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From Neoliberal Crime in "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" to Transcultural Solidarity in "Queen of the Desert"

After his major success as New German Cinema director, e.g. with films like Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Nosferatu the Vampyre, Werner Herzog started very different cinematic experiments in Los Angeles, for which films like Grizzly ManBad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and Queen of the Desert are just a few examples. However, research on his more recent films is limited and there is no in-depth analysis of his cinematic development from the '70s to contemporary work, although his films are clearly linked through their robust critique of neoliberalism and (neo-) colonialism.

In his guest lecture, Professor Rings will explore Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Queen of the Desert as key examples from both periods of Herzog’s oeuvre. In particular, he will examine the continuities and discontinuities in the neoliberal and (neo-) colonial critique in these two films. Furthermore, he will ask which alternatives are being suggested to break with the systemic violence of neoliberalism and (neo-) colonialism, and he will analyse in how far the cinematic development correlates with a different take on humanity. Findings include numerous continuities in Herzog's robust critique of human tribalism, but also substantial discontinuities that seem to correlate with different conceptualisations of humanity. 

Guido Rings is Emeritus Professor of Postcolonial Studies, co-director of the Anglia Ruskin Research Centre for Intercultural and Multilingual Studies (ARRCIMS), and co-founder of iMex and German as a Foreign Language, the first internet journals in Europe for their respective fields. Professor Rings has widely published within different areas of intercultural and postcolonial studies. This includes The Cambridge Introduction to Intercultural Communication (CUP 2022, with S. Rasinger), The Cambridge Handbook of Intercultural Communication (CUP 2020, ed. with S. Rasinger), The Other in Contemporary Migrant Cinema (Routledge 2018), La Conquista desbaratada (Iberoamericana 2010), and more than 50 refereed articles.