Professor of Culture and Media
Eugene Lang Building
Noah Isenberg is Professor of Culture and Media and director of the Screen Studies B.A. program at Eugene Lang College. The author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins (California, 2014), which the New York Times hailed as a "page turner of a biography" and the Huffington Post selected among its Best Film Books of 2014, his other books include Detour (British Film Institute, 2008) and, as editor, Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era (Columbia, 2009), which was awarded a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. His latest book is We'll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood's Most Beloved Movie, which was published by W.W. Norton in February 2017; it earned a spot on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list and was selected as an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review. A British edition will be published in November 2017 by Faber & Faber and a Hungarian edition will appear that same month from Európa. His writing has appeared in such diverse publications as The Nation, The New Republic, Bookforum, Paris Review Daily, New York Reveiw Daily, The Daily Beast, Times Literary Supplement, Wall Street Journal, Film Quarterly, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Film Comment, The Criterion Collection, Cinema Journal, Moving Image Source, Vertigo, New German Critique, Raritan, Dissent, Partisan Review, Salmagundi, The Threepenny Review, and the New York Times. In 2015-2016, Isenberg received an NEH Public Scholar award, and he is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities. More info can be found at his personal website.
Selection of courses taught:
PhD, German Studies, University of California at Berkeley - 1995
MA, German Literature, University of Washington - 1991
BA, European History, University of Pennsylvania - 1989
We'll Always Have ‘Casablanca’: The Life, Legend, and Aftrlife of Hollywood's Most Beloved Movie (New York: W.W. Norton; London: Faber & Faber; Budapest: Európa, 2017), 336 pp. + xvi. **Los Angeles Times Bestseller**
Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2014), 365pp. + xiv
Editor, Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009) **A 2009 Choice Outstanding Academic Title** 376pp. + viii
Detour (London: British Film Institute, 2008), 112pp.
Editor and translator, with a critical introduction, The Face of East European Jewry by Arnold Zweig (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004). 186pp. + xxvii
Between Redemption and Doom: The Strains of German-Jewish Modernism (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1999; paperback edition 2008). 236pp. + xiii
"The Usual Suspects: Casablanca's Refugee Tale Is Shockingly Relevant for 2017," The Daily Beast, 3 March 2017.
"The Reluctant Enthusiast: Orson Welles on Casablanca," The Paris Review Daily, 31 January 2017.
“The Making of Steven Spielberg” (review essay on Molly Haskell, Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films), The New Republic, 9 January 2017
Introduction, Vicki Baum, Grand Hotel (New York: New York Review of Books Classics, 2016) vii-xvi . Excerpted as “Eavesdropping on Weimar,” New York Review of Books’ NYR Daily, 9 May 2016.
“Maniacal Quests” (review essay on Werner Herzog, Of Walking on Ice), The Nation, 25 January/1 February 2016, 32-34.
“Like it Hot” (Rev. of ‘It’s the Pictures that Got Small’: Charles Brackett on Billy Wilder and Hollywood’s Golden Age, ed. Anthony Slide), Times Literary Supplement (TLS), 3 June 2015, 30.
“Made in Hollywood: Budd Schulberg’s Centennial,” The Paris Review Daily, 19 December 2014.
“Vienna Is No More? Film History, Psycho-Geography, and the Great City of Dreams,” Film Quarterly 67.4 (Summer 2014): 66-71.
“Grand Collusion” (Rev. of Ben Urwand, The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler), Bookforum, Dec/Jan 2014, 40.
“The Best Years of Their Lives” (Rev. of Mark Harris, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War), The Nation, 23/30 June 2014, 35-37.
“Other Worlds: Edgar G. Ulmer’s Underground Films of the 1950s,” Los Angeles Review of Books, 15 November 2013.
“Battle of Images” (Rev. of Thomas Doherty, Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939), TLS, 25 October 2013, 24.
“A Last Gasp of Stale Air: Edgar G. Ulmer’s late noir Murder Is My Beat,” Moving Image Source, 1 April 2013.
“‘Play It Again, Sam’—and Again and Again,” Wall Street Journal, 24-25 November 2012.
“Illuminations” (Rev. of Miriam Hansen, Cinema and Experience: Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno), Bookforum, April/May 2012, 32.
“This Pen For Hire: Siegfried Kracauer as American Cultural Critic,” in Culture in the Anteroom: The Legacies of Siegfried Kracauer, ed. Gerd Gemünden and Johannes von Moltke (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2012), 29-41.
“I, Me, Mime” (Rev. of Wayne Koestenbaum, The Anatomy of Harpo Marx), Bookforum, Summer 2012, 48.
“Tales of Buffalo Billy” (rev. essay on Noël Simsolo, Masters of Cinema: Billy Wilder), Los Angeles Review of Books, 27 March 2012.
“February 4, 1930: Menschen am Sonntag Provides a New Model of Cinematic Realism,” in A New History of German Cinema, ed. Jennifer Kapczynski and Michael Richardson (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2012), 202-207.
"Fatih Akin's Cinema of Intersections," Film Quarterly 64:4 (Summer 2011): 53-61.
