Nat Modlin

Nat Modlin
Cohort Year: 2020
Research Interests: Media & Environment, German Film & Visual Culture, Blue Media Studies, Environmental Humanities, Human Rights, Gender & Queer Theory.
Education: M.A. in Germanic Studies, University of Chicago; B.A. in Comparative Literature, Reed College

Nat Modlin (they/them) is a joint PhD student in the departments of Germanic Studies and Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Their work is situated at the intersection of environmental humanities and German film & media studies. They are interested in how turning to “blue media” – German films and media about aquatic and oceanic spaces – can shift how we think about German ecological thought.

Nat holds an MA in Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago and a BA in Comparative Literature from Reed College. Their research has been supported by fellowships at the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights (2023–24) and Fulbright Austria (2019–20). They have also studied at the University of Oxford and Universität Tübingen. Their literary translations and criticism have been published in TRANSIT: A Journal of Travel, Migration and Multilingualism in the German-speaking World and in Chicago Review.


  • “Uncanny Gender(s) in German Film, 1920–2020” (Winter 2024)
  • “History of International Cinema I: The Silent Era” (Autumn 2023, as CA) 
  • “Elementary German for Beginners I, II, III” (Autumn 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022)
  • “(Re-)Living Nazi Germany through the Eyes of the Graphic Novel” (Winter 2021, as CA)