University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Farah Benbouabdellah

Areas of interest

  • Animals
  • Wild Felids
  • Asia
  • Art History
  • Colonialism
  • Anthropology
  • Material Culture
  • Entertainment

Research projects

Tigers in Film: Past, Present and Future Perspectives

Understanding the portrayal of tigers in film is crucial yet often overlooked, especially in terms of their cultural significance. By employing an archaeological approach within film studies, we can unearth invaluable insights into the historical and contemporary attitudes toward these iconic animals. While the field of animal-in-film studies is gaining prominence, there remains a gap in deeper cultural exploration, particularly concerning the portrayal of tigers compared to other felids.

The research focuses on the representation of tigers in different media, with a specific emphasis on the Bengal tiger in India. Through an interdisciplinary lens encompassing anthropology, material culture, art history, and film studies, the aim is to comprehensively understand how these majestic creatures are depicted within the cinematic, cultural, and artistic fabric of the region and how these depictions impacted various facets of both Asian and Western societies.

The research delves into various depictions of tigers in Asian media, notably in India, spanning from the Mughal period (16th-18th century) through the British Raj (1858-1947) to the post-colonial era (1947-onward). This investigation will shed light on the profound influence of these representations on contemporary perceptions of tigers, both within Indian and Western societies, perpetuating enduring imagery often associated with the 'maneater' stereotype.


Professor Aleks Pluskowski (University of Reading, Department of Archaeology)

Dr Adam O'Brien (University of Reading, Department of Film Theatre & Television)


My archaeological journey began back home in Algeria in 2013, where I enrolled in a bachelor program in Classical Archaeology. Graduating with my bachelor’s degree in 2016 from Université Alger 2, my dissertation focused on the Roman Triumphal Arches of Lambaesis’ (Lambesa) iconographical and practical significance impact on the building of the city. Continuing my studies in the same institution, I pursued a master’s degree in Classical Archaeology in 2018, completing my studies with a dissertation focusing on Roman coins in Algeria more specifically on the Numismatic catalogue of the city of Boumerdes preserved at the Musée National des Antiquités et des Arts Islamiques in Algiers.

In 2020, amidst the challenges of the pandemic, I pursued a second master’s degree remotely at the University of Reading. My dissertation centred on the ideology and status of horses in Roman society by doing an analytical study of iconographical media and ancient literacy in the period of transition from the Republic to the Empire. This culminated in my graduation in 2021 with an MA in Archaeology.

Beyond academia, I am proficient in French, Arabic, and Amazigh (native language of North Africa).


Loading your publications ...