From Split to Screened Selves: French and Francophone Autobiography in the Third Person (Stanford University Press, 2006)

Winner of the 2007 South Atlantic Modern Language Association Studies Book Award.From Split to Screened Selves

From Split to Screened Selves is a study of recent autobiographies by French and Francophone African writers and filmmakers, all of whom reject simple first-person narration and experiment with narrative voice and form to represent fragmented subjectivity. In the book, I investigate autobiography across media, from print to photography and film, as well as across the colonial encounter, from France to Francophone North and West Africa. Reading works by Roland Barthes, Nathalie Sarraute, Cyril Collard, Assia Djebar, David Achkar, and Raoul Peck, I argue that autobiographical film and African autobiography, subgenres that have until now been overlooked or dismissed by critics, offer new and important possibilities for self-representation in the twenty-first century.

Selected Essays

"From Ethnography to Essay: Realism, Reflexivity, and African Documentary Film." A Companion to African Cinema. Eds. Kenneth Harrow and Carmela Garritano. Wiley-Blackwell, 2018. 358-378.Companion to African Cinema 





"Abderrahmane Sissako: On the Politics of African Auteurs.” The Global Auteur: Politics and Philosophy in 21st Century Cinema. Eds. Jeremi Szaniawski and Seung-hoon Jeong. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. 43-60.  Global Auteur






"War by Documentary." Romance Notes 55.3 (2015): 409-423.                                                                                                                                                                                                         

"Interrogating Images: Lumumba: Death of the Prophet as Reflexive AutoBiographical Documentary." Raoul Peck: Power, Politics, and the Cinematic Imagination. Eds. Toni Pressley-Sanon and Sophie Saint-Just. Lexington Books, 2015. 153-170. Raoul Peck





"Africa, Film, and Comparative Literary Studies." Inquire: Journal of Comparative Literature 3.1 (2013)


"Abderrahmane Sissako: Second and Third Cinema in the First Person." In Global Art Cinema: New Theories And Histories. Eds. Karl Schoonover and Rosalind Galt. Oxford University Press, 2010. 320-333. Cover





"'A Poetics of Refusals': Neorealism from Italy to Africa." Quarterly Review of Film and Video 23.3 (July 2006): 201-215.





"Screening Autobiography: Cyril Collard's Nuits Fauves." French Cultural Studies 16.1 (February 2005): 55-72.

"Mixing Impossible Genres: David Achkar and African AutoBiographical Documentary." New Literary History 34.2 (Spring 2003): 331-352.

  • Revised reprint in Documentary Film Reader. Ed. Jonathan Kahana. Oxford University Press, 2016. 924-937. Documentary Film Reader