Robert von Dassanowsky, Ph.D.

 Robert von Dassanowsky, Ph.D.

Robert von Dassanowsky, Ph.D.

Professor of German and Film Studies, Head of German Program
Languages & Cultures


Robert Dassanowsky is Professor of German and Film, and founding Director of the Film Studies Program in Visual and Performing Arts. Given his dual appointment, he is also Head of German in the Department of Languages and Cultures. He received his PhD in Germanic Studies at UCLA and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the AFI Conservatory and UCLA for Film. Research and instruction areas includes Austrian, German, and Central European cinema; German and Austrian Literature and Culture of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries; the Baroque and Neo-Baroques; European popular culture; propaganda film; fascisms; post-Soviet Central Europe; postmodernism. Prof. Dassanowsky is the founding vice president of the International Alexander Lernet-Holenia Society, and is also active as an independent film producer. He was elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2001 and currently serves as a U.S. delegate to the organization. In 2007, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS) London, and in 2010, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He is a voting member of the European Film Academy (EFA), the Austrian Academy of Film, and has served as president of the Austrian Studies Association (ASA). He is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Austrian Studies (JAL) the Journal of Austrian-American History, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Studia Germanica Posnaniensia, (Adam Mickiewicz U. Poznań). From 2010-15, he was appointed external reviewer for the Transatlantic (US/EU) Masters in Cinema and Language Program of the Atlantis Project for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture. From 2014-19 he served on the Board of Advisors for the Salzburg Institute of Religion, Culture and Arts, and is currently Board member of the Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) Research Institute in Dublin. For information on Film Studies, please see Prof. Dassanowsky’s page at the UCCS Visual and Performing Arts Department site.

Published Books

  • Editor (with Michael Burri), After Vienna: Postimperial Salzburg as Austria’s Future ‘Kulturstadt’ (Bloomsbury, 2021).
  • Screening Trancendence: Film under ‘Austrofascism’ and the Hollywood Hope 1933-1938 (Indiana University Press, 2017).
  • Translation (with Gregor Thuswaldner) of the German-language stage play Jägerstätter by Felix Mitterer. New Orleans: (University of New Orleans Press, 2015).
  • Editor, World Film Locations: Vienna (Intellect 2012).
  • Editor, Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds: A Manipulation of Meta-cinema (Continuum 2012).
  • Editor (with Martin Liebscher and Christophe Fricker), The Nameable and The Unnameable: Hofmannsthal's "Der Schwierige" Revisited (Iudicium 2010).
  • Editor (with Oliver C. Speck), New Austrian Film (Berghahn 2011).
  • Austrian Cinema: A History (McFarland 2005).
  • Alexander Lernet-Holenia, Mars in Aries (English translation of the 1941 novel Mars im Widder) (Ariadne 2003).
  • Editor, The Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, 3 Vols. (Gale Research 1999). 
  • Phantom Empires: The "Austrian" Novels of Alexander Lernet-Holenia (Ariadne 1996).

Book Chapters (selection)

