Fareed Ben-Youssef

Film & Media
AY 2016-17

Fareed Ben-Youssef is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Film and Media at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his BA in English Literature with a Film Concentration from Princeton University and his master’s degree in the Film Studies Program in the department of Rhetoric at Berkeley. His dissertation, Visions of Power: Violence, the Law, and the Post-9/11 Genre Film, is concerned with specific moments where genre films (the Western, Film noir, and the Superhero film) disrupt a public discourse shaped by Manichean divisions. His conclusion examines international genre films to show how these texts articulate regional concerns and reflect on the ways in which their respective governments have responded to America's global War on Terror. Aware of the cross-sections, slippages, and conflicts that exist within the ongoing dialogue between Hollywood entertainment and political discourse in the creation of competing visions of power, his study frames genre as a contested critical site—one of equal interest to politicians and to resistant filmmakers. Vacillating between wielders of state power and its victims, he ultimately shows how genre can serve as an invaluable mode of human rights critique.