Lang Professor Wins Generous Grant For ‘Casablanca’ Book

When scholars publish their book projects, their audience tends to be limited to a small number of people—namely, other scholars.

But Noah Isenberg, an author and professor of Culture and Media at The New School, has sought to garner a broader readership.

His latest book project, Everybody Comes to Rick’s: How ‘Casablanca’ Taught Us to Love Movies, is “aimed primarily at a non-academic audience—at that elusive ‘educated reader’ scholars,” Isenberg said.

So, it’s fitting that he was recently named the recipient of a $42,000 grant from National Endowment for the Humanities’ Public Scholar program, a new initiative designed to promote the publication of scholarly nonfiction books for a general audience.

The grant was very competitive, with 36 writers being chosen from an applicant pool of 485. More than $1.7 million was awarded in total.

“The new NEH Public Scholar research fellowship seems to have been an ideal match for the project, as it specifically emphasizes a perceived need among scholars in the humanities to speak to readers beyond the walls of the ivory tower,” Isenberg said.

Everybody Comes to Rick’s chronicles the long afterlife of that most fabled of classic Hollywood productions—trying to locate where the film now resides in our popular imagination—on the eve of its 75th anniversary.

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