Brigitte Peucker

Elias Leavenworth Professor of German and of Film and Media Studies

Brigitte Peucker, B.A. Mount Holyoke College, Ph.D. Yale University, faculty member at Yale since 1977:

You are a scholar of German lyric poetry, German literature, and film studies. You have had two separate though intertwined lives at Yale. In your first incarnation (which has never ended) you gave your time, attention, teaching, and research principally to German pre-Romanticism and Romanticism, publishing your first book, Arcadia to Elysium: Preromantic Modes in Eighteenth-Century Germany, and your second, Lyric Descent in the German Romantic Tradition

Your second incarnation has been in Film Studies, where you have been a true pioneer, advancing that field through your intellectual labor and helping establish it at a university that had been slow to recognize its importance. You have written a series of books that explore film’s relation to the other arts, among them Incorporating Images: Film and the Rival Arts, The Material Image: Art and the Real in Film, and, most recently, Aesthetic Spaces: The Place of Art in Film. Along the way, you have written illuminatingly on legions of filmmakers, including Fassbinder, Bergman, Herzog, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Haneke, and Scorsese. Simultaneously, often while also chairing the Department of German, you served nearly continuously for fourteen years as chair of the Film and Media Studies Program. 

Taken together, your scholarship, teaching, and administrative leadership have played a decisive role in building Yale Film and Media Studies as it is today, with its excellent faculty, distinguished and influential graduates, thriving student community, and new spaces.

Among other university services, one might receive special mention. You served as associate master of Ezra Stiles for seven years while your husband, Paul Fry, was the master, helping to create community at all generational levels and making that college a noted center for arts and cultural discussion—while juggling your teaching and administrative responsibilities at the same time.

For your contributions to German, your research, your teaching, and for your passionate advocacy for the expansion of film at your university, this faculty expresses its gratitude and Herzlichen Glückwunsch.