AboutOur PeoplePeter Decherney
Peter Decherney headshot

Peter Decherney

Professor of English and Cinema & Media Studies
College of Arts and Sciences

Peter Decherney is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies and Faculty Director of the Online Learning Initiative 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 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 documentary and virtual reality filmmaker, who has shot films in Africa, Asia, and the U.S. His virtual reality docuseries. “The Heart of Puerto Rico,” about artists in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (co-directed with Jean Lee) won the Best VR Film at the AT&T Film Awards. And his documentary, “Dreaming of Jerusalem” (co-directed with Sosena Solomon), about the Jewish Community in Gondar, Ethiopia was a Discovery+ original.

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 65,000 learners.