Steven Cohan is a Dean’s Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the English Department in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. Professor Cohan taught courses and supervised graduate research in film studies, popular culture, gender and sexualities, and cultural studies. His writing focuses primarily on queer theory, narrative theory, films and musicals, and the history of Hollywood.
Cohan is a highly regarded writer, having written many books including books include Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative (1988, co-authored with Linda M. Shires), Screening the Male (1993, co-edited with Ina Rae Hark), The Road Movie Book (1997, co-edited with Ina Rae Hark), Masked Men: Masculinity and the Movies in the Fifties (1997), Hollywood Musicals, The Film Reader (2001), Incongruous Entertainment: Camp, Cultural Value, and the MGM Musical (2005), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2008) The Sound of Musicals (2010), Hollywood by Hollywood (2018), and Routledge Film Guidebooks: Hollywood Musicals (2019).
His essays have appeared in Camera Obscura, Screen, and Cinema Journal as well as many anthologies. Since retiring he has written essays on Danny Kaye’s queer persona, The Boys in the Band, Billy Wilder’s apartment plots, Marilyn Monroe biopics, the cold war cycle of musicals set in Paris, Bob Hope’s comedian musicals, Judy Garland as a cult star, Esther Williams’s Latin lovers, Queer Hollywood Musicals of the 1940s, the 1937 A Star Is Born, and Fosse/Verdon. At present he is starting a new book that examines the connections between film noir and the woman’s film of the 1940s and 1950s. His work has been translated into French, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.
He was awarded the Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement in 2006 and the Graduate School’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education in 2014. He was President of the Society of Cinema Studies from 2015-2017.