Robert von Dassanowsky, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert von Dassanowsky

Robert von Dassanowsky, Ph.D.

Professor and Director, Film Studies


Robert Dassanowsky is Professor of German and VAPA-Film Studies, and founding Director of the Film Studies Program. He received his PhD at UCLA and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the AFI Conservatory. His research and instruction areas in film studies and media arts includes Austrian, German, and Central European cinema; British and American film; neorealism, surrealism, and neo-decadence in Italian film; cinema of the 1960s; European and American popular culture; propaganda film; women filmmakers; postmodernism. A founding vice president of the International Alexander Lernet-Holenia Society and founding director of the Colorado chapter of PEN USA, Professor Dassanowsky is an award-winning playwright, has written for television, and serves on several festival, editorial, and publication boards including the ‘Oscar qualifying’ Vienna Shorts Festival (VIS) and the Independent Film Society of Colorado (IFSOC) with its annual international Indie Spirit Film Festival. He is also active as an independent film producer (with over 25 short and feature projects), several with his company, Belvedere Film. See IMDB for details. Prof. Dassanowsky was elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2001 and currently serves as a U.S. delegate to the organization. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS) London in 2007, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in 2010, is a voting member of the European Film Academy (EFA) and has served as president of the Austrian Studies Association (ASA). 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 for the Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) Research Institute in Dublin. At UCCS, he is the co-founder and faculty advisor of the long running annual UCCS Student Short Film Festival and mentors Film student recipients of the UCCS Student/Faculty Research, Creative Works and Community Service Awards, as well as MFA Graduate bound students. 

In addition to numerous chapters in edited volumes, Professor Dassanowsky's critical writing and reviews have appeared in the following publications: Cinema JournalSenses of CinemaCamera ObscuraBright Lights Film JournalFilm InternationalJournal of Popular Film and TelevisionAustrian History YearbookJournal of Austrian Studies, Modern Austrian Literature, Center for Austrian Studies NewsletterUndercurrentCentral EuropeAustrian Studies (UK), Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies,The Germanic ReviewColloquia Germanica, German Studies Review, Monatshefte, Die Furche (Austria), Filmkunst (Austria), Seminar (Can), Sprachkunst (Ger), Encuardes (Venezuela), The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and TelevisionPopular Culture ReviewEastern European QuarterlySouthern Humanities ReviewThe Los Angeles Times, and American Book Review.

Professor Dassanowsky’s books include: Phantom Empires: The "Austrian" Novels of Alexander Lernet-Holenia (Ariadne 1996); Editor, The Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America (Gale Research 1999); Telegrams from the Metropole: Selected Poetry 1980-1998 (Poetry Salzburg 1999); Mars in Aries (novel translation) (Ariadne 2003); Austrian Cinema: A History (McFarland 2005); Soft Mayhem: Poems (Poetry Salzburg 2010); Editor (with Oliver C. Speck), New Austrian Film (Berghahn 2011), Editor (with Martin Liebscher and Christophe Fricker), The Nameable and The Unnameable: Hofmannsthal's "Der Schwierige" Revisited (Iudicium 2010), Editor, Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds: A Manipulation of Metacinema (Continuum 2012); Editor, World Film Locations: Vienna (Intellect 2012), Screening Trancendence: Film under ‘Austrofascism’ and the Hollywood Hope 1933-1938 (Indiana University Press, 2017), Editor (with Michael Burri), After Vienna: Postimperial Salzburg as Austria’s Future ‘Kulturstadt’ (Bloomsbury, 2021).


  • Ph.D. in Germanic Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A. in German with Film Specialization, University of California, Los Angeles
  • B.A. in Political Science and German, University of California, Los Angeles
  • AFI Conservatory, Los Angeles
  • American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Pasadena

Courses Taught

Lower Division

  • Introduction to Film Studies
  • Narrative Film

Upper Division

  • German Film
  • Austrian and Central European Film
  • Directors in Focus: including courses on Hitchcock, Kubrick, Polanski, and Fellini
  • Austrian New Wave – Haneke, Albert, Hausner, Ruzowitzky, Seidl
  • Found Film
  • Hollywood's Germany
  • Women in Film (various topics)
  • Cinema Ethics
  • 1960s Through Film
  • 1970s Through Film
  • Special Topics in Film Studies (various)
  • Independent Study in Film Studies
  • Internship in Film Studies

Honors and Awards

  • 2020 Ethics Fellow, Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative (DFEI)
  • 2015 CU-System Thomas Jefferson Award
  • 2014 Botstiber Foundation Institute for Austrian-American Studies Grant
  • 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 UCCS College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Award
  • 2001 UCCS College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Faculty Teaching Award
  • 2001 CU President's Fund for the Humanities Grant
  • 1998 UCCS College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Faculty Teaching Award
  • 1996 CU President's Fund for the Humanities Grant