Jeremy Randall

Undergraduate Discipline

Film History

BA, Colgate University. MA, American University of Beirut. PhD, The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Randall works on 20th-century Middle East studies, with a focus on the Levant, cinema, leftist movements, and internationalism. He is the author of the article "Affective Alternatives to Sectarianism in Maroun Baghdadi’s Documentaries" and forthcoming articles on solidarity between Palestinian movements and Japanese counterparts. SLC, 2023–

Previous Courses

Film History

Queer and Feminist Cinemas of the Arab Middle East and North Africa

Open, Seminar—Fall

As a global backlash against the LGBTQ movement continues, a common critique has been that non-heterosexual identities, as well as feminism, have been Western imports supplanting local practices and traditions. Such discourse, however, elides the rich heritage of queer practices and identities found across the world. This seminar is a survey of the rich and diverse queer and feminist cinematic histories of the Arab Middle East and North Africa. Students will watch films and excerpts weekly alongside curated readings. Rather than translate European and American gender and sexuality subjectivities, students will engage with how these concepts and identities arise in local contexts as seen in these films. Likewise, the presentation of these topics can vary depending on the market for the film, whether that be mass-market circulation, local film festivals, or international audiences. Students will learn to situate the films within the respective historical, social, and political contexts in which they were made. Topics to be discussed include how queerness and feminism can intersect with class, political movements, workers’ rights, and gender identity. Screenings will showcase examples of queer and feminist cinema from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates from the 1960s to today. Course readings are interdisciplinary and draw upon film studies, gender studies, queer studies, history, and anthropology. Together, the readings seek to provide the historical and social contexts of the films and the conditions for producing films that can challenge or subvert social norms. Students will also produce a conference project from a curated list of films on a subject of their choice in conversation with the course instructor. All films and texts are in English; students are not expected nor required to have a background in Arab cinema.