Thomas Elsaesser is professor emeritus in film and television studies at the University of Amsterdam, and since 2013 teaches part-time at Columbia University, New York. He gained his PhD in 1971 at the University of Sussex and subsequently taught for nearly 20 years at the University of East Anglia, where he co-founded one of the first Film Studies departments in the United Kingdom. Appointed professor in Amsterdam in 1991, he founded (and chaired until 2001) the Department of Film and Television Studies – the first in the Netherlands.
His fields of expertise include film theory and film history, genre theory, Hollywood cinema, European cinema d’auteur, media archeology and the theory of new media.
Elsaesser’s books and essays have been translated into some twenty languages. Among his publications in German are Das Weimarer Kino: aufgeklärt und doppelbödig (Berlin, 1999), Metropolis (Hamburg, 2001), Filmgeschichte und frühes Kino. Archäologie eines Medienwandels (München, 2002), Hollywood heute. Geschichte, Gender und Nation im postklassischen Kino (Berlin, 2009), Terror und Trauma. Zur Gewalt des Vergangenen in der BRD (Berlin, 2007), Filmtheorie zur Einführung (mit Malte Hagener, Hamburg, 2008), Körper, Tod und Technik - Metamorphosen des Kriegsfilms (mit Michael Wedel, Paderborn, 2016). Elsaesser is also the general editor of the series Film Culture in Transition, published by Amsterdam University Press. Its 50th volume was Elsaesser’s Film History as Media Archaeology: Tracking Digital Cinema (Amsterdam, 2016).