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Professor Stuart Liebman

Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellow
"The Construction of the Holocaust in Cinema, 1944-1949"

Professional Background

Professor Stuart Liebman received a Ph.D. and an M.A. in cinema studies from New York University, an M.A. in fine art history from Boston University, and a B.A. in sociology from Brandeis University. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was Professor and the Founding Department Chair of Media Studies at Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY), and Professor of Theatre and Art History at the CUNY Graduate Center. For his Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellowship, Professor Liebman conducted research for his project “The Construction of the Holocaust in Cinema, 1944-1949.”

Professor Liebman has extensively studied the representation of the Holocaust in film. He has organized many conferences at the CUNY Graduate Center in which historians, film critics, graduate students and scholars analyzed and discussed selected films. Professor Liebman is the author of numerous scholarly publications. He has written on Czech films of the Holocaust, the cinema of the Weimar Republic, and studies of film directors and their work including Alexander Kluge, Wanda Jakubowska, Edgar Reitz, Jean Renoir, Helke Sander, and Dusan Makavejev, among many others. He is co-editor with Annette Michelson of “Berlin 1945: War and Rape; Liberators Take Liberties,” a special edition of October (no. 72, Spring 1995) which won the Association of American Publishers’ Award for “Best Single Issue of a Scholarly Journal” in 1995. For his exceptional work in cinema studies, Professor Liebman is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities; Goethe House of New York; the Florence Gould Foundation; and the Lucius Littauer Foundation, among others. He received a PSC-CUNY Research Foundation grant to conduct research on “The Cinema of the Holocaust: The First Five Years,” and an award from the Righteous Persons Foundation with which he co-organized the first international conference on the representation of the Holocaust in cinema. Professor Leibman has also organized exhibitions and lectured widely on the Holocaust and film.

Fellowship Research

During his tenure at the Museum, Professor Liebman examined immediate post-war films, including the 1944 Soviet/Polish documentary on Majdanek and the early American and Soviet newsreels from 1945 to 1949, as well as the production, diffusion, and reception of these films. With a particular sensitivity to the social and political contexts in which these films were made, he examined the use and misuse of post-war film and analyzed the ways in which many films underemphasize, or sidestep, the story of the Jewish tragedy.

Professor Liebman was in residence at the Mandel Center from February 1 to June 1, 2004.