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Malek Khouri

  • Position: Professor and the Film Program Director
  • Department: Department of the Arts
  • Email: mkhouri@aucegypt.edu
Brief Biography

Malek Khouri is a professor of film studies in the Department of the Arts and the Film Program Director, The American University in Cairo. Khouri is former chair of the Department of the Arts (2011 - 2013), and former director of the Film Program between 2008 and 2015 at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Professor Khouri led the efforts to create a Major in Film at the AUC since his arrival at the university in 2008. This culminated in 2013 in the formation of the most unique cinema undergraduate degree in the Arab region which provides a strong foundation and training both in film practice as well as film theory and history. Before joining AUC in 2008, Khouri directed the film studies program (2000-2008) and was head of the communications division in the Faculty of Communication and Culture (2006-2008) at the University of Calgary in Canada.

Khouri's most recent scholarship examines Orientalist trends in western mainstream discourse on Arab cinema, as well as contemporary trends in Egyptian and Arab cinemas and in the Arab popular cultural scene. Earlier research investigated various areas of cultural film criticism including: cultural politics in the work of Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine; representations of the working class in Canadian cinema; the challenges of political and social change in contemporary media; and Marxism and film theory.

Scholarly work and contributions by Khouri have been published and delivered in conferences and forums both in English and in Arabic, and have been recognized and reviewed in various academic, professional, as well as mainstream journals and publications. The latest scholarly work by Khouri, The Arab National Project in Youssef Chahin’s Cinema published by The American University in Cairo Press in 2010, has been translated and re-published in Arabic by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture: The National Centre for Translation in 2014. Earlier scholarly books include, Filming Politics: Communism And The Portrayal Of The Working Class At The National Film Board Of Canada, 1939-46 (University Of Calgary Press, 2007), and Working on Screen: Representations of the Working Class in Canadian Cinema (co-edited with Darrell Varga, University of Toronto Press, 2006). He also wrote chapters for the books, How Canadians Communicate, edited by David Tarras, Fritz Pannekoek, Maria Bakardjieva (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2003); Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film (volume1), edited by Barry Keith Grant (Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale 2006); and Rain/Drizzle/Fog: Film and Television in Atlantic Canada by Darrell Varga, ed. (Calgary, Canada: University of Calgary Press, 2009).

Other academic studies and articles by Khouri appeared in several academic journals including International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies; The Journal of Comparative Studies of Asia, Africa and the Middle East; CineAction; Arab Studies Quarterly; History of Intellectual Culture; Nature, Society and Thought; The University of Toronto Quarterly. Khouri also wrote for the Arabic film journals al-Film (Film) and Ain Ala al-Cinema (Eye on Cinema), and for the Egyptian internet journal Ahram On Line.

Khouri also has a special interest in the artifact of popular mainstream Egyptian and Arab cinemas. Khouri is a regular contributor in several organizational, administrative, and jury capacities at various international and Arab film festivals (Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Ismaelia, Luxor, Alexandria, among others) and film forums and seminars. He currently teaches in the areas of film theory, audience and reception theories, cultural analysis, Arab and Egyptian cinemas, the filmmaker, and film genres.

Khouri’s work has been reviewed and cited in various international academic and professional journals and in multiple disciplines such as film studies (Screen; Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television; Canadian Journal of Film Studies; Cinemafrica; CineContact; Prasasti; Wide Screen), communication studies (Canadian Journal of Communication), history, labor, regional and Canadian Studies (The Canadian Historical Review; American Review of Canadian Studies; Labour/ Le Travaile; British Journal of Canadian Studies; Acadiensis; The University of Toronto Quarterly; The Journal of North African Studies; AfricAvenir), as well as in major Arab and Egyptian newspapers and internet publications such as al-Hayat, Al-Ahram, al-Gomhouriya, Akhbar el-Youm, al-Masaa, al-Shourouk, al-Masry al-Yaum, Al-Youm Al-Sabea, Al Bawaba News, Egypt Today,  Akhbar al-Khaleeg, Cinematograph, among others.

Khouri holds a doctorate in communications from McGill University in Montreal (2000). He received his MA in Canadian studies from Carleton University in Ottawa (1997), and holds two undergraduate degrees in film studies from Carleton University, Ottawa (1995) and in film production from York University, Toronto (1979). He received several distinguished research awards including from McGill University, the University of Calgary, the Canadian Killam Foundation Award for Research, and was awarded two major research funding grants from the prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada. Khouri was born in Beirut, Lebanon and moved with his family to Canada in the late 1970s after the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War. He lived and worked in Beirut until 2008 when he was appointed to The American University in Cairo.

  • Film theory
  • Egyptian and Arab cinemas
  • Orientalism and Western discourse on Arab cinemas
  • Canadian cinema
  • Popular culture