Hart Wegner is professor of German, comparative literature, and film studies, of which he is the founder. He was educated first at the ancient Elisabet Schule — founded 200 years before Columbus — in the Silesian capital Breslau. At the age of 15, he began work in a coal mine in the Ruhr District of Germany. In an ironic twist, Wegner then graduated from the Combat Intelligence School of the U. S. Army. Under the G. I. Bill, he studied philosophy and history at the University of Vienna (Kainz, Gabriel, Topitsch, Hantsch). Back in America he went on to receive his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Utah and his Ph. D. from Harvard University.
Wegner has received numerous grants and awards, such as inclusion in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories. He was the first foreign-born writer elected to the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. He won the Charles Vanda Award for Creativity in its first year and the Regents Award for Creativity in its second year. He also received the William Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1998 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Shenandoah University, Virginia.
Naturally, he has written on the teaching of film, but also on John Gardner, V. S. Naipul, Bruce Chatwin, Bert Brecht, Vittorio de Sica, Jean Renoir, Virgil Goethe, Otto Preminger, Douglas Sirk, John Ford, Friedrich Duerrenmatt, and others. He recreated the original screenplay of Josef von Sternberg’s Blue Angel (Der blaue Engel, Harcourt Brace) and published Houses of Ivory, a first collection of his fiction (Soho Press, distributed, by Farrar, Strauss, Giroux). Houses of Ivory was adapted by the Library of Congress for its Talking Book Program for the Blind, and recorded by the Capital American Foundation for the Blind.