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NEWS: Check out my summer interview series on Hollywood and Covid-19 and my latest article on Covid-19 and online learning.

I am Professor of Cinema & Media Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania, where I hold a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication and an affiliation with the  Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition at Penn Law School. I am the Faculty Director of Penn’s campus-wide Online Learning Initiative as well as Director of the Cinema & Media Studies Program. (more formal bio)

My research focuses on media law and policy, especially the regulation of Hollywood. My books include Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction, Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet, and Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American. In addition, I have coedited books on Iranian cinema,  internet policy, and the cultural theorist Stuart Hall.

I am also a filmmaker and photographer. I’ve made documentary and virtual reality films about Myanmar’s film industry, a Kenyan refugee settlement, and Puerto Rican artists after Hurricane Maria. I am currently editing a film about the Jewish community in Gondar, Ethiopia.

I wrote about media and copyright for Forbes (articles here), and I am currently writing (with Caroline Levander) a series on education and Covid-19 for Inside Higher Ed (articles here).

Please try my free online course (a MOOC) on the history of Hollywood, which has been taken by more than 50,000 learners.

Feel free to click the courses navigation link at the top of this page to see course websites with syllabi and readings.

I live outside of Philadelphia with my wife, two children, and very enthusiastic yellow lab.

decherney@sas.upenn.edu  |  @pdecherney (twitter)