School of Arts



I am Senior Lecturer in Film and a member of the executive committee for the Centre for Film and Media Research. I have a PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University and before coming to Kent in 2008 I taught at NYU, Vassar College, and the University of Chicago.

I have three main areas of research: horror, film authorship, and criticism. I currently teach three modules related to some of these research areas: Film Criticism, Film Genre (Horror), and Film and Modernity. See Teaching.

My latest monograph, PerformingAuthorship: Self-InscriptionandCorporealityintheCinema (I.B. Tauris, 2013), examines how performance theory can illuminate the controversial figure of the film author.

My most recent book is a co-edited collection (with Mattias Frey) titled FilmCriticismintheDigitalAge(Rutgers University Press, 2015), and it explores the effects of the Internet on the function and the status of the film critic. 

I also have a book on Charlie Kaufman published in Portuguese (Ojogodareinvenção: CharlieKaufmaneolugardoautornocinema, Alameda, 2008).

I am currently researching alternative ways of understanding the relationship between horror films and reality, with a focus on mock found-footage horror movies and ghost hunting reality shows (see Publications).

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Sayad, C. (2016). A Matter of (Informed) Taste. Film Criticism [Online] 40. Available at:
Sayad, C. (2016). Variations on the Author. Film Quarterly [Online] 69:12-18. Available at:
Sayad, C. (2016). Found-Footage Horror and the Frame's Undoing. Cinema Journal [Online]. Available at:
Sayad, C. (2016). Cameras and Ghosts. Cinema Journal [Online] 55. Available at:
Sayad, C. (2014). Eduardo Coutinho's Films Were About Gaps and Creative Frictions. Mediático [Online]. Available at:
Sayad, C. (2011). The Auteur as Fool: Bakhtin, Barthes, and the Screen Performances of Woody Allen and Jean-Luc Godard. Journal of Film and Video [Online] 63:21-34. Available at:
Sayad, C. (2010). Flesh for the Author: Filmic Presence in the Documentaries of Eduardo Coutinho. Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media [Online] 51:134-150. Available at:
Sayad, C. (2006). Authorship in the Interstices of History, Biography, Reality and Memory: Histoire(s) du cinéma and Cabra Marcado para Morrer. Significação: Revista Brasileira de Semiótica:139-172.
Sayad, C. (2004). Deconstructing God. Reverse Shot [Online] Spring. Available at:
Book section
Sayad, C. (2015). Afterword in Film Criticism in the Digital Age. in: Sayad, C. and Frey, M. eds. Film Criticism in the Digital Age. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, pp. 243-247.
Sayad, C. (2015). Critics Through Authors: Dialogues, Similarities, and the Sense of a Crisis. in: Sayad, C. and Frey, M. eds. Film Criticism in the Digital Age. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, pp. 41-59.
Sayad, C. (2014). Narrative, Visibility and Trauma in Bus 174. in: Navarro, V. and Rodriguez, J. C. eds. New Documentaries in Latin America. Palgrave McMillan.
Sayad, C. (2013). The Stand-up Auteur. in: A Companion to Woody Allen. Wiley-Blackwell.
Sayad, C. (2008). Um cinema desenquadrado: a política da linguagem e a linguagem da política em Duas ou três coisas que eu sei dela. in: Estudos de cinema – SOCINE IX. Sao Paulo: Annablume. Available at:
Sayad, C. (2006). Mutant Authors and Cross-Pollinating Texts in Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation. in: Housel, R. ed. From Camera Lens to Critical Lens: A Collection of Best Essays on Film Adaptation. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 123-123.
Conference or workshop item
Sayad, C. (2016). Millennial Ghosts: Factual Representations of the Supernatural. in: Religious Studies Research Seminar Series.
Sayad, C. (2015). Playing and the Loose Boundaries Between Inner and Outer Selves. in: World Cinema and the Essay Film.
Sayad, C. (2015). Reality TV, Mock Found-Footage, and Horror's Changing Relationship to Reality. in: King's College Research Seminar.
Sayad, C. (2015). Monsters and Everyday Life. in: Screen Studies Conference.
Sayad, C. (2014). Do Critics Need Authors? in: Critica 2.0.
Sayad, C. (2014). Discussion of Performing Authorship. in: The Self-Portrait in the Moving Image.
Sayad, C. (2014). Framing the Found Footage Horror Film. in: Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference 2014.
Sayad, C. (2013). Shifting Approaches. in: Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference 2013.
Sayad, C. (2011). The Persistence of Auteurism in Brazilian Cinema. in: Issues of Auteurism in Latin American Cinema - SCMS.
Sayad, C. (2010). Documenting Presence: the author, the body and the nation in the films of Eduardo Coutinho. in: Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2010.
Sayad, C. (2009). The Auteur as Fool. in: Screen Studies Conference: 50th Anniversary.
Sayad, C. (2009). A Cinema of Presence: the author and the body in the documentaries of Eduardo Coutinho. in: Performing Presence.
Sayad, C. (2009). Border crossing, corporality and performance: a study of authorial self-inscription in the cinema. in: Centre for World Cinemas – WUN series.
Sayad, C. (2009). Godard and the frame: the author as trespasser. in: Film Research Seminar.
Sayad, C. (2007). Um cinema desenquadrado: a política da linguagem e a linguagem da política em Duas ou três coisas que eu sei dela. in: XI Encontro Internacional Socine: Sociedade Brasileira de Estudos de Cinema e Audiovisual.
Sayad, C. (2007). With a Little Help from Fiction: Performing for Life in Bus 174. in: Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference 2007 (Chicago).
Sayad, C. (2006). Performance as shortcut: truth's paths in Santo Forte and Bus 174. in: XIII Visible Evidence Conference.
Sayad, C. (2005). Fresh Flesh for the Author: The Effects of Directorial Self-Inscription in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard and Eduardo Coutinho. in: Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference 2005 (London).
Sayad, C. (2005). The Issue of Authorship in Adaptation. in: Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.
Sayad, C. (2013). Performing Authorship: Self-inscription and Corporeality in the Cinema. I.B. Tauris.
Sayad, C. (2008). O jogo da reinvenção: Charlie Kaufman e o lugar do autor no cinema . Sao Paulo: Alameda.
Edited book
Frey, M. and Sayad, C. eds. (2015). Film Criticism in the Digital Age. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Sayad, C. (2010). Review of After Hitchcock: Influence, Imitation, and Intertextuality, David Boyd and R. Barton Palmer (eds.). Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance [Online] 3:119-121. Available at:
Sayad, C. (2005). A saga de Garganta Profunda. Tropico [Online]:1-1. Available at:,1.shl.
Sayad, C. (2005). Um cinema hiperbólico. Tropico [Online]:1-1. Available at:,1.shl.
Sayad, C. (2005). A história sem fim. Tropico [Online]:1-1. Available at:,1.shl.
Sayad, C. (2005). Traumas paralelos. Tropico [Online]:1-1. Available at:,1.shl.
Sayad, C. (2004). Da poesia à cafajestagem. Tropico [Online]:1-1. Available at:,1.shl.
Total publications in KAR: 43 [See all in KAR]


