Dr Jenna Ng
Anniversary Research Lecturer in Film and Interactive Media



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 a major law firm 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.

My academic honours include the Isaac Newton Trust Award, 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). I have also been involved in making film and media [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv_Tsfi2Mn4], have had poetry published (most recently in a collection of haiku) and a short story in the Bridport Prize International Creative Writing Competition longlist (40 selected from 3,428 entries), and was once the national representative for Singapore in chess. I was also a member of the Cambridge Digital Humanities steering committee and co-organiser of the Cambridge Digital Humanities for Early Careers Researchers sub-network.

I have taught and lectured on various cinema and digital media courses, including convening and teaching a one-term module, "Coding the Frame: Space and Time with Digital Media" for the Screen Media and Cultures MPhil at Cambridge, and have supervised several MPhil essays and theses. I am also an Associate of the Higher Education Academy, upon successfully passing a 9-month course on higher education teaching accredited by the HEA.

Having lived in Cambridge, Umeå, Hong Kong, London and Singapore (and now York), I continue to maintain a wide business and professional network, including memberships in The Cambridge Network, the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, the Law Society of Singapore, and the Singapore Academy of Law. When not working and/or shuttling between Europe and Asia, I scuba dive and ski as much as I can while there are still fishes and snow left in the world. I also cook, run, sail and watch sports.




I work primarily on theoretical, cultural and critical analyses of digital media and visualisation, with particular interests in the imaging technologies of digital video, mobile media, haptic devices, motion and virtual capture systems. I have presented or co-presented in over 30 conferences and seminars, including invited speaking engagements in Shanghai, Singapore, Amsterdam, Melbourne and Umeå, and have published numerous articles in journals, including Cinema JournalAnimation,Screening the Past, and Rouge. In February 2012, I was also a visiting researcher at the Centre for Cinema Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada, and in January 2014, I was a visiting scholar at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 

My first book, an edited collection titled Understanding Machinima: essays on filmmaking in virtual worlds (Bloomsbury Academic Press) on the remediation of machinima in avant-garde art, cinema, pedagogy, puppetry, game art, performance, documentary, was  published in July 2013 as a multi-media academic collection of essays incorporating QR codes and mobile digital content. I am currently completing a monograph on the digital mobile camera, titled Portable I: vision and the mobile camera in contemporary digital media, which examines the visual fields of mobile imaging technologies (such as smartphones; drones; space rovers; and virtual cameras) through ideas of telepresence, simulacra and screen engagement.

My competitive grant awards include a Social Media Knowledge Exchange Scholarship (funded by the AHRC) and successful applications for CRASSH Graduate/Faculty Research Group Funding and CRASSH Conference Funding. 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. I am currently Co-Investigator on an AHRC-funded project, "Pararchive", based at the University of Leeds, which aims to co-produce an open digital platform for the creative remediation of archival resource by communities. I am also part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence (IGGI).  

My research at York during my lectureship will be on the media spaces of augmented realities (the integration of computer-generated input into a live view of a physical environment). My work investigates this integration of physical and virtual realities across media technologies such as smartphones, QR codes, cloud computing, display surfaces, digital imaging, and Web 2.0. Using critical approaches from several disciplines, including film and media studies, visual studies and studies of science and technology, I aim to theorise the relationships between AR and space, architecture, apparatus and mobility and, more broadly, the social, cultural and political formations of technological and media spaces.

I currently supervise PhD projects working on posthumanism in noir films (Maxine Gee) and emotion in video games (Tom Cole). I am particularly interested in supervising PhD projects on digital media and culture; digital cinema and imaging technologies; video games and digital culture; posthumanism; science and technology in film; and the philosophy of cinema: do get in touch if you are interested.

External activities

Invited talks and conferences

“Machinima, Frames, Surface, Camera: a tactical transect across today’s digital mediascape”, invited presentation at the Asia Research Institute cluster seminar, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 27 Jan 2013.

“Surface, Display, Life: The Digital Mediation of Space as Cinematic Display”, invited presentation at the Cinema Experiences: Immersive Pasts and Futures conference, Singapore, 31 Oct – 1 Nov 2013.

“Portable Eye: The Omnivision of the Mobile Camera”, invited lecture at the Digital/Moving Image and Networked Performance: on Cultural Transformations summer school, University of Warwick, 8-12 July 2013.

