Manar Ellethy holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from Leiden University with a specialization in Culture and Politics. Throughout her academic journey she has focused on studying the intersection between politics and visual/popular culture in the American context as well as themes of cultural resistance and activism. Before starting her PhD at RIAS, she worked as a researcher and editor in the academic, corporate and non-profit sector. Originally from Cairo, Egypt, Manar grew up in Greece and moved later with her family to the Netherlands in 2008.

Her dissertation titled Paying the Dues: Early African American Documentary Film and the Quest for Truth explores how African American documentary film in the 1960s attempted to subvert stereotypical understandings of black socio-political issues in an era of significant political transformations in race relations and black citizenship. Her research is within the ‘Racial Democracy Project’ which explores practices and institutionalized manifestations of “racial democracy” across time and space in American history, as well as acts of resistance to such practices.