Samirah Alkassim

Samirah Alkassim

Samirah Alkassim

Assistant Professor

global cinema, genre studies, cinema and media of the Middle East, film and politics

Samirah Alkassim is Assistant Professor of Film Theory in the Film and Video Studies program at George Mason. She has taught filmmaking and film studies at the American University in Cairo, Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore, and several institutions in the US. Her research interests include MENA cinemas and genre studies. She is the co-editor of the Palgrave Studies in Arab Cinema and is currently editing a documentary about Jordanian artist, Hani Hourani.

Current Research

She is currently researching for her book, A Journey of Screens in 21st Century Arab Film and Media (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2023) and editing her documentary about Jordanian artist Hani Hourani.

Selected Publications

Editor of Palgrave Handbook of Arab Film and Media (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, 2025)

“Found Footage as Counter Ethnography: Scenes from the Occupation in Gaza and the films of Basma Alsharif” in Gaza on Screen, edited by Nadia Yaqub (Duke University Press, 2023)

Editor and author of Global Horror: Hybridity and Alterity in Transnational Horror Film (Cognella Academic Publishing, 2022)

“Twilight Reflections in Single Frames and Short Sequences” in Refocus: The Films of Jocelyne Saab, edited by Stefanie Van de Peer and Mathilde Rouxel (Edinburgh University Press, 2021)

“Amiralay and Sabbagh in the Post-cinematic Age” in Cinema of the Arab World: Contemporary Directions in Theory and Practice, edited by Terri Ginsberg and Chris Lippard (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

Contributing author to Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Cinema, 2nd edition, edited by Terri Ginsberg and Chris Lippard (Rowman & Littlefield press, 2020)

The Cinema of Muhammad Malas: Visions of a Syrian Auteur, co-authored with Nezar Andary (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

Grants and Fellowships

CHR Summer Research Grant, George Mason University, 2023

Robert K. Purks Grant, George Mason University, 2022

SCMS Travel Grant, 2015


Courses Taught

FAVS 300_Global Horror Film

FAVS 204_Ways of Seeing: Perception, Film, Form

FAVS 399_Elections, Issues, Films

FAVS 280_Writing for the Moving Image

FAVS 255_Video Production for Film


BA English Literature, Oberlin College, 1989

MFA Cinema Production and Studies, San Francisco State University, 1996

Recent Presentations

Delivered paper, “Three documentaries that ‘look back’ from 1970s Beirut” at conference on Lebanese filmmaker Jocelyne Saab at the Institute of Scenic and Audiovisual Studies (IESAV, USJ) / Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA-UOB), Beirut, March 2024.

Participated on panel, "Research as Repair: A Panel Discussion with CHR's Summer 2023 Faculty Funding Recipients", Center for Humanities Research, George Mason University, September 2023.

Delivered paper, "History and Memory in Filmic Landscapes" at Film Commission Forum - Abha, in Abha, Saudi Arabia, July 2023.

Delivered paper, "Looking Through the Archive Effect: Three Documentaries from 1970s Lebanon" at the Middle East Studies Association annual conference, Denver, November 2022.

Participated in roundtable "Publishing on and in the Middle East", at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference, Chicago, April 2022.

Moderated panel on Global Horror anthology at the Center for Humanities Research, George Mason University, February 2022.