UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

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Student Profile


Nicholas Baer


Nicholas Baer completed his PhD in Film & Media with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory in 2015. His dissertation, “Absolute Relativity: Weimar Cinema and the Crisis of Historicism,” focused on the relationship between film and the philosophy of history in interwar Germany. Together with Anton Kaes and Michael Cowan, he co-edited The Promise of Cinema: German Film Theory, 1907–1933, which appeared in the Weimar and Now series of the University of California Press. This sourcebook features his translations of writings by Rudolf Arnheim, Béla Balázs, Lotte Eisner, Siegfried Kracauer, László Moholy-Nagy, Hans Richter, Joseph Roth, and Walter Ruttmann. Baer's research has been supported through yearlong fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), German-American Fulbright Commission, and the Leo Baeck Institute/Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. He is also the recipient of the Karsten-Witte-Preis for best film essay of the year from the Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft. Currently, Baer is Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies and Philosophy at Purchase College, State University of New York. For a list of his publications, please click here.