Stefanie Diekmann Former Senior Fellow

Stefanie Diekmann
April – September 2018


Since 2013: Chair of the Media and Theater Studies Department, Hildesheim University
Since 2012: Professor of Media Studies, Hildesheim University
2010-2012: Professor of Media and Theater Studies, Munich University
2008: Habilitation; „Backstage – Konstellationen von Theater und Kino“ (published 2013; Kadmos)
2007-2009: Visiting Professor; European University Viadrina (2009/10, Art Theory), Freie Universität Berlin (Theater Studies, 2009), University of Potsdam (Media Studies).
2005-2017: Visiting Lecturer and Professor: Université Paris 8 (2017), Université de Louvain (2016), University of Berne (2007/08) University of Texas at Austin (2006), University College Cork (2005).
1999-2006: Lecturer, Media and Cultural Studies; European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder).
1996-1999: Doctoral Candidate; European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder). DFG scholarship.
1990-1995: Applied Theater Studies; Gießen University

Dated from 2018

Fields of research

Interviews and Audiovisuality
Media Theory in Film; Film as Media Theory
Documentary Forms
Intermedia Studies: Cinema & Theater, Film & Photography, Photography & Theater; Comics.

IKKM Research Project

Working With It: Documentary Film and Difficult Interviews

This project is about interviews and documentary films: interview requests that meet with resistance; interviews that do not go as expected; conflicted, difficult, erratic interviews, and the documentaries, which have been created around them. The project’s simple premise is that the difficult or conflicted interview may be more instructive than any interview that goes by the books. Of the books, there are many.

The interview has long been a much-commented practice, both in academia and in journalism. However, most of the many books that haven been written on the interview are textbooks, oriented towards the idea of ‚best practice’ and good advice. If these books also tell us that a lot may go wrong in the preparation of an interview or in the interview situation and interaction, they still follow the idea that interviews should be studied with the aim of optimizing them: better preparations, better questions, better performances, more information, less difficulties, and altogether a smooth, uninterrupted output as if the interview would happen out of its own accord.

In contrast, this project does not embrace the concept of the autopoietic or autodynamic interview and it supposes that conflicts that arise in the preparation, staging, and performance of interviews should be seen as moments in which the interview as form and as a set of rules becomes most visible. Obviously, the best possible material to study these moments, are audiovisual recordings of interview situations – either in the form of footage or in the form of documentary films.

From Maximilian Schell’s Marlene (1984) to excerpts from David Letterman’s Late Show (-2015; reactivated 2017/18), the project will look at a range of interviews that were carried out under difficult circumstances (and sometimes not carried out at all) to learn more about the parameters of interview making, the non-dialogical elements of interview situations, about setups, protocol, dramaturgy, and others aspects of a multifaceted media form.

Recent puclications

„Die Attraktion des Apparativen“ (ed. wth Volker Wortmann; Berlin 2018; forthcoming)

„Backstage: Konstellationen von Theater und Kino“ (Berlin: Kadmos 2014)

„Die andere Szene: Theaterarbeit und Theaterproben im Dokumentarfilm“ (ed.; Berlin: Theater der Zeit 2014)

„Six Feet Under“ (Berlin, Zürich: diaphanes 2013)

„Opening Sequence, Standard Operation“. In: Brianne Cohen, Alexander Streitberger (eds.), The Photofilmic. Entangled Images in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture. Leuven University Press 2016

„Die Medialität des Hauses im Horrorfilm“. In: Heiko Christians, Georg Mein (eds.), In Da House. Das Haus und seine Vorstellung in den Künsten und Wissenschaften. München: Wilhelm Fink 2016.

„Der Reisende im Reich der Zeichen“. Deutschlandfunk, Sendung Essay und Diskurs, 08. Januar 2017. Skript unter:

„Architektur / Raumgestaltung“. In: Malte Hagener, Volker Pantenburg (eds.), Handbuch Filmanalyse. Berlin: Springer VS 2017.

Review writer (cinema, comics, art shows) : Der Freitag, Texte zur Kunst,