My research is always centered around ethical and political questions, from cinematic representations of violence and film’s role in social change to film ethics (anti-racism, transnational film politics and globalisation) to changed distributions of affect, agency and embodiment in current screen media’s affordances and dispositifs.
My research is enriched by my teaching on documentary film; Cinema of the Southern Cone, popular culture, such as digital culture, contemporary television and Hollywood cinema; film theory; Cultural Studies; feminist and queer theory.
My book The Invisibilities of Torture: The Presence of Absence in U.S. and Chilean Fiction Cinema is published with Edinburgh University Press in 2020. The link between moving images and their ethical dimension continues to anchor my current research (e.g. Jung & Bruzzi (eds.) Beyond the Rhetoric of Pain, Routledge 2018 and Jung, “The Colour of the Gaze,” in Bolton, Martin-Jones & Sinnerbrink (eds.) Screen Ethics and Global Politics, EUP, forthcoming in 2020).
Contemporary Screen Images: GIFs & TikTok
Under a post-cinema paradigm, I am researching on agency and vulnerability in relatively new screen formats, such as GIFs and TikTok, especially focusing on affect, embodiment, performativity and ithe ethics and aesthetics generated by as the role affect, the body, performativity and the (re)inscription of existing inequalities in digital formations.
My current project analyses GIFs as a magnifying lens of how the “computer layer” and the “cultural layer” (Manovitch 2001) intersect and interact. By exploring aspects that are essential to understand the GIF’s usage, cultural pleasures and meaning-making processes, such as temporality, hapticity and affectivity, it is possible to determine the type of agency afforded or inhibited by the format, without absolves its human “ghosts in the machine.” Building on this framework, the final purpose of this investigation is to formulate a GIF ethics as one jigsaw piece for media literacy in the digital age.
I am co-founder of a Research Cluster on Agency Matters, which has so far generated an interdisciplinary workshop at Brunel University’s Games Studies Department, a lecture series on “Agency and Digital Media” in Tübingen, an upcoming anthology on Postdigital Agency and an edited journal for G|A|M|E – Games as Art, Media, Entertainment 8 (‘Would you kindly?’: Claiming Video Game Agency as Interdisciplinary Concept).
During an Early Career Fellowship at Warwick, I developed and produced an interdisciplinary podcast, Artificial Intelligence & Gender Trouble. together with colleagues from various disciplines such as neuroscience and psychology, we explored the gendered representation of AI, fembots and sex robots in film and popular culture.
Torture and Cinema: The Politics of Violence
In my PhD thesis, I explored the relation of two cases of torture to their fictionalization, set in two very different media landscapes: the torture committed during the War in Iraq, and the systematic torture under the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. Beyond analysing the films’ representation of torture – or its telling “presence by absence” – , I showed how some films succeeded in making some of the “invisible,” collective, long-term consequences of torture perceivable to the audience. They are able to expand our knowledge of torture by going beyond an ocularcentric epistemology. Despite the massive differences between the two cases, the comparative framework showed also disturbing similarities and continuities – among them lack of accountability, policies of misguided amnesty, revisionism, collective or at least official amnesia, as well as a largely unexamined experiences of entire groups, such as bystanders.