Paul Lerner - Vienna in Hollywood

BIAAS issued a grant for $10,000 to Paul Lerner (working in cooperation with Doris Berger (Academy Museum of Motion Pictures), Regina Range (University of Alabama), and Michaela Ullmann (USC Libraries) to fund a two-day symposium in 2020 on the topic of Austrians in Hollywood and Austrian-American cinematic connections.

The Symposium will consist of lectures aimed at both an academic audience and the general public which will explore such topics as: Austrian filmmakers in Hollywood from the 1920s through the 1940s; Austrian filmmakers today; Austrian women screenwriters; Austrians working behind the scenes (in e.g. set design, costuming, and camerawork) in Hollywood; multicultural, multiethnic exchange in Vienna and Los Angeles; and the historical relationship between Los Angeles and Vienna. The symposium will include film screenings at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, and a yet-to-be confirmed Austrian public figure will open the symposium to attract a large audience and media attention.

Paul Lerner serves as the director of the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies and is a professor of history at the University of Southern California. Lerner’s current work explores the reciprocity of influence between American and European consumer culture via the lives of key Central European emigrants, from interwar Vienna through postwar America and, in some cases, back to Vienna. He is the author of Hysterical Men: War, Psychiatry, and the Politics of Trauma in Germany, 1890–1930, and The Consuming Temple: Jews, Department Stores, and the Consumer Revolution in Germany, 1880-1940, and has co-edited several books on the history of psychiatry, German and Austrian Jewish history, and the history of consumer culture.