Fernando Ramos Arenas

(complete cv) 

Dr. Fernando Ramos Arenas is Associate Professor at the Department of Art History at Complutense University in Madrid.

At Complutense University he directs the research project Film Culture in Transition. He has a strong international background: from 2010 to 2017 he was assistant professor at Leipzig University, Germany, where he earned his Ph.D. in 2010 and directed the project Cinephilia under the dictatorship. He has been Marie Curie fellow and in 2017-18 he was Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University, Washington DC. He has published two monographs on film authorship and on European film cultures (2011 and 2021), edited two volumes and written more than thirty articles in leading research journals such as The Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft, Media History, Hispanic Research Journal and Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, mainly on the topic of film cultures in Spain and Germany.

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This article analyses the institutional developments in East German film culture during the 1950s and focuses on the so far under-researched filmaktiv movement (groups of individuals engaged in the promotion and discussion of films along political guidelines), and on a first wave of film clubs that arose around 1956.

This article chooses a comparative approach in order to analyse the role played by mass media during the attempted coup d’etat starting in Spain on 23 February 1981 and the opening of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. The text focusses on the capacity of the media to contextualize political episodes, to generate interpretations and provide the basis for specific reactions.

  • Un cine leído. Cultura cinematográfica, censura y especulaciones en la España de la década de los sesenta [Read cinema. Film culture, censorship and speculations in Spain during the 1960s].

    In: Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 18 (3), pp. 239-253. ISSN: 1463-6204 SCOPUS (2017)

This article focuses on the paradox of a rich and complex film culture struggling with its enormous limitations, a story of fascination with cinema and also of misunderstandings due to imperfect access to films in censored form.

  • Film Clubs and the Politics of Film Culture in Spain and the GDR around 1960. In: Communication & Society 30(1), pp. 1-15. ISSN: 0214-0039 SJR (2017)

This study provides a contrastive analysis of the film cultures in Francoist Spain and the German Democratic Republic in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the context of this period of classic cinephilia, the article focuses on the institutional position of film clubs and on their function as ‘places of negotiation’ in which different forces and interests collided.

  • Film Criticism as a Political Weapon. Theory, Ideology and Film Activism in Nuestro Cinema 1932-1935.

    In: The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television (Vol. 36, Issue 2, Special Issue EARLY FILM THEORY RE-VISITED: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES) pp. 214-231. ISSN: 0143-9685 SCOPUS (2016)

This article focuses on the Spanish communist film journal Nuestro Cinema (1932–1935). It analyses its textual production and its role within a broader network of film activism that included left-wing distribution, film clubs and the promotion of amateur cinema. The essay looks at its position as a product of the ideological radicalization from the late 1920s onwards.

  • (co-edited with Mundhenke, Florian and Wilke, Thomas): Mashups. Neue Praktiken und Ästhetiken in populären Medienkulturen.

    Wiesbaden: Springer VS Verlag. ISBN: 978-3-658-05752-7 (2014)

This innovative volume gathers contributions by an international team of experts from different fields in order to illuminate the emergence and different variations of digital mashups. It offers a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon as well as specific analysis of case studies in chapters to theory, aesthetics, methods and practices.