I hold a PhD in Film and Performance Studies from the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle (Thesis on Metropolis de Fritz Lang: esthétique ou esthétiques in 1987).

I have been teaching in the Netherlands since 1988, first at the Department of Film- en Opvoeringskunsten [Film Theory and Dramatics] at the KU Nijmegen, and since 1997 at Utrecht University, where I am professor of Media History since 2001.

During the summer term 1996, I was a visiting professor at the Department for Media Studies, Universität Trier. For the academic year 1999/2000 I received a grant from the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) [German Academic Exchange Service] for a visiting professorship in European Media Studies at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. I am co-founder and member of the editorial board of both montage/av. Zeitschrift für Theorie und Geschichte der audiovisuellen Kommunikation [montage/av. Journal for Theory and History of Audiovisual Communication] and KINtop. Jahrbuch zur Erforschung des frühen Films [KINtop. Annual of Early Film Research]. From 2003 to 2007, I was the president of DOMITOR, an international association to promote the study of early cinema. In 2009 I was a Research Fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für
Technikkulturforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) Weimar.

My research mainly concerns the period of the emerging of cinematography. I aim at exploring various aspects of early cinema, especially the genre of féeries, early non-fiction film, and acting styles.