John Urang – Bio

John Urang, Ph.D.

CLS-john-urang-sqAssistant Professor, Media and Culture

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Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.A., University of Chicago
B.A. Bard College

Classes Taught

New Media and Digital Culture
Introduction to Cultural Studies
Entering Student Seminar: World Cinema
Introduction to Media Studies
Introduction to Film
Watching Romance
Humanity in Perspective: Visual Culture


John Urang’s research and teaching interests include film and media theory, German and European cultural history, and critical theory. He was a visiting assistant professor at Reed College from 2007–2011 and an assistant professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute from 2011–2012. He has also taught at Portland State University and Roosevelt University in Chicago.

His first book, Legal Tender: Love and Legitimacy in the East German Cultural Imagination, was published in 2010 by Cornell University Press.

He is currently working on a book about domesticity and reproduction in postwar German film.

Selected Publications

“Zur Sache, Schätzchen: Visual Pleasure and New German Cinema.” German Studies Review, 37.1, February 2014.

“Solitary Confinement: Reproduction and the Law in Kluge’s Yesterday Girl.” New German Critique, 120, Fall 2013.

“The ‘Old Wheel’ and its Revolutions: Precarious Authority in Das Leben der Hochgräfin Gritta von Rattenzuhausbeiuns (Gisela and Bettina von Arnim, 1840).” The Germanic Review, 88.2, 2013.

“‘Everything has its Limits!’ The Berlin Wall and the Problem of Desire.” Konturen, Vol. IV. 2013

“June 20, 1977: Manfred Krug Leaves the GDR.” A New History of German Cinema, Camden House, 2010.

“Surveillance, Perversion, and the Last Days of the GDR.” Ossi Wessi. Ed. Donald Backman and Aida Sakalauskaite, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008.

“Realism and Romance in the East German Cinema, 1952–1962.” Film History 18.1: 88–103, 2006.

Selected Presentations

“I Was Nineteen: Konrad Wolf’s Post-Traumatic Picaresque.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Seattle, WA, March 2014. (Session chair)

“Passage Work: Paul Scheerbart, Walter Benjamin & Josiah McElheny’s Light Club Films.” Talk as part of the “Reflective Dialogues” series at the Lumber Room gallery, Portland, OR. October 2013

“Sovereign Exceptions: Precarious Authority in Das Leben der Hochgräfin Gritta von Rattenzuhausbeiuns,” paper in the panel “Female Authorship and Transnational Reception in the Nineteenth Century.” German Studies Association conference, Louisville, KY. September 2011

“Right Triangles: Romantic Choice as Political Avowal in GDR Film,” public lecture at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR. November 2010

“‘Where we are not, our enemies are’: The Berlin Wall and the Disavowal of Desire,” public lecture at the University of Oregon, Eugene. November 2009

“Eye Contact: Reading Surveillance in Recent German Literature and Film,” public lecture at the University of Oregon, Eugene. February 2008