  • “Ein Identitätstreffen: Alexander Lernet-Holenia, Erich Engel und die Zukunft des Ständestaates im Spielfilm Hohe Schule (1934).” Prekäre Identitäten: Historische Umbrüche, ihre politische Erfahrung und literarische Verarbeitung im Werk Alexander Lernet-Holenias. Ed. Margit Dirscherl and Oliver Jahraus. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2020. 37-49.
  • “‘Ceci n'est pas une Allemagne’: On the Treachery of Images and the Deconstruction of Hitchcock’s Thriller in Torn Curtain.” Hitchcock and the Cold War: New Essays on the Espionage Films, 1956-1969. Ed. Walter Raubicheck. New York: Pace University Press, 2018. 107-38.
  • "Counter Cinematic Reflections and Non/National Strategies: New Austrian Film and the Berlin School." A Transnational Art-Cinema: The Berlin School and Its Global Contexts. Eds. Marco Abel and Jaimey Fisher. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2018. 76-95.
  • "The Apostolic Boulevard and "Modern Baroque": Reconsidering the Urban Perspectives of the Ringstrasse and "Vienna 1900" as Lingering Catholic Counter-Reformation." Belief Systems in Austrian Literature, Thought and Culture. Eds. Michael Boehringer, Allison Cattel, Belinda Kleinhan. Vienna: Praesens Verlag, 2017. 63-83.
  • "Taking the Waters: The Danube’s Reception in Austrian/Central European Cinema History." Watersheds: Poetics and Politics of the Danube River. Eds. Marijeta Bozovic and Matthew Miller. Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press, 2016. 25-52
  • "Dr. ‘King’ Schultz as Ideologue and Emblem: The German Enlightenment and the Legacy of 1848 in Django Unchained." Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained: A Continuation of Metacinema. Ed. Oliver C. Speck. New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2014. 17-38.
  • "Lernet-Holenia contra Marxism: The Literary Habsburg Myth and Galicia in Andrzej Kusniewicz's Krol obojga Sycylii (The King of the Two Sicilies)." Auf dem Weg in die Moderne. Deutsche und Österreichische Literatur und Kultur. Eds. Roswitha Burwick, Lorely French, Ivett Guntersdorfer. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013. 159-69.
  • "13 October 1922: Alexander Kolowrat-Krakowsky Sets Course for Austrian (Inter)National Film." A New History of German Cinema. Eds. Jennifer Kapczynski and Michael Richardson. Rochester: Camden House, 2012. 117-23. H-German Reviews Film Book of the Year 2012.
  • "Austria Mundi: A Forgotten International-National Cinema and the New Austrian Film." Austria Mundi. Interkulturelles Wien. Ed. Günther Berger. Frankfurt aM/Wien: Peter Lang, 2012. 79-89.
  • "The Third Reich as Bordello and Pig Sty: Between Critical Neodecadence and Hyperbole of Degeneration in Tinto Brass' Salon Kitty." Nazisploitation!The Nazi Image in Low-Brow Cinema and Culture. Eds. Daniel Magilow, Elizabeth Bridges, Kris Vander Lugt. New York: Continuum, 2011. 115-33.
  • Historical Representation and Mourning in Millennial Austrian Literature and Film. Zeitenwende: Österreichische Literatur seit dem Millennium, 2000-2010. Eds. Michael Boehringer and Susanne Hochreiter. Vienna: Praesens Verlag, 2011. 301-22.
  • "Post-Chandos, Post-Imperial and Pre-Sound: The Cinematic Influence on Der Schwierige." Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Der Schwierige. A Classic Revisited. Eds. Christophe Fricker, Martin Liebscher, and Robert von Dassanowsky. IGRS Series, University of London. Munich: Iudicium Verlag, 2011. 176-93.
  • "Gendering the Crusade: Representations of Female Roles and Sexuality in Film under Austrofascism." Contested Passions: Sexuality, Eroticism, and Gender in Modern Austrian Literature and Culture. Austrian Culture Series, Ed. Clemens Ruthner and Raleigh Whitinger. New York/Bern/Berlin/Vienna: Peter Lang, 2011. 269-88.
  • "Finis Austriae, vivat Austria: The Re/Vision of 1918 in Austrian Film." Österreich 1918 und die Folgen: Geschichte, Literatur und Film. Eds. Karl Müller and Hans Wagener. Wien: Böhlau, 2008. 179-96.
  • "Under the Image: On Criminality, Guilt, and National Allegory in Alois Hotschnig’s Leonardos Hände." Crime and Madness in Modern Austria: Myth, Metaphor and Cultural Realities. Ed. Rebecca Thomas. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. 444-59.
  • "Between Resistance and Collaboration: Austrian Film and Nazism Before and During the Anschluss." Cinema and the Swastika: The International Expansion of Third Reich Cinema. Eds. Roel Vande Winkel and David Welch. London/New York: Macmillan/Palgrave, 2007. 58-71. Book awarded Willy Haas Prize 2007 for Film History from CINEFEST: Cinegraph/Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Germany
  • "Maximilian and Juarez in 1939: Dieterle's Juarez Film as Mitteleuropa Metaphor." Viajes: Festgabe für Herwig Zens. Ed. Günther Berger. Frankfurt aM/Wien: Peter Lang, 2007.
  • "Der Einfluß Arnold Fanck und Leni Riefenstahl im zeitgenössischen amerikanischen Film." Der BergFILM 1920-1940. Ed. Friedbert Aspetsberger. Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2002. 113-24.
  • "Expressionist Theater Before its Time: Max Dauthendey's Jugendstil Drama Glück." Insieme: Kunst und kulturgeschichtliche Beiträge. Ed. Günther Berger. Wien: Peter Lang, 2001. 27-38.
  • "Habsburgischer Meta-Mythos: Alexander Lernet-Holenias Die Hexen als postmoderner Roman." Alexander Lernet-Holenia: Poesie auf dem Boulevard. Ed. Thomas Eicher and Bettina Gruber. Köln: Böhlau, 1999. 131-44.
  • "The Role of Austria will be played by... Ingeborg Bachmann's Requiem für Fanny Goldmann as Sociopolitical Allegory." Thunder Rumbling at My Heels: Tracing Ingeborg Bachmann. Ed. Gudrun Brokoph-Mauch. Riverside: Ariadne, 1998. 24-41.
  • "Österreich contra Ostmark: Alexander Lernet-Holenia's Mars im Widder as Resistance Novel. Literatur der inneren Emigration in Österreich. Ed. Karl Müller. Wien: Döcker Verlag, 1998. 157-80.

