Zoe Graham

PhD Candidate

Zoe Graham


Title: Transnational Rouch: Documentary Film Training, Pedagogy and Ethics

Supervisor: Robert Stam

My dissertation explores anthropologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch’s transnational legacy, through the Ateliers Varan global documentary film school, with a focus on its work in Mozambique and Brazil. Adopting a broad perspective on the geopolitical contexts of film and media training, production, and circulation, this dissertation reveals the collaborations between various filmmakers and community media movements that have reciprocally shaped the development of the Ateliers Varan globally. This dissertation contributes to a current wave of film scholarship on the ethics and practices of film schools and practice-based film education.


Zoe Graham received her Ph.D. from the department of Cinema Studies at NYU in 2017, with a graduate certificate in Culture and Media, a specialized production program between Cinema Studies and Anthropology at NYU. She received her B.A in Modern Languages from Oxford University and M.A in International Journalism from Falmouth University (UK). She has published articles in the U.S, Brazil and France, including reviews in Visual Anthropology Review, Anthropology Now, and a forthcoming chapter in the anthology Dans le Sillage de Jean Rouch (In the Wake of Jean Rouch, Éditions FMSH, 2017). Zoe's documentaries have screened at international film festivals and been used for advocacy by human rights organizations.