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Nicholas Baer


Dissertation: “Absolute Relativity: Weimar Cinema and the Crisis of Historicism”

Assistant Professor of Film Studies, University of Groningen

Baer2015 kopie



Nicholas Baer received his PhD in Film & Media from UC Berkeley in 2015, with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. Currently, he is Assistant Professor of Film Studies in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media at the University of Groningen. Before moving to the Netherlands, he was Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Humanities and Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Chicago. His research examines film and contemporary digital media in relation to broader aesthetic, cultural, and philosophical debates of the modern era.

In his forthcoming monograph, Historical Turns: Weimar Cinema and the Crisis of Historicism, Baer places films of the Weimar Republic in conversation with the “crisis of historicism” that was widely diagnosed by German intellectuals in the interwar period. The project challenges the historicist tenets of New Film History and expands the field of media philosophy, probing the nexus between moving-image culture and historical-philosophical inquiry. Baer’s research has been supported through yearlong fellowships from the Fulbright Program, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and Leo Baeck Institute / Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. His work on the project was also recognized with the 2015 Karsten Witte Prize for best essay of the year from the Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (Society for Media Studies).

Baer has co-edited two volumes of film and media theory: the multi-award-winning The Promise of Cinema: German Film Theory, 1907–1933 (University of California Press, 2016) and Unwatchable (Rutgers University Press, 2019). He has published in journals such as Cinéma & Cie, Film Quarterly, Leo Baeck Institute Year Book, Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Seminar, and October, and his writings have been translated into six languages.

For a list of his publications, please click here.