The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Dr Cecilia Sayad
- 01227 82(7428)
Cecilia's teaching focuses on the modern American horror film, Latin American cinema and an MA module, Film & Modernity. Her research interests include film authorship and criticism and the horror genre.
I came to Kent in 2008, after teaching film studies at the University of Chicago, New York University, and Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY). I received my PhD from NYU with a dissertation on film authorship supervised by Robert Stam. My dissertation committee included Richard Allen, William Simon, Tom Gunning and Ismail Xavier.
I have three main areas of research: film authorship, criticism, and the horror genre. My new book, Performing Authorship: Self-Inscription and Corporeality in the Cinema (I.B. Tauris, forthcoming May 2013) examines how performance theory can illuminate the controversial figure of the film author.
At Kent I am one of the directors of the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image, which promotes research across disciplines and media. I am also the convenor of two Taught Masters programmes, the MA Film and the MA Film (Paris).
I have a BA in Portuguese and Brazilian literature from the University of São Paulo and an MA in cinema studies from NYU. In the past I also worked as a film critic and journalist in Brazil.back to top
Performing Authorship: Self-Inscription and Corporeality in the Cinema. London: I.B. Tauris, forthcoming 2013.
O jogo da reinvenção: Charlie Kaufman e o lugar do autor no cinema. São Paulo: Alameda Editorial, 2008.
‘The Auteur as Fool: Bakhtin, Barthes, and the screen performances of Woody Allen and Jean-Luc Godard’. Journal of Film and Video 63-4 (Winter 2012): 21-34.
‘Flesh for the Author: Filmic Presence in the Documentaries of Eduardo Coutinho’. Framework 51-1 (Spring 2010): 134-150.
‘Authorship in the Interstices of History, Biography, Reality and Memory: Histoire(s) du cinéma and Cabra Marcado para Morrer.’ Significação: Revista Brasileira de Semiótica 26 (Spring-Summer 2006): 139-72.
Review of After Hitchcock: Influence, Imitation, and Intertextuality, David Boyd and R. Barton (eds.), in the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, Volume 3, Number 2 (2010): 119-21.
Chapters in Edited Collections
‘The Standup Auteur’. A Companion to Woody Allen. Eds. Peter J. Bailey and Sam Girgus. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
‘Um cinema desenquadrado: a política da linguagem e a linguagem da política em Duas ou três coisas que eu sei dela.’ Estudos de Cinema – Socine IX. Eds. Esther Hamburger, Tunico Amancio, Gustavo Souza, Leandro Mendonça. São Paulo: Annablume, 2008. 227-33.
‘Mutant Authors and Cross-Pollinating Texts in Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation.’ From Camera Lens to Critical Lens: A Collection of Best Essays on Film Adaptation. Ed. Rebecca Housel. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006. 123-32.
‘Mysterious Skin Traz Ecos de Bakhtin, Griffith e Michael Jackson’.
Trópico (Brazilian on-line journal)
‘Um Cinema Hiperbólico’ (on Chan-wook Park)
‘Tribute to Walter Salles’
Catalogue for the 2005 Havana Film Festival in New York
‘A Saga de Garganta Profunda’ (on Bailey’s and Barbato’s Inside Deep Throat)
‘História sem Fim’ (on Godard’s Moments choisis des Histoire(s) du cinéma)
‘Da Poesia à Cafajestagem’ (on Vincent Gallo’s Brown Bunny)
Review of Pedro Almodóvar’s Bad Education
Reverse Shot at Indiewire
‘Deconstructing God’ (on Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors)
Review of Sergio Bianchi’s Chronically Unfeasible
Film Comment magazine
Review of David Boyle’s 28 Days
Film Comment website
Review of Patrice Lecomte’s The Man on the Train
Film Comment website
‘Chekhov Hollywoodiano’ (on ‘The Seagull’ at Shakespeare in the Park)
Jornal do Brasil
Articles for daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo from 1995-2000back to top
FI583: National and Transnational Cinema (Latin America)
This module focuses on productions from Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. Part 1 briefly revisits the classical period, but covers mainly modernist works associated with the project to build a distinctive cinematic identity in that region, the so-called New Latin American Cinema. Part 2 offers an overview of the contemporary production, as well as new approaches to the question of identity. This survey has a theoretical and a historical component.
The studied Latin American films will constitute a case study for the investigation of theories about political modernism, Third Cinema, ethnic and gender identities. In turn, these theories will be considered in the light of specific historical contexts. We will for example revisit categories such as national and world cinemas in the light of the current 'transnational' scenario.
FI595: Film Genre (Horror)
This class covers the production of American horror films from the 1960s to the present, and combines aesthetic and narrative analysis with the history of the genre. Our analysis draws from Marxist, psychoanalytical, feminist, and reception theories. The historical portion of the course examines horror's growing commercial viability, the proliferation of subgenres, the relaxing of censorship, and the growing attention of academics. Topics include gender politics, representations of sexuality, and political commentary and allegory.
FI815: Film and Modernity (Paris)
This module investigates the relationship between film, modernity and modernism through the analysis of the works and career of Jean-Luc Godard, whose oeuvre can be largely defined by a desire to challenge the traditional boundaries between film and reality, fiction and documentary, autobiography and history, and film theory and film practice. In addition to being a protagonist in the launching of a film movement preoccupied with the "here and now" of French society, Godard has engaged with a number of trends in film criticism and film theory. The analysis of his works will therefore allow for an examination of a number of questions that have defined the study of film, from auteurism to a more interdisciplinary approach to the cinema, from Bazin to Eisenstein, from filmmaking as sociology to filmmaking as self-investigation.back to top
My new book is about the performative aspect of cinematic authorship. Titled Performing Authorship: Self-Inscription and Corporeality in the Cinema (I.B. Tauris, forthcoming May 2013), this monograph looks at directors who inscribe themselves into their films, either openly performing or somehow evoking an authorial function in various filmic modes: fiction (mainly comedy), essay films and documentary.
In Brazil I published a book on Charlie Kaufman that accounts for his unusual status as an auteur-screenwriter prior to the release of Synecdoche, New York.
I am also interested in the current state of film criticism. In June 2012 I co-organised the symposium Cultural Criticism in the Digital Age under the umbrella of the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image, which questioned the role of the critic in film, theatre, arts, and literature.back to top
I’m interested in supervising students engaged with the following areas or research: film authorship, theories of national and transnational cinemas, Third cinemas, narratology, self-reflexivity, realism, the French New Wave, Latin American cinema (especially Brazilian), post-war American cinema, the modern American horror film, film criticism, and the essay film.
I am currently supervising PhDs on the uncanny in film, queer performance and the representation of women, and authorship and political engagement.back to top