PhD (University College London)
PGDip (Queen Mary, University of London)
MA (University College London)
LLB (National University of Singapore)
After law school, qualifying for the Singapore Bar and a brief bout practising as a finance lawyer at major law firms in Singapore and London, I decided to do something different and obtained a PhD in Film Studies from University College London (UCL), writing my doctoral thesis on digital cinema technologies. Prior to joining York, I held research posts as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge University (Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College), and as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at HUMlab (dually affiliated with the Department of Culture and Media), Umeå University, Sweden. In all, I have lived in Singapore; London; Hong Kong; Sweden; Cambridge; and now York. I am fluent in both Mandarin and English.
My academic honours include the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship; the Overseas Research Scholarship (ORS) Award; the UCL Graduate School Research Scholarship; the UCL Graduate Open Scholarship; and the Singapore Academy of Law Prize (top final-year graduate of the class).
In 2018, I was awarded the University of York Rewarding Excellence Award for my demonstration of academic leadership as well as the University of York Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Award for achievement of teaching excellence. In 2023, I received a Making the Difference award for successfully leading the department through a series of complex operational changes. I have been nominated several times by students for a University of York Students' Union (YUSU) Excellence Award in various categories, including "Inspirational Lecturer", "Teacher of the Year", "Supervisor of the Year", and "Promoting Equality and Diversity". In 2020, I was nominated in and received a "Highly Commended" in the "Most Inspiring" category of the 2020 YUSU Excellence Awards.
I am currently Head of Creative Technologies where I lead and oversee the strategic development of the Interactive Media, Digital Culture and Music Technology areas in the School. I am also the line manager for a group of 19 staff members across the Interactive Media; Music and Sound Recording; and Music Production teaching teams. Previously, I also served as School Chair of Board of Studies overseeing all learning, teaching and student experience matters at the School level comprising of ~90 teaching staff. In 2013, I co-founded the Interactive Media BSc programme at York and was first Deputy Programme Leader, then Programme Leader, from 2016-19; in 2022, I set up the MA Digital Media and Culture programme. I also set up and chaired the departmental Research Ethics Committee. I have also been a research mentor and a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) mentor and assessor.
At the university level, I was the Faculty Representative (Arts and Humanities) of the York Graduate Research School (YGRS) Policies and Programmes Sub-Committee. My other contributions include serving in the Working Group on Review of Promotions Criteria; and the Advisory Group for the Liberal Arts at York.
I have designed and taught a wide range of cinema and digital media courses, including convening, teaching and assessing modules on interactive story, digital culture and project preparation. I also supervise final-year dissertations and projects.
I am a multi-award-winning researcher who works on digital media and culture, in which I have published extensively. I work primarily on theoretical, cultural and critical analyses intersecting digital and visual culture, with particular interests in digital imaging, screen cultures and interactive storytelling. My areas of expertise include digital media; digital culture; creative technologies; AI and algorithmic culture; interactive storytelling; and interactive media.
I am also a creative practice-led researcher who advocates for and uses a variety of practice-based methodologies to produce innovative research outputs. My works include a second screen installation for theatre performance; multimedia scholarship; video essays; and online open-access collaborative initiatives. My latest project, a creative research website on the nature of virtuality, won the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in the Field of Media Ecology; the Learning on Screen Special Jury Prize (and nominated in the category of "Creative Reuse"); and a Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) Practice-Based Research of the Year award.
I have delivered over 25 invited talks on digital media and culture around the world, including keynotes, plenaries and major lectures (plus over 30 conference papers, including at major conferences such as those of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) and the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS)). I am also a frequent guest speaker or panelist at public events, such as art and film festivals. In May 2022, I was interviewed on France24 for expert commentary on virtual entertainment. I am a juror for the Critics' Choice Award at the Milan Machinima Festival.
I have been awarded competitive stipends as a visiting scholar or researcher at various institutions, including the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; the Centre for Cinema Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada; and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, University of Exeter.
My first book, an edited collection titled Understanding Machinima: essays on filmmaking in virtual worlds (Bloomsbury) on the remediation of machinima in avant-garde art, cinema, pedagogy, puppetry, game art, performance, documentary, was published in 2013 as a multimedia academic collection of essays incorporating QR codes and mobile digital content. This collection has been favourably reviewed as "an excellent complement to introductory texts on machinima because it offers a timely exploration of many aspects of machinima that will not be found in most other works on the subject." From another reviewer: "this well-directed dialogue among the authors reveals the complexity of the analysed issues, making for a work that is much more than the sum of the parts.”
My second book is a substantive monograph titled The Post-Screen Through Virtual Reality, Holograms and Light Projections: Where Screen Boundaries Lie (Amsterdam University Press, 2021), which develops new theories of the surfaces on and spaces in which images are displayed, interrogating contemporary contestations of reality against illusion, and evoking screen boundaries as the instrumentation of intense virtualizations which are also part of media gluttony, post-truth and dis/misinformation. The book was awarded Honourable Mention in the category of Best First Monograph by the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS). Judges praised the book as "a nuanced and rich exploration of new theories of image making and their projections".
My third book will be about the existential tensions of living in the age of Artificial Intelligence. In the meantime, I have also published widely on digital culture and cinema in numerous edited collections and academic journals, including Cinema Journal, Animation, Games and Culture, and Screening the Past.
I was a Co-Investigator on two AHRC-funded projects, "Pararchive" (£400,000), and its follow-up project, "Digital Community Workspaces" (£100,000), both based at the University of Leeds, which aims to co-produce an open digital platform for the creative remediation of archival resource by communities. My other competitive grant awards include a Social Media Knowledge Exchange Scholarship (funded by the AHRC) and successful internal pump priming applications both at York and Cambridge. In 2013, I was the project leader of "Digital Bridges: 'Have You Forgotten Your Password'", an AHRC-funded knowledge exchange project working with playwrights and theatre practitioners at the Watford Palace Theatre, developing a digital art installation in conjunction with the plays and organising outreach workshops during the theatre's season on digital society and culture.
