serge bokobzaProfessor of French
Humanities Building 407
(205) 934-8902

Research and Teaching Interests: 19th and 20th-century French Civilization and World Films

Office Hours: By appointment

  • BA, Université de Paris-Ouest-Nanterre, Licence-ès-Lettres in Comparative Literature
  • MA, Université de Paris-Ouest-Nanterre, Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures
  • PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I teach 19th and 20th-century French Civilization and World Films. My publications encompass a broad range of literary and cultural topics including a book on French 19th-century novelist Stendhal, Variations sur le titre "Le Rouge et le Noir" and articles on the functions of titles, the French law of gender equity, a comparison of France and America in "Liberty versus Equality," and the attraction and power of treason in novels by Paul Nizan.

My contributions to film studies include articles on Jewish identity in French cinema and films of Stanley Kubrick. I co-produced the award winning 58-minute documentary Léon Blum: for all Mankind, distributed by First Run Pictures, and wrote and narrated the short film Les Rois de l’eau. In 2003 I organized a trip to the Cannes film festival for students and community.

My article on Jewish Identity in French Cinema (Expressions of Jewish Identity in French Cinema: The Total Jew) focuses on the elements that distinguish Jewish characterizations in French films after the Shoah. Rejecting the practice of labeling a film as “Jewish” because of the ethnicity of a director or writer, the essay delves into the essential question of “Jewish identity” and the characteristics used by French filmmakers to portray this nebulous concept. My analysis can be applied to other minorities in national film productions.

For the last 20 years I have organized an annual trip to Paris for students and community during UAB spring break. I was awarded Les Palmes académiques by the French government and the Prix d'excellence by the AATF (Alabama) and have served as president of the Alliance française of Birmingham since 1984.