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Thomas Elsaesser studied English Literature and Comparative Literature at Heidelberg University and the University of Sussex. He went on to work as a film critic in London and as editor international of Monogram magazine. Starting in 1972, he taught at the University of East Anglia. In 1976, he created the institution’s Film Studies programme and served as its director until 1986. Elsaesser was then called to the University of Amsterdam, where he built the first Film and Television Studies programme in the Netherlands, serving as its director from 1991 to 2001. From 2001 to 2008, he worked as a research professor at the University of Amsterdam. Since being conferred the status of Professor Emeritus in 2008, he has held guest professorships at Yale University (2006–2012) and Columbia University (since 2013).