Refereed Articles (selection)

  • “Werner Hochbaum’s Forgotten Austrian Masterwork: Visual Experimentation, Proto-Noir and the Hitchcock Connection in Die ewige Maske/The Eternal Mask” (1935). Senses of Cinema 95, (July 2020) online.
  • "Critical (Self-)Reflections in the Elusive Other: The Image of the Austrian in the Films of Visconti, Fellini, and Cavani." Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies, Vol. 6:2 (2018). 159-77.
  • The Anschluss as Viennese Film Noir: Reading Leo Perutz's Novel Fragment Mainacht in Wien (1938) as Cinematic Text." Journal of Austrian Studies, Vol. 50, No. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 2017). 33-54.
  • "The Many Fins de siècle of Austrian Studies, or What Follows Vienna 1900?" Austrian Studies Forum, German Quarterly. 89/2 (April 2016). 221-239.
  • "Home/Sick: Locating Billy Wilder’s Cinematic Austria." Journal of Austrian Studies. Vol. 46, No. 3 (Fall 2013). 1-25.
  • "A Reasonable Fantasy: The Musical Film under Austrofascism (1933-38)." Colloquia Germanica 43/4 (2010). 319-40
  • "Snow Blinded: The Alps contra Vienna in Entertainment Film at the Anschluss." Austrian Studies (U.K.) Austria and the Alps: Landscape, Culture and National Identity Issue, Jon Hughes, ed. Vol. 18. (2010/11). 106-23.
  • "Screening Transcendence: Emigrantenfilm and the Construction of an Austrofascist Identity in Singende Jugend." Austrian History Yearbook Vol. 39 (2008). 157-75.
  • "Wien-Film, Karl Hartl und Mozart: Zum Versagen der Gleichschaltung des österreichischen Films nach der deutschen Besetzung 1938. "Österreich in Geschichte und Literatur 5/6 (2006). 327-34.
  • "Austria's 1960s Film Trauma: Notes on a Cinematic Phoenix" Undercurrent 3 Fall (2006) online. "Austria Hungry: Return of a Film Nation. Vienna’s Forgotten Influence and New Austrian Film." Bright Lights Film Journal 51 (2006) online .
  • "Maximilian and Juarez in 1939: Dieterle’s Juarez Film as Mitteleuropa Metaphor." Central Europe (U.K.) Vol. 3, No. 2 November (2005). 143-50.
  • "Mon Cousin de Liernut: France as Code for Idealized Personal and Political Identity in the ‘Austrian Novels’ of Alexander Lernet-Holenia." Austrian Studies (U.K.) Austria and France Issue Vol. 13 October (2005). 173-90.
  • "Entdeckung einer Filmnation: österreichischer Film der Gegenwart aus amerikanischer Sicht." Die Furche (Austria) 10 March 2005, sec III. 3.
  • "Going Home Again? Ruzowitzky's Die Siebtelbauern and the New Austrian Heimatfilm." The Germanic Review. Spring (2003). 133-47.
  • "An Unclaimed Country: The Austrian Image in American Film and the Sociopolitics of The Sound of Music." Bright Lights Film Journal 41 (2003) online .
  • "A Mountain of a Ship": Locating the Bergfilm in James Cameron's Titanic. Cinema Journal 40, No. 4, Summer (2001). 18-35.
  • "Märchen vom Glück: Postwar Austrian Cinema's Iconoclastic Missing Link." Maske und Kothurn, Special Issue: Das Märchen vom Glück: Österreichischer Film in der Besatzungszeit.46/1 (Austria) (2001). 61-67.
  • "Male Sites/Female Visions: Four Female Austrian Film Pioneers." Modern Austrian Literature. Vol. 32, No. 1 (1999). 126-40. Reprinted in Blimp Film Magazine (Austria) Fall (2000). 111-37.
  • "Welches Österreich? The Sound of Music -- Filmbild und Realität." Filmkunst: Zeitschrift für Filmkultur und Filmwissenschaft 154 (1998). 5-17.
  • "Wherever you may run, he will find you: Leni Riefenstahl's Self-Reflection and Romantic Transcendence of Nazism in Tiefland." Camera Obscura. 35 (1996/97). 107-29.

Honors and Awards (Selection)

  • 2020 Ethics Fellow, Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative (DFEI)
  • 2015 CU-System Thomas Jefferson Award
  • 2014 Botstiber Foundation Institute for Austrian-American Studies Grant
  • 2013 UCCS Faculty Award for Excellence in Research
  • 2006 UCCS Chancellor's Award
  • 2005 Decoration of Honor in Silver, Republic of Austria
  • 2004 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching/CASE U.S. Professor of the Year for Colorado
  • 2002 College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Research Award
  • 2001 UCCS Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • 2001 CU President's Fund for the Humanities Grant
  • 1998 College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Teaching Award
  • 1996 CU President's Fund for the Humanities Grant