Dr Sabrina Bouarour
Lecturer in French Studies
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Summary of research interests and expertise
- Film and Media Studies
- Visual Culture
- Cultural Studies
- Gender, and Queer Theories
- 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.
It's so queer! Les masculinités dans les films de Vincente Minnelli et Jacques Demy? 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(Opens in new window) and Jordan Tappis(Opens in new window)).
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.
Research projects & supervisions
- Bouarour, Sabrina. Claire Denis et les territoires du désir (under contract with Playlist Society, and due out in 2024).
- 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).
- 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)
- It's so queer! Les masculinités dans les films de Vincente Minnelli et Jacques Demy(Opens in new window) Peter Lang Publishing, Serie European Connections, Volume 46, 2023
- "The Affair : Regards genrés sur le passé et vérités romanesques". Peer reviewed proceedings of the SERCIA Conference – Masculine/Feminine: Gender in English- Language Cinema and Television (Spring 2023)
- With Héloïse Van Appelghem. “Analyzing Intersectionality in Cinema and Television: Circulation of a Concept Between France and the United States(Opens in new window),” Special Issue of Mise au Point, n°16, 2022.
- With Héloïse Van Appelghem. L’intersectionnalité dans le cinéma et son industrie : un outil pour rendre visibles les dynamiques de pouvoir(Opens in new window) and Entretien avec Éric Fassin sur l’intersectionnalité au cinéma. Special Issue of Mise au Point(Opens in new window), n°16, 2022.
- Director and Producer: Lights of Baltimore (2021; 83min; US)
- “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