New professor in Bergman’s honour

A German academic has been named as the first holder of a new professorship created in honour of Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman.

Thomas Elsaesser, a professor of film studies at the University of Amsterdam, is the first holder of the new Ingmar Bergman Professorship at Stockholm University.

Elsaesser’s special area of research is “art cinema”, the area in which Bergman has received international prominence.

The professor, who was born in Berlin in 1943, started off as a film critic in London, and later became editor of the film journal Monogram. In 1971 he received a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from the University of Sussex in England and later initiated film studies at the University at East Anglia in 1976 where he taught until 1991.

He was then appointed to create an undergraduate and graduate film studies program at the University of Amsterdam. Elsaesser is the author of numerous books on German cinema.

The Ingmar Bergman Professorship is funded by a grant from The Royal Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. They awarded Ingmar Bergman an honorary doctorate in 1975.

“A professorship in Ingmar Bergman’s name will help to promote scholarship of the highest international order” , says Åse Kleveland, chair of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, and director of the Swedish Film Institute.

Moira Sullivan

Moira Sullivan is a freelance journalist and member of the Swedish Film Critics’ Association