Dr. Nicholas Baer

Alfried Krupp Junior Fellow
(October 2021 - September 2022) 

  • B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago (2007); M.A. in Rhetoric and Film Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (2010); Ph.D. in Film & Media and Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley (2015); Visiting Researcher at the Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, and University of Cologne (2012–15)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies and Philosophy at the State University of New York at Purchase (2016–17); Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Humanities and Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Chicago (2017–19)
  • Assistant Professor of Film Studies in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media at the University of Groningen (2020–present)

Fellow project: "The Ends of Perfection: On a Limit Concept in Global Film and Media Theory“

The concept of perfection has enormous currency in today’s digital economy. The latest models of the smartphone, tablet, laptop, and television promise sharp, pristine images with lossless compression and a maximal likeness to reality. While Hito Steyerl has defended the “imperfect” image as an antidote to hegemonic media structures, I demonstrate that the concept of perfection itself is anything but stable or unequivocal in its meanings. Intervening in contemporary debates about “rich” and “poor” images, and “high” and “low” definition, my project offers a more differentiated and historically dynamic understanding of perfection as a key concept in global film and media theory. The project establishes the aesthetic category of perfection as a vital site of theoretical inquiry in the present age of digital technologies and pervasive neoliberal logics.