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FI585: Film Criticism (Level 6)
This module introduces students to the history and theory of film criticism, stressing the coexistence of different approaches to the analysis, evaluation and appreciation of film. The module also contains a practical aspect, offering students the opportunity to write critical pieces on the films screened for the class. In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, sessions are devoted to writing and to analysing fellow students' work. Participants are also encouraged to reflect critically on different media of film criticism (newspapers, magazines, academic journals, the internet) and on the current state of the practice.

FI583: Cinema and National Identity (Level 5)
This module focuses on productions from Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. The first part 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. The second part 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 constitute a case study for the investigation of theories about political modernism, Third Cinema, ethnic and gender identities. In turn, these theories are considered in the light of specific historical contexts. We revisit, for example, categories such as national and world cinemas in the light of the current ‘transnational’ scenario.

FI595: Film Genre (Horror) (Level 5)
This course 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. We look at horror from a variety of approaches, including 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, political commentary, allegory and the film's connection with a surrounding reality.

FI815 Film and Modernity (Level 7)
Description forthcoming.

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My latest monograph is titled PerformingAuthorship: Self-InscriptionandCorporealityintheCinema (I.B. Tauris, 2013). It proposes a different take on film authorship by examining directors who inscribe themselves into their films, either openly performing or somehow evoking an authorial function in various modes: fiction (mainly comedy), essay and documentary films. 

I am also interested in the current state of film criticism. I co-edited a collection on the topic with Mattias Frey titled FilmCriticismintheDigitalAge (Rutgers University Press, 2015), and in 2012 I co-organised a symposium that discussed the role of the critic in film, theatre, art and literature.

My other area of interest is the connection between horror films and reality. I explore this in an article titled ‘Found-Footage Horror and the Frame’s Undoing,’ in CinemaJournal55.2 (February 2015). This article was the winner of the Best Journal Article Award given by the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) in 2017.

In Brazil I published a book on Charlie Kaufman that accounts for his unusual status as an auteur-screenwriter prior to his directorial debut.
I am also a member of the executive committee for the Centre for Film and Media Research and co-editor of the FilmStudiesjournal.

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I'm interested in supervising students working on the following areas: horror movies, film authorship, film criticism, the essay film, theories of national and transnational cinemas, realism, the French New Wave, Latin American cinema (especially Brazilian), and American cinema from the postwar to the present.

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Last Updated: 23/10/2017