Social Media Knowledge Exchange (SMKE) Scholar presentation, invited presentation at the SMKE Conference (as SMKE Scholar), University of Cambridge, UK, 2-3 July 2013.

“Digital Humanities and the Winds of Change, They are A-Blowing”, invited presentation at the Media Places: Infrastructure|Space|Media conference, Umeå University, Sweden, 5-7 December 2012. 

“‘Not Only To See All, But Also To See From Anywhere’: Space, Duration, and the Omnivision of the Mobile Camera”, invited lecture at the Wolfson College Humanities Society, University of Cambridge, UK, 30 October 2012.

“Finders, Users, Up-enders; or, Authoring Media in the Digital Age: Mash-ups, Crowd-sourcing, Machinima”, invited presentation at the Remix In Retrospect symposium, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 21 Oct 2011.

“Virtual Worlds as Media Places” (co-presenter), invited presentation at the Media Places: From the Gardens of Versailles to Spatial Robots conference, HUMlab, Umeå University, Sweden, 11 December 2010.

“Virtual Eyes: Seeing Through Digital Media”, invited lecture at the School of Film and TV, University of Shanghai, China, 16 September 2010.

“Camera Absent: The Poetics of Machinima and the Digital Culture of Virtual Filmmaking”, invited lecture at the School of Film and TV, University of Shanghai, China, 14 September 2010.

“‘The Human Inside of You’: Avatars and Posthumanism”, invited lecture presented at HUMlab, Umeå University, Sweden, 20 April 2010.

Other Activities

Connecting the Dots: movement, space and the digital image[http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/2069/]

Convenor, Organiser (12 April 2013)

Successfully applied for CRASSH Conference Funding to conceptualise, initiate and put together a one-day international conference on space and the digital image. Speakers included Alan Blackwell (Cambridge), Seth Giddings (UWE), Aylish Wood (Kent), Chris Newfield (UCSB), and Trond Lundemo (Stockholm University).

Digital Bridges: “Have You Forgotten Your Password?”[http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/page/1180/digital-bridges.htm]

Project leader, managing the project and two postdocs (February - April 2013)

Knowledge exchange project working with playwrights and theatre practitioners on the role of the digital in society

Funded by the pilot Arts and Humanities Research Council Cultural Engagement Fund (£16,000)

Cambridge Screen Media Group[http://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/32448]

Co-convenor (with Prof. Emma Wilson) (Sept 2012 - April 2013)

Successfully applied for CRASSH Graduate/Faculty Research Group Funding to organise a seminar series on screen media and the body. Speakers included Stelarc, Kevin Brownlow, Steven Connor (Cambridge) and Chris Townsend (RHUL).

Using Social Media to Manage Real-Time Event Collaborations Across Mixed and Transmedial Realities [https://smke.org]

Organiser (February 2013)

Successfully applied for a Social Media Knowledge Exchange scholarship to organise two half-day workshops on developing and sharing effective practices, experiences, tools and platforms on managing real-time events across a range of social media

Putting Machinima In (or out of) Cinema: a roundtable seminar on films made in virtual worlds[http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/2003/]

Organiser (June 2012)

Conceptualised, initiated and organised a roundtable seminar for the Screen Media Seminar series at CRASSH with Professor Sarah Higley (University of Rochester) and Dr William Brown (University of Roehampton)

“Open Space/Singapore/Southeast Asia”,Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Curatorial Associate (Feb 2010-June 2010)

Helped in publicity and organisation of online art exhibition for the International Communication Association (ICA) conference in Singapore from June 22-26, 2010

HUMlab Science-Fiction Movie Series

Co-organiser (2009-2010)

Initiated, organised, marketed and facilitated a science-fiction film screening series, including group discussion, for university staff and students

Graduate Film Forum, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies (Institute of Advanced Studies, University of London)

Co-organiser (2008)

Organised, marketed and facilitated a film forum, including a screening and group discussion, for graduate students as part of the IGRS Graduate Forum series

Cinephilia 3: From film to digital images: memory, exhibition, experimentation

Conference organiser (2004)

Organised third installment of the “Cinephilia”conference series held between UCL, New York University and the Universiteit van Amsterdam


Jenna Ng

Contact details

Dr Jenna Ng
Anniversary Research Lecturer in Film and Interactive Media
Department of Theatre, Film and Television
University of York
Baird Lane
Heslington East Campus
YO10 5GB

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 32 5277