Peter Decherney

CIMS Director | Professor of Cinema & Media Studies and English


Fisher-Bennett Hall 211


Peter Decherney is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication and an affiliation with the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition at Penn Law School. He is the Faculty Director of Penn’s campus-wide Online Learning Initiative and Director of the Cinema & Media Studies Program.

He is the author or editor of six books including Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet and Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction. Prof. Decherney has also written for The New York Times, Forbes, Inside Higher Ed, and other publications.

He is an award-winning film director, whose films include a documentary about Myanmar’s film industry, a virtual reality documentary about a Kenyan refugee settlement, and an 11-episode virtual reality docuseries about Puerto Rican artists after Hurricane Maria. He is currently completing a documentary about the Jewish community in northern Ethiopia.

Prof. Decherney 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 over 50,000 learners.

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