Herbert Eagle, Chair

Herb Eagle








Courses •  Research

Dept. of Slavic Langs & Lits • 3014 Modern Languages Building • The University of Michigan • Ann Arbor, MI   48109-1275 • (734) 764-5355

Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1973.

Professor Eagle has primary research interests in 20th century Russian and East European film and literature, and in the semiotics of art and culture.  At the University, he has directed the Program in Film and Video Studies (1981-88) and the undergraduate Residential College (1988-96).  In the Slavic Department, he teaches courses on Arts and Culture of Central Europe (Slavic 225), Central European Cinema:  Race, Ethnicity and Gender (Slavic 312), Russian Cinema (Slavic 313), Polish Cinema (Polish 314), as well as minicourses on Czech and Yugoslav cinema and graduate seminars on Russian semiotics and film theory.

Typical Fall courses:

Typical Winter courses:


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He is the editor of Russian Formalist Film Theory (1981) and Russian Futurism through Its Manifestoes (with Anna Lawton; 1988),  reprinted in 2004 as Words In Revolution: Russian Manifestoes.  He is the author of many articles and book chapters on Russian and East European Cinema, including articles and book chapters on East European directors like Dusan Makavejev, Jiri Menzel, Andrzej Wajda, Peter Gothar, Roman Polanski, and Krzysztof Kieslowski, and a series of articles on the films and theories of Sergei Eisenstein.  He also has an abiding interest in verse theory and his articles on the structures which pattern free verse in Russian and Czech have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.  He has also published some studies dealing with Russian and Czech prose (Lermontov, Solzhenitsyn, Kundera, Vaculik).

Selected Publications
Book Chapters

  • “Exile and Emigration in the Films of Roman Polanski,” in Living in Translation:  Polish Writers in America, Halina Stephan, ed. (Amsterdam, 2003), 289-311.
  • “Appropriation of the American Gangster Film and the Transition to Capitalism:  Poland’s ‘Dogs’ and Russia’s ‘Brother’,” in Kazaaam!  Splat!  Ploof!  The American Impact on European Popular Culture since 1945 ed. Sabrina Ramet and Gordana Crnkovic (Lantham, MD, 2003), 127-147.
  • “Visual Patterning, Vertical Montage, and Ideological Protest:  Eisenstein’s Stylistic Legacy to East  European Filmmakers,” in Eisenstein at 100:  A Reconsideration, , Al Lavalley and Barry P. Scherr, eds. (New Brunswick, NJ:  Rutgers University Press, 2001),  169-190.  
  • “Wygnanie i emigracja w filmach Romana Polanskiego” (“Exile and emigration in the films of Roman  Polanski”), in Zycie w przekladzie (Life in Translation), Halina Stephan, ed. (Krakow: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2001), 202-220 (Polish translation of above article). 
  • “Genre and Paradigm in Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,” in Critical Essays on Milan Kundera, ed. by Peter Petro (New York:  G.K. Hall, 1999), 151-183.
  • “Eastern European Cinema” in Eastern Europe:  Politics, Culture, and Society since 1939, ed. by Sabrina Petra Ramet (Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 1998),  330-351.
  • “Polanski” in the collaborative study Five Filmmakers:  Tarkovsky, Forman, Polanski, Szabo, Makavejev, D. Goulding, ed. (Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 1994), 92-155.
  • “Socialist Realism and American Genre Film:  The Mixing of Codes in Jazzman, “ in The Red Screen: Politics, Society, Art in Soviet Cinema, A. Lawton, ed. (London:  Routledge, 1992), 249-63.
  • “Capek and Zamiatin--Versions of Dystopia,” in On Karel Capek, ed. by Jindrich Toman and Michael Makin (Ann Arbor:  Michigan Slavic Publications, 1992), 29-41.
  • “Introduction,” Non-Indifferent Nature, Sergei Eisenstein (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1987), 281-304.
  • “Visual Patterning and Meaning in Eisenstein’s Early Films,” in Russian Literature and American Critics, ed. Kenneth N. Brostrom (Ann Arbor:  Michigan Slavic Publications, 1984), 331-46.
  • “Yugoslav Marxist Humanism and the Films of Dusan Makavejev,” in Politics, Art and Commitment in the East European Cinema, ed. David W. Paul (London:  Macmillan, 1983), 131-48.
  • “Eisenstein as a Semiotican of the Cinema” in The Sign:  Semiotics Around the World, eds. R.W. Bailey, L. Matejka, and P. Steiner (Ann Arbor:  Michigan Slavic Publications, 1978), 173-93.
  • “Typographical Devices in the Poetry of Andrey Bely” in Andrey Bely:  A Critical Review, ed. Gerald Janacek (Lexington:  University of Kentucky Press, 1978), 71-85.
  • “Color in Kieslowski’s Film Trilogy:  Blue, White, Red,” Periphery:  Journal of Polish Affairs, 4-5 (1998/99), 138-145.
  • “Czechoslovak, Polish and Hungarian Cinema under Communism,”  Cross Currents:  A Yearbook of Central European Culture 11 (1992), 175-92.
  • “Dada and Structuralism in Chytilova’s Daisies,” Cross Currents 10 (1991), 223-34.
  • “Little Vera’s Indexicality and the End of Socialist Realism,” Wide Angle 12, 4 (1990), 26-37.
  • “Soviet Cinema Today:  On the Semantic Potential of a Discredited Canon,” Michigan Quarterly Review 28, 4 (1989), 743-60.
  • “Color and Meaning in Time Stands Still, “ Cross Currents 8 (1989), 127-42.
  • “From the Evening School of Versology,” Poetics Today 8 1, (1987), 163-72.
  • “Wajda’s Danton, “ Cross Currents 3 (1984), 361-374.
  • “Human Nature and Politics in Contemporary Hungarian Cinema,” Cross Currents 2 (1983), 389-405.
  • “Andrzej Wajda:  Film Language and the Artist’s Truth,” Cross Currents 1 (1982), 339-52.
  • “Verse as a Semiotic System:  Tynjanov, Jakobson, Mukarovsky, Lotman Extended,” Slavic and East European Journal 25, 4 (1981), 47-61.
  • “The Semiotics of Art:  A Dynamic View,”  Semiotica:  Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies 19, 3/4 (1977), 367-96.
  • “Existentialism and Ideology in The First Circle,” Modern Fiction Studies 23, 1(1977), 47-61.
  • “The Syntagmatic and Paradigmatic Axes in Closely Watched Trains,” Film Studies Annual 1997:  Part 1 (Explorations in National Cinemas), 45-56.
  • “The Semiotics of Cinema:  Lotman and Metz,” Dispositio 1, 3 (1976), 303-13.
  • “Miroslav Holub and William Carlos Williams,” Germano-Slavica 6 (1975), 43-52.
  • “Some Comparative Aspects of Twentieth Century Russian and Czech Non-Metrical Verse,” Russian Language Journal 29, 103 (Fall 1975), 15-28.
  • “Lermontov’s ‘Play’ with Romantic Genre Expectations in A Hero of Our Time,”  Russian Literature Triquarterly 10 (1974), 299-315.
  • “The Free Verse Structure of Mandelstam’s Horseshoe Finder,”  Russian Literature Triquarterly 4 (1972), 332-345.

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