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Rachel Gabara

R Gabara
Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Associate Professor of French
Undergraduate Coordinator

Rachel Gabara teaches literature and film in French, with a particular focus on nonfiction and historical fiction from France and sub-Saharan Africa. Her students work to improve their spoken and written French while studying how and why French is used around the world, developing skills relevant to a wide range of international careers.

The author of From Split to Screened Selves: French and Francophone Autobiography in the Third Person (Stanford, 2006), Gabara has published essays on African film in Italian Neorealism and Global Cinema (Wayne State, 2007), Global Art Cinema: New Theories And Histories (Oxford, 2010), and The Global Auteur: Politics and Philosophy in 21st Century Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2016). Her current book manuscript, "Reclaiming Realism: From Documentary Film in Africa to African Documentary Film," is based on research supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Fulbright Scholar Program. Recent articles on this topic include "From Ethnography to Essay: Realism, Reflexivity, and African Documentary Film" (A Companion to African Cinema, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018), Complex Realism: Paulin Soumanou Vieyra and the Emergence of West African Documentary Film” (Black Camera 11.2, 2020), and “Hunting Images: Sub-Saharan Africa in Early French Cinema” (French Screen Studies, 2023). Gabara's most recent piece, “Restituer: sharing colonial films” (Contemporary French Civilization 48.1, 2023), addresses contemporary debates about restitution and archives in relation to colonial European and postcolonial African filmmaking.

Research Interests:

Twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film, and theory in French; African cinema; documentary film; postcolonial studies.

  • Albertine Foundation and French Embassy in the U.S. French in Higher Education Grant (with Jonathan Haddad), August 2024-July 2026.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, July 2020-June 2021.
  • UGA Willson Center for Humanities and Arts Faculty Research Grant in Humanities and Arts, Fall 2018.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, June-July 2018.
  • American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant, June-July 2018.
  • UGA Willson Center for Humanities and Arts Research Fellowship, 2013-14.
  • Princeton University Christian Gauss Fund University Preceptorship, 2003-05. 
  • Fulbright Scholar Program Africa Regional Research Grant, January-May 2003.
Selected Publications:
Articles Featuring Rachel Gabara

Professor Rachel Gabara has been named the first Nancy Gillespie Brinning Professor in French.  The Department of Romance Languages is delighted to congratulate Professor Gabara and to celebrate Mrs. Brinning's legacy.

Congratulations to our newest PhD in Francophone Studies, Dr. Asmah Hyat, who has successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation entitled “The ‘I’ in Hybrid Identities: Paradoxes of Muslim Women Written and Writing in Contemporary French…

Events featuring Rachel Gabara

The idea of cinema as an art is one born of cinephilia. While the term simply means “love of cinema,” cinephilia sets itself apart from the average film fan’s love of stars, spectacle, and popular genres, seeking out more challenging and complex pleasures.

Like the art cinema it promotes, cinephilia has long been viewed as a mostly Euro-American phenomenon…

My Graduate Students


Johanna Montlouis-Gabriel

PhD Romance Languages, French and…

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