Institute in Paris
Dr Sabrina Bouarour, image by crédit Federica Maria Magarini.
Dr Sabrina Bouarour, Lecturer in French Studies

Image credit: Federica Maria Magarini.


  • MA (La Sorbonne/La Sorbonne Nouvelle) 
  • ENS Ulm Graduate-Level Diploma in Film Studies  
  • CFJ Diploma in Journalism (Centre de Formation des journalistes de Paris-CFJ) 
  • PhD (La Sorbonne Nouvelle) 

Summary of research interests and expertise

  • Film and Media Studies 
  • Filmmaking 
  • Visual Culture 
  • Cultural Studies 
  • Gender, and Queer Theories 
  • Postcolonialism 
  • Urban Culture 

My academic research focuses on the relationship between film, the politics of representation, cultural history, and gender & queer studies. I am interested in the impact of power dynamics on individual and societal identities.  

My forthcoming book, Masculinités d’après-guerre dans le cinéma de Jacques Demy et Vincente Minnelli, examines performances of masculinity in the post-World War II films of French director Jacques Demy and American Vincente Minnelli. Rooted in cultural studies, this work explores Demy and Minnelli’s musical and melodramatic films as ambivalent gendered discourses and locates them within the socio-cultural contexts of Hollywood and France.

I have also produced a significant body of shorter works for books, journals, and more popular media outlets. At the moment, I am co-editing the first special issue on intersectionality to appear in a French peer-reviewed journal, Mise au Point. This issue explores the complexity of appropriating a singularly important American theory in France. As a freelance journalist at Le Monde, I wrote about French society with a focus on culture and education. For So Film, I have written about cinema and society, including a series of articles on the relations between Hollywood and the CIA for which I interviewed several former agents. I also covered the Cannes film festival, the Bologna Cinema Ritrovato festival, the Cinema du Réel festival and wrote regular reviews.

In addition to my academic work, I am also an independent filmmaker. I recently directed and produced Lights of Baltimore, an 83-min documentary about the Baltimore uprising following Freddie Gray's death in 2015, which explores systemic racism, such as redlining practices and zero-tolerance policies, and the racial policies that led to urban segregation. Lights of Baltimore is my first feature film, co-produced with Flying Impalas Productions (my Baltimore-based film company), and Westward Productions (a Los Angeles film company founded by Beau Willimon and Jordan Tappis).

The film has screened in international festivals including St. Louis International Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, Ocean City Film Festival (best feature film winner 2021), Ischia Global Film Festival (Italy), The Rasnov Histories and Film Festival (Romania).

Listen to the original soundtrack: Lights of Baltimore on Spotify.


  • Director and Producer: Lights of Baltimore (2021; 83min; US)  
  • Bouarour, Sabrina. Masculinités d’après-guerre dans le cinéma de Jacques Demy et Vincente Minnelli (under contract with Peter Lang Publishing and due out Winter 2021) 
  • With Héloïse Van Appelghem. “Analyzing Intersectionality in Cinema and Television: Circulation of a Concept Between France and the United States,” Special Issue of Mise au Point. French Peer Reviewed Journal. Forthcoming (Winter 2021).   
  • “Blue is the Warmest Color: A Melodramatic Coming-Of-Age Story.” Mise au Point, no. 8, 2019  
  • “Gender, Sexuality and Transmediatic Storytelling in the Netflix TV Show Orange is the New Black.” Cinéphilies et sériephilies 2.0, Les nouvelles formes d’attachement aux images, edited by Laurent Jullier and Mélanie Boissonneau, Peter Lang Publishing, 2016  
  • “Male and Female Gazes on the Past in the Showtime TV Show the Affair.” Publication of the proceedings of the SERCIA Conference – Masculine/Feminine: Gender in English- Language Cinema and Television. (Work in progress)

Research projects & supervisions

  • Bouarour, Sabrina. Claire Denis et les territoires du désir (under contract with Playlist Society, and due out in 2022). 
  • Melhina: a project that tackles the role of women during the Algerian War. This hybrid project investigates women's role during the Algerian War and its legacy, with the objective of producing an archive, a short documentary and a feature-length fiction film about trauma, memory, and gender.  
  • I am currently developing two feature film projects (Melhina and a book adaptation).