Eric Rentschler, PhD

Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
Eric Rentschler is the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, where he is also a faculty member of the Film and Visual Studies Program. He received his academic training in German literature and European intellectual history, studying in Stuttgart, Bonn, and Prague, before taking his doctoral degree at the University of Washington in 1977. He has been awarded Guggenheim, Humboldt, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and Fulbright grants as well as the the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Prize for best teaching by a senior faculty member at Harvard (2001) and the Walter Channing Cabot Fellowship for distinguished accomplishments in the fields of literature, history, and art (2003). His publications concentrate on film history, theory, and criticism, with particular emphasis on German cinema during the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the post-1945, post-wall, and post-millennial eras. His articles have appeared in a number of periodicals and collections; his books include West German Film in the Course of Time (Redgrave, 1984), German Film and Literature (Methuen, 1986), West German Filmmakers on Film (Holmes & Meier, 1988), Augenzeugen (Verlag der Autoren, 1988; second updated edition 2001, with Hans Helmut Prinzler), The Films of G.W. Pabst (Rutgers University Press, 1990), The Ministry of Illusion: Nazi Cinema and Its Afterlife (Harvard University Press, 1996), Neuer Deutscher Film (Reclam, 2012, with Norbert Grob and Hans Helmut Prinzler), and The Use and Abuse of Cinema: German Legacies from the Weimar Era to the Present (Columbia University Press, 2015). His current book project has the working title The Cinema of Consensus: Zeitgeist Scenarios in the Kohl Era.


  • PhD University of Washington