Sexing the Other: Themes in Postwar Lebanese Cinema

Talk with Sara Mourad
Dardashat Jandariya Roundtable Series organized by Maya El Helou

Thursday August 7, 2014; 7pm

What role does sexuality play in postwar cinematic renditions of Lebanese identity and citizenship? And how and why does gender figure as a salient axis of representation? Through a critical reading of three popular Lebanese films, West Beirut (1998), Bosta (2005), and Caramel (2007), Mourad will unpack how difference is visually and figuratively rendered through themes of secrecy and revelation, passing and coming out. Such discourses, which emerge through the filmic plots, characters, and spaces, point to the ways in which sex becomes a lens to imagine and represent an “other” in a fragmented postwar landscape. 

Sara Mourad is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Annenberg, Sara received her B.A in Political Science from the American University of Beirut. Her current research grapples with queer theory, cultural studies, and postcolonial theory to explore the nexus of citizenship and intimacy in popular and public culture. Sara serves as the Graduate Associate for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in the International Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Media Communication, the Journal of Communication Inquiry, the Global Media Journal, and Jadaliyya. 

Dardashat Jandariya (DJ) are forums that provide a space for young researchers, academics and activists working in Gender and/or Sexuality to present their work, gain exposure and benefit from networking opportunities. DJ hosts regular talks with the aim of bringing to the public eye locally produced knowledge both in the Lebanese context and in the Middle East and North Africa region, while also connecting like-minded youth who are active in research and/or civil society with more experienced scholars, academics, and actors of civil society.DJ is an initiative by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center ( at the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality and organized by Maya El Helou.