Donna Kornhaber is the author of Charlie Chaplin, Director (Northwestern University Press, 2014), Wes Anderson: A Collector’s Cinema (Contemporary Film Directors Series, University of Illinois Press, 2017)Nightmares in the Dream Sanctuary: War and the Animated Film (University of Chicago Press, 2019)and Silent Film: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions Series, Oxford University Press, 2020).  Her articles have appeared in Cinema Journal, Film History, and Camera Obscura, among other journals and edited collections.

In 2016, Dr. Kornhaber was named an Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and she is researching a new book project on women screenwriters in the silent era with the Academy’s support.   In 2021, her book Nightmares in the Dream Sanctuary was awarded the Norman McLaren / Evelyn Lambart Award for Best Scholarly Book in Animation by the Society for Animation Studies.

She is also the series editor of the 21st Century Film Essentials book series, which launched in November 2020 with The University of Texas Press.

Her work has been reviewed in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal and The New Yorkerand she has been interviewed by CNN, the BBC (here and here), and NPR.  Her research has been profiled in The Hollywood ReporterTexas Monthly, and Austin Woman Magazine, and she has served as a guest film programmer at the Austin Film Society, the Film Studies Center at The University of Chicago, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Dr. Kornhaber is the recipient of numerous teaching awards at the college, university, and UT-system levels, including the college-wide Raymond Dickson Centennial Endowed Teaching Fellowship and the Josefina Paredes Endowed Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts, the university-wide President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, and the state-wide University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor within the University of Texas system.

In 2019, Dr. Kornhaber was named a Fellow of the Eleanor Butt Crook Professorship in UT’s Plan II Honors Program and selected to design and teach the program’s inaugural “Crucible Course,” a specially-funded category of honors seminars focused on experiential learning.

Dr. Kornhaber is an affiliated faculty member with the Department of American Studies and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and an M.F.A. and B.F.A. from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.


Ph.D. 2009, M.Phil. 2005, M.A. 2003, Columbia University English and Comparative Literature (Doctoral Program Subcommittee on Theatre and Performance)

M.F.A., 2001, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing (Screenwriting)

B.F.A., 1999, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television


Silent Film: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. 147 pp.

Nightmares in the Dream Sanctuary: War and the Animated Film. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019. 279 pp.

Wes Anderson: A Collector’s Cinema. Contemporary Film Directors Series. Eds. Justus Nieland and Jennifer Fay. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2017. 194 pp.

Charlie Chaplin, Director. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2014. 341 pp.

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    Series Editor, 21st Century Film Essentials. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2018-present

    Donna Kornhaber

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