Dr Mani Sharpe

Dr Mani Sharpe

Profile

I am a film scholar specialising in cinematic representations of de-colonisation and war, particularly within the context of France and Algeria. I taught at Newcastle University and La Sorbonne – Paris 3, before taking up my current position at Leeds.

I am in the production stage of preparing my monograph, Late-Colonial French Cinema: Filming the Algerian War of Independence, which is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press (publication February 2023), as part of the Traditions in World Cinema series. More information about my book can be found in this three-minute interview, posted on YouTube; or in this blog post/discussion that I conducted with Alan O’Leary for The New Review of Film and Television Studies.

I have acted as an article reviewer for journals including Limina, French Historical StudiesNew Cinemas, French Politics, Culture & Society, and Journal of Media Practice, and as a monograph reviewer for The New Review of Film and Television Studies and Transnational Screens. 

I currently act as a judge for The Global Undergraduate Awardsmarking various pieces of creative artwork, including photography, videography, design, and installations. 

Research interests

My current research stems from work conducted during my PhD, and is orientated towards analysing the form, content, and politics of a spate of ‘late-colonial’ French films made during, and in response to, the de-colonisation of Algeria, from 1954 to 1962. As part of this project, I spent several years researching a variety of cinematic narratives, publishing the outcomes in several high-ranking journals, including Journal of European Studies, Journal of War and Culture Studies, and Studies in French Cinema. Many of these articles include case studies of late-colonial French films that have been overlooked by scholars, helping to both disrupt dominant views of the cinematic canon, whilst identifying an unappreciated trend in the continuum of French cinema history.

Others apply research methodologies associated with film studies to a research topic – de-colonisation – that has traditionally been dominated by historians, cultural historians, or theorists of cultural memory. In an article published in French Cultural Studies, for example, I drew from documentary studies to examine the patterns of embodied and disembodied speech in a banned film about police violence, whilst a more recent article, published in French Studies, explored the relationship between cinematic images of facial beauty and historical accounts of colonial atrocity using critical concepts aligned with star studies. My forthcoming monograph aims to build still further onto these ideas, consolidating them into a comprehensive body of research using a similarly original application of film theory to representations of French history, whilst interrogating a specific research question: what is late-colonial French cinema? It will be the first ever book – in either French or English – to offer a sustained analysis of the topic.

Apart from this focus on war, I am also interested in cinematic representations of the face – particularly in relation to questions of mental health. I was the Principal Investigator on a public engagement project, entitled Facing the Mind, funded by the Cultural Institute, Leeds. This project involved setting up a series of community orientated workshops, blending film theory and creative practice. It ran online, as a series of webinars, in June 2020. A 6,000-word case study of the project was published in the journal Media Practice and Education. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • PhD Newcastle University (2010-2014)
  • MA Leeds (2008-2009)
  • BA Leeds (2004-2008)

Student education

I teach on a variety of modules offered by both the Centre for World Cinemas and the French Section, including modules on the history of cinema, film theory, digital cinema, and representations of gender and sexuality. I teach modules offered to film/French students in each stage of their programme, including content modules offered to level 3 students taught entirely in French. 

I am happy to supervise MA/PhD students interested in any aspect of French cinema, particularly in relation to war, (de)colonisation, ethics, and politics; or cinemas of de-colonisation more broadly (militant cinema, Second/Third Cinema, de-colonial cinemas). 

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures
  • French
  • Cinema and Television
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>