"Young People Like Us," booklet essay (liner notes) for The Criterion Collection's DVD release of People on Sunday(Menschen am Sonntag), 28 June 2011, pp 6-13.
“A Matter of Memory” (rev. essay on Ingo Schulze, One More Story: Thirteen Stories in a Time-Honored Mode), The Nation (4 October 2010): 34-36.
“Muse on the Rialto” (Rev. of Stephen Barber, Abandoned Images: Film and Film’s End), TLS, 23 June 2010, 18.
“Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” The Threepenny Review (Summer 2009): 5-7.
“Walter Benjamin Forever,” The Nation, 3 November 2008, 34-36.
“Theory Out of Bounds,” Raritan 27.1 (Summer 2007): 82-103.
“Permanent Vacation: Home and Homelessness in the Life and Work of Edgar G. Ulmer,” Caught by Politics: Hitler Exiles and American Visual Culture in the 1930s and 1940s, eds. Sabine Eckmann and Lutz Koepnick (New York: Palgrave, 2007) 175-94.
“Fighting the Abyss” (review essay on Peter Weiss, The Aesthetics of Resistance, vol. 1), The Nation, 17 October 2005, 38-40.
“Dresden Mon Amour,” Bookforum (Summer 2005): 4-8. Reprinted, in Greek translation, in Epikentra (November 2005).
“Cinematic Smoke: Notes on a Cultural Icon from Weimar to Hollywood,” Smoke: A Global History of Smoking, eds. Xun Zhou and Sander L. Gilman (London: Reaktion Books, 2004) 248-55.
“Lone Ranger” (film review essay on Edgar G. Ulmer’s Ruthless and his centennial), The New Republic, 8 September 2004.
“Elevator Musician” (Rev. of Michael Krüger, The Piano Player), New York Times Book Review, 16 May 2004, 26.
“Perennial Detour: The Cinema of Edgar G. Ulmer and the Experience of Exile,” Cinema Journal 43.2 (Winter 2004): 3-25.
Recent Presentations and Exhibits
“‘Such Much?’ Casablanca, Hitler’s Refugees, and the Hollywood Screen,” Keynote Address, Exile and Shoah, University of Vermont, Burlington, 6 October 2015.
“Notes on Cinephilia,” The Future of the Past, University of California at Berkeley, 10-11 April 2015.
“Sammy Forever: The Enduring Appeal of Budd Schulberg’s What Makes Sammy Run,” Budd Schulberg at 100, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 6-7 November 2014.
“The Afterlives of Edgar G. Ulmer,” Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, 3 March 2014 and Penn Cinema Studies Colloquium on 9 April 2014.
“Traces of a Viennese Youth,” Interdisciplinary Seminar in Cinema Studies, Columbia University, New York, NY, 24 October 2013.
“Young People Like Us: The Directorial Debut of Edgar G. Ulmer,” Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, 26 April 20013.
“‘The Capra of PRC’: Edgar G. Ulmer’s Cycle of B-Pictures at Producers Releasing Corporation, 1942-46,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Boston, MA, 21-25 March 2012.
“Revisiting ‘The Decent German’: Siegfried Kracauer's Critique of Postwar German Film,” Clark University, Worcester, MA, 13 March 2012.
“Siegfried Kracauer as American Freelance Critic,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, 10-13 March 2011
"Back in Black: The Place of Edgar G. Ulmer in the Pantheon of Film Noir," Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, 14 October 2009.
“Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday, 1930) as Cinematic Feuilleton,” Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the German Studies Association, Washington, DC, 9-11 October 2009.
"This Pen for Hire: The American Criticism of Siegfried Kracauer," Looking after Siegfried Kracauer--An International Conference, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 7-8 November, 2008.
"An Ethnic Intermezzo: Edgar G. Ulmer’s Foray into Minority Cinema of the 1930s,” Ulmerfest 2006, Olomouc, Czech Republic, 15 September 2006.
“Walter Benjamin in America,” Christie’s Education, New York, 3 May 2006.
“Of Monsters and Magicians” (Keynote Address), Beyond Memorials: New Perspectives in German-Jewish Culture, University of Pennsylvania, 5 February 2006.
“Fishke out of Water: Edgar G. Ulmer’s Cycle of Yiddish Films,” Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies, University of Florida, 19 January 2006.
“Romancing the Shtetl: On the Visual and Rhetorical Flourishes of The Face of East European Jewry (1920),” Elective Affinities: Seventh International Conference on Word & Image Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 23-27 September 2005.
“Toward an Understanding of German-Jewish Modernism,” After Memory? New Directions in German-Jewish Cultural Studies, University of California at Los Angeles, 20 April 2005.
Panel Presentation o, Arnold Zweig, The Face of East European Jewry, featuring Liliane Weissberg, Jeffrey Shandler and Tom Freudenheim, Center for Jewish History (joint-sponsored by the YIVO Institute and the Leo Baeck Institute), 14 December 2004.
European Modernism, Fin-de-siècle Vienna, Exile, Emigrés in Hollywood, Film Noir, Frankfurt School, Contemporary German and Austrian Cinema, American Independent Cinema, World Cinema, and Classical Hollywood
Intro to Screen Studies
Collaborative Honors Thesis
Ind Senior Project