rochester, NY, Camden House (Author)

Torner, Evan (2018 ) "1968 Leftist Utopianism in The Young Girls of Rochefort and Hot Summer." Popular Music and the Moving Image in Eastern Europe. (pp. 25-43).London, Bloomsbury UK (Author)

Torner, Evan (2019 ) "The Socialist Dionysian in Late East German Film." 25 Years Berlin Republic: Reflections on/of German Unification (1990-2015) .(pp. 183-199).Paderborn, Germany, Wilhelm Fink Verlag (Author)

Torner, Evan (2011 ) “Rassenpanik in naher Zukunft: Die nihilistische Moderne und imperialistische Sittenlehre in Carola von Eynattens Pereat Austria!” Literatur und Wissenschaft zwischen 1850 und 1910 im Fokus aktueller Theoriebildung. (pp. 166-187).Basel, germanistik.ch

Torner, Evan (2014 ) “A Future-History Out of Time: The Historical Context of Döblin's Expressionist Dystopian Experiment, Mountains Oceans and Giants.” Detectives, Dystopias and Poplit: Studies in Modern German Genre Fiction .(pp. 90-118).Rochester, NY, Camden House (Author)

Torner, Evan (2017 ) "1980s German Cyberpunk Cinema: Kamikaze 1989 and Nuclearvision." Cyberpunk and Visual Culture .(pp. 195-212).New York, Routledge (Author)

Torner, Evan (2020 ) "German Cyberpunk" Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture .New York, Routledge (Author)

Torner, Evan (2019 ) "Documents of Colonialism and Racial Theorizing in the German Classroom." Diversity and Decolonialization in the German Curriculum .New York, Palgrave-Macmillan (Author)

Torner, Evan "Posthumanism and Object-Oriented Ontology in Sharon Dodua Otoo's Synchronicity (2014) and Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin (2016)." Minorities and Minority Discourses in Germany Since 1989 .New York, Berghahn (Author)

Torner, Evan (2011 ) “The Theory and Practice of Larp in Non-Fiction Film.” Think Larp .(pp. 104-123).Copenhagen, Bymose Hegn (Author)

Torner, Evan (2012 ) "Futurity and Larp." WyrdCon Companion Book 2012 .(pp. 70-84).Los Angeles, CA, WyrdCon (Author)

Torner, Evan (2013 ) "Air Castles Built on Concrete." The Official Book of Knutepunkt 2013: Crossing Physical Borders. (pp. 9-20).Oslo, Fantasiforbundet (Author)

Torner, Evan (2013 ) "Transparency and Safety in Role-Playing Games." WyrdCon Companion Book 2013 .(pp. 14-17).Los Angeles, CA, WyrdCon (Author)

Torner, Evan and Katherine Castiello Jones (2014 ) "The Parlor Sandbox: Counter-Players and Ephemera in American Freeform." WyrdCon Companion Book 2014 .(pp. 69-75).Los Angeles, CA, WyrdCon (Co-Author)

Sanna Koulu, Katherine Castiello Jones, and Evan Torner (2016 ) "Playing at Work: Labor, Identity and Emotion in Larp." Solmukohta 2016: Larp Realia and Larp Politics .(pp. 122-132).Helsinki, Finland, Solmukohta (Co-Author)

Torner, Evan (2017 ) "Tensions Between Fandom and Live-Action Role-Play." The 2017 Knutepunkt Book .(pp. 297-303).Oslo, Knutepunkt (Author)

Torner, Evan (2018 ) "Emergence, Iteration, and Reincorporation in Larp." Re-Shuffling the Deck: The Knutpunkt 2018 Printed Companion .(pp. 171-180).Pittsburgh, PA, ETC Press (Author)

Torner, Evan (2018 ) "Just a Little Lovin' USA 2017." Re-Shuffling the Deck: The Knutpunkt 2018 Printed Companion. (pp. 53-64).Pittsburgh, PA, ETC Press (Author)

White, William J., Jonne Arjoranta, Michael Hitchens, Jon Peterson, Evan Torner, and Jonathan Walton (2018 ) "Tabletop Role-Playing Games." Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations .(pp. 63-86).New York, Routledge (Co-Author)

Schrier, Karen, Evan Torner, and Jessica Hammer (2018 ) Worldbuilding in Role-Playing Games Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations .(pp. 249-363).New York, Routledge (Co-Author)

Jara, David and Evan Torner (2018 ) "Role-Playing Games and Literary Studies." Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations .(pp. 265-282).New York, Routledge (Co-Author)

Torner, Evan (2018 ) RPG Designer and Player Theorizing Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations .(pp. 191-212).New York, Routledge (Author)

Torner, Evan (2019 ) Planescape: Torment – Immersion How to Play Video Games .(pp. 52-58).New York, New York University Press

Torner, Evan "Actual Play Reports: Forge Theory, Forums, and Early Podcasts." Essays on Actual Play and Tabletop Role-Playing Games .Jefferson, NC, McFarland (Author)

Electronic Journal

Torner, Evan (2010. ) "The Cinematic Defeat of Brecht by Artaud in Peter Brook’s Marat/Sade" .EDGE - A Graduate Journal for German and Scandinavian Studies, 1 (1 ) ,

Torner, Evan (2010. ) “Transnational System Schlock: The Case of Uwe Boll” .kunsttexte, 2 ,

Torner, Evan (2014. ) "The DEFA Indianerfilm as Artifact of Resistance." .Frames Cinema Journal, 4 ,

Bowman, Sarah Lynne and Evan Torner (2014. ) "Post-Larp Depression" .Analog Game Studies, 1 (1 ) ,

Torner, Evan (2016. ) "Uncertainty in Role-Playing Games" .Analog Game Studies, 1 ,

Torner, Evan (2018. ) "Just (the Institution of Computer) Game Studies." .Analog Game Studies, 5 (2 ) ,

Torner, Evan (2018. ) "Brecht, Moreno, and Role-Playing Games." .Communications from the International Brecht Society,

Encyclopedia Article

Torner, Evan (2015. ) German Cinema: A Critical Filmography to 1945. Montreal, Caboose Books

Torner, Evan (2014. ) Routledge Encyclopedia of Films. 94-98London, UK, Routledge

Torner, Evan (2014. ) World Cinema Directory: Germany .2, London, UK, Intellect Books

Torner, Evan (2013. ) Handbuch Nachkriegskultur: Literatur, Sachbuch und Film in Deutschland (1945-1962) .652-4Berlin, De Gruyter

Torner, Evan (2012. ) World Cinema Directory: Germany .1, London, UK, Intellect Books (Author)

Torner, Evan (2012. ) World Cinema Directory: Germany .1, London, Intellect Books (Author)

Torner, Evan (2012. ) World Cinema Directory: Germany .1, London, Intellect Books (Author)

Additional Publications

Creative Translation

Torner, Evan (2015. ) Potsdam-Babelsberg, rbb

Torner, Evan (2013. ) Potsdam-Babelsberg, Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen "Konrad Wolf"

Torner, Evan (2012. ) Brookline, MA, Memory Productions

Honors and Awards

2017 College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence Status:Recipient Level:College

2015 Award for the Outstanding Published Essay in the Field of Central/East/South European Cinema and Media Studies For the article: “Casting for a Socialist Earth: Multicultural Whiteness in the East German/Polish Science- Fiction Film Silent Star.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Monetary

Courses Taught

-GRMN-4001 SURVEY GERMAN LIT Survey of German Literature Level:Undergraduate

FOCUS: THEORY 1 Culture After Marx Level:Graduate

Contact Information

Phone: 513-556-2749