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Dr Ian Roberts

profile.jpgAssociate Professor; Senior Tutor; Director for Student Wellbeing

Tel: +44 (0)24 765 24479
Email: i dot g dot roberts at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


After completing a PhD at the University of Wales Swansea I lectured at the University of Mainz, Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, and the University of Exeter, before taking up a post as Director of German Studies at the University of Leicester until 2013. I joined Warwick in September 2013.

I am married, with two children. I am a member of a local church and help run a Boys' Brigade Company, which frequently involves getting cold and wet as a Duke of Edinburgh award expedition assessor! Otherwise, I enjoy modelmaking and watching a wide range of films.

Research interests

Currently my research interests are focussed on two areas. One is the career and films of the influential German director F. W. Murnau, responsible for some of the Weimar Republic's greatest films (e.g. Nosferatu, Der letzte Mann). In April 2013 I was awarded a British Academy Small Research Grant to investigate aspects of Murnau's early career.

My other area of interest concerns the relationship between aspects of German national identity and the modern German armed forces (Bundeswehr), and how this is reflected in media portrayals in Germany.

In May 2015 I co-organised and hosted a conference entitled 'Imaging War - Imaging the Nation' (with Andrew Plowman, Liverpool University) which sought to establish a framework for developing a cultural history of the soldier in Europe between the inception of the nation-state in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the complex, post-9/11 world of peacekeeping, peace-enforcing deployments and asymmetric warfare.

Current Teaching

  • GE101 Grammar
  • GE108 Writers, Media and Society (tutor)
  • GE201 Translation
  • GE217 Film in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich
  • GE401 Final year translation



  • Teach Yourself German Verbs (revised edition, Hodder & Stoughton, 2010).
  • German Expressionist Cinema: The World of Light and Shadow (Wallflower, 2008).
  • Grammatik Aktiv! (with Richard Robinson, Hodder & Stoughton, 2001).
  • Teach Yourself World Cultures: Germany (Hodder & Stoughton, 2000, repr. 2004).
  • Eine Rechnung, die nicht aufgeht: Identity and Ideology in the Fiction of Wolfdietrich Schnurre (Lang, 1997).


  • 'Primitive miasmas and the iconography of the future in Fritz Lang’s Frau im Mond (1929),

    Studies in European Cinema, 12 (2015) 2. 

  • 'The Return of the Hero? Contemporary German War Films', Journal of War and Culture Studies, 7 (2014) 4.
  • ‘Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, transatlantic thresholds and transcendental homelessness’, Studies in European Cinema, 4 (2007) 3.
  • ‘Perpetrators and Victims: Wolfdietrich Schnurre and the “Bombenkrieg” over Germany’, in Forum for Modern Language Studies, 41 (2005) 2.
  • ‘Caligari Revisited: Circles, Cycles and Counter-Revolution in Robert Wiene’s Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari’, in German Life and Letters, 57 (2004) 2.

Chapters in Books

  • ‘Alraune’, ‘Frau im Mond’, ‘Metropolis’ in Peter Wright (ed.) Critical Companion to Science Fiction Film Adaptations, (University of Liverpool Press, forthcoming).
  • ‘Trauma in the Balkans: European Film and the Peacekeeper’s Dilemma’ in Stephen McVeigh (ed.) Men After War (Routledge, 2013).
  • ‘Tinker, Tailor, Nazi Sailor: Wolfgang Petersen’s Das Boot’ in Brigid Haines, Stephen Parker, Colin Riordan (eds), Aesthetics and Politics in Modern German Culture, (Peter Lang, 2010).


  • 'Screening War: Perspectives on German Suffering (eds Paul Cooke, Marc Silbermann)', in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 32 (2012) 1, 155-57.
  • 'Shell Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War (Anton Kaes)', in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 31 (2011) 2, 325-27.
  • 'Weimar Cinema: an Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era (ed. Noah Eisenberg)', in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 30 (2010) 2, 235-36.
  • 'Possessed: Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction and the Invention of Cinema (Stefan Andriopoulos)', in German Quarterly, 82 (2009) 3, 415-16.
  • 'Filmemacher mit Akzent: Billy Wilder in Hollywood (Gerd Gemünden)', in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 27 (2007) 3, 430-22.

Office hours 2018-19

Mondays @ 12.00 noon
Fridays @ 12.00 noon