An Interview with Patricia Pisters in the Newsletter of SMART Cognitive Science, 10 May 2016.
“I grew up in a small village in the South of the Netherlands: there was no cinema, only a library. So I grew up just reading; I went to the library with my father every Friday night. The libraries had these nice big boxes with all these cards, and I just loved ‘playing library’. At home I made every book we had – we did not have a lot of books – into library books with pockets in the inside of the cover containing return cards. I really loved that, and I also liked to play teacher: I wanted to be either a librarian or a teacher. So after high school, I first started doing a vocational teacher training course in Nijmegen, because I wanted to become a French-English teacher. But then when I was in Paris for the first time, I realized that I wanted to really learn the French language, have access to the wealth of books written in French, and I stopped the teacher training course. I went to study in Paris, which is where I discovered cinema. Then I came to Amsterdam, first to work, and then to study. I studied French and also Film Studies, a free doctorate – within this degree it was possible to compose your own program. I went back to France to do my DEA (Diplôme des études approfondies), which is comparable to a research master. In the meantime, the department film and television studies was established in Amsterdam, and professor Elsaesser who set up the program asked me to come and work there. That is how I started to teach, even before I started my PhD; then it was just natural to do also a PhD. So I had some detours: it is through French, and French literature and cinema that I ended up in the department of media studies.”