Peter Decherney

Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Endowed Term Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Cinema & Media Studies, with a secondary appointments in English and Communication


Fisher-Bennett Hall 211


Peter Decherney is an award-winning fine art photographer, filmmaker, and author. He holds the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Endowed Term Chair in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies and Director of the Penn Global Documentary Institute.

Peter is the author or editor of seven books including HOLLYWOOD’S COPYRIGHT WARS: FROM EDISON TO THE INTERNET and HOLLYWOOD: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION. He has also written for The New York Times, Forbes, and Inside Higher Ed, among many other publications.

His photographs of global Jewish communities have been exhibited in museums, galleries, and universities, and his first book of photography, ENDLESS EXODUS: THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE IN ETHIOPIA is forthcoming.

Peter’s films have focused on migration and the political role of artists. His virtual reality docuseries, THE HEART OF PUERTO RICO, about artists in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (co-directed with Jean Lee) won the Best VR Experience and Best Director awards at the AT&T Film Awards. His documentary, DREAMING OF JERUSALEM (co-directed with Sosena Solomon), about the Jewish community in Ethiopia, is a Discovery+ original. IS IT BECAUSE I’M A GIRL, about the South Sudanese Hip-Hop Dancer Nao.G, premiered at the Miami Film Festival.

Peter has been an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to Myanmar. He is an award-winning teacher, whose open online course on the history of Hollywood has enrolled more than 80,000 learners. He also holds a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication and an affiliation with the Penn Law Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition.

more at