I supervised numerous MPhil dissertations at Cambridge. At York, I have supervised four PhD and five Masters by Research students to completion. I am currently (co-)supervising three PhD students and one Masters by Research student working on topics such as algorithmic culture; the presentation of the self in digital media; sports commentary with digital media; and the audio-visual language of brand films.
I am particularly interested in supervising PhD projects on digital media and culture; digital cinema and imaging technologies; video games and digital culture; posthumanism; post-digital culture; and the philosophy of cinema.
Ng J. and Tomkins, O., "The New Virtuality: A Creative Website on Blurred Boundaries Between the Real and Unreal", MAST 4(1), 2023: 96-108.
Video essay: "The New Virtuality: A Video Essay on the Disappearing Differences Between Real and Unreal", Screenworks (forthcoming). Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Learning on Screen Awards 2023.
Ng, J., The Post-Screen Through Virtual Reality, Holograms and Light Projections: Where Screen Boundaries Lie, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 282, 2021. Reviews available on the journals of New Techno-Humanities; Afterimage; and the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media. Awarded Honourable Mention in the category of Best First Monograph by the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS).
Ng, J. (ed.) Understanding Machinima: essays on filmmaking in virtual worlds, London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 246, 2013. Review available on The Italian Journal of Game Studies.
Chapters in books
Ng, J., "The Interactive Letter: Co-Authorship and Interactive Media in Emily Short's First Draft of the Revolution", in Teri Higgins and Catherine Fowler (eds), Epistolary Entanglements in Film, Media and the Visual Arts, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 173-189, 2023.
Ng, J. and Popple, S., "'People Inside': Creating Digital Community Projects on the YARN Platform", in Anne Schwan and Tara Thomson (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Digital and Public Humanities, London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan Cham, 357-376, 2022.
Ng, J., "Where the Violence Lies: Re-reading Rape and Revenge in Freeze Me (Takashi Ishii, 2000)", in Stephanie Patrick and Mythili Rajiva (eds), The Forgotten Victims of Sexual Violence in Film, Television and New Media: Turning to the Margins, Cham: Palgrave, 179-202, 2022.
Ng, J., “An Alternative Rationalization of Creative AI by De-Familiarizing Creativity: Towards an Intelligibility of Its Own Terms”, in Pieter Verdegem (ed.), AI for Everyone: Critical Perspectives, London: University of Westminster Press, 49-66, 2021.
Ng, J. and Goldberg, D. Theo, “Algorithmic Studies”, in Braidotti, Rosi and Hlavajova, Marisa (eds), Posthuman Glossary, London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 26-27, 2018.
Ng, J., “Machinima”, in Lowood, Henry and Guins, Raiford (eds), Debugging Game History: A Lexicon, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 287-296, 2016.
Ng, J., “The Cut Between Us: Digital Remix and the Expression of Self”, in David Theo Goldberg and Patrik Svensson (eds), Between Humanities and the Digital, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 217-228, 2015.
Ng, J. and Carter, R., "Wayfaring in Space: Story as Environmental Encounters in Ruins (2011) and Sacramento (2016)", New Techno-Humanities, 2022, first published online.
Newsome-Ward, T. and Ng, J., “Between Subjectivity and Flourishing: Creativity and Game Design as Existential Meaning”, Games and Culture, 17(4), 2022, 552-575.
Luik, J., Hook, J. and Ng, J., “Framing the Startup Accelerator Through Assemblage Theory: An ethnographic study of an intensive hub in Indonesia”, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media, 0(0), 2021, 1-7.
Ng, J. and Barrett, J., “The Half-Imagined Past: The Audio-Depiction of 1960s Capitalism and Freedom in the Music of Wolfenstein: The New Order and Mad Men”, Kinephanos: Journal of Media Studies and Popular Culture, Vol. 6, Issue 1, December 2016.
McKeown, C. and Ng, J., “‘You have all the weapons you need’ – Sucker Punch and the Multiform Gaze”, The Computer Games Journal, Vol. 3, Issue 2, October 2014, 54-63.
Ng, J., “Surface, Display, Life: Re-thinking the Screen from Projection to Video Mapping”, Archives of Design Research, 27(1), 2014, 72-91.
Ng, J., “Seeing Movement: On Performance Capture Imagery and James Cameron’s Avatar”, Animation, Vol. 7, No. 3, November 2012, 273-286.
Full publications list
For a full list of my publications, please visit the York Research Database.
I am a member of various professional societies, including the Law Society of Singapore and the Singapore Academy of Law. I am also an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore.
At Cambridge, I was a member of the Social Media Knowledge Exchange (SMKE) Steering Committee, a collaborative project based at the University of Cambridge on social media research and learning, as well as a member of the Cambridge Digital Humanities Steering Committee, overseeing the setting up of a formal and comprehensive DH network in the Cambridge area, principally across University of Cambridge.
In 2018, I am a member of the founding team which started Bi'an, a UK Chinese Writers' Network funded by Arts Council England.
I am an external examiner for the BA Digital Media at the University of Roehampton (2019-present), as well as for the MA Media and Communication programme at the University of Liverpool (2019-2022). In 2018-19, I was an external validator/review assessor for the BA (Hons) Film and Media and BA/BA (Hons) Media and Communications programmes at Queen Margaret University. I have also been a PhD external examiner. Since 2018, I have been a juror for the annual Milan Machinima Festival Critics' Choice Award.