Portrait of Professor Aylish Wood

Professor Aylish Wood

Professor in Film
REF Coordinator


I have been at Kent since September 2003, having previously taught at the University of Aberdeen. I completed my PhD in Film Studies at the University of Nottingham in 1999. Prior to this, I had a career in Biochemistry, a discipline in which I also hold a PhD.

My research primarily focusses on digital media in cinema, animation and games. My interest lies in the capacity of these popular media to reveal contemporary concerns about technology, from how technology looks, what it does, and the ways in which we interact with it.

Research interests

My research is informed by an interest in the relationships between technology and moving image media. Since undertaking a PhD on images of technoscience in American Cinema, I have developed a cross media approach, working with animation, digital games, installation art and cinema. Areas of study have included images of humans and technologies, and the impact of digital media on cinema aesthetics, animation, digital games and installations. A number of these projects have benefitted from awards from the Leverhulme Trust, the AHRC and the BA.

My current research is focused on 3D animation software and its use in visual effects, animations, adverts, and science visualizations. Funded by an AHRC Fellowship, this research has involved interviewing animators, developing a framework that draws on software studies, ecologies of technologies, and digital materialities, as well as cinema studies. 

I am also involved in ‘fx works’, a collaboration with other UK-based academics interested in visual effects and imaging technologies more widely.


Animated Worlds: the module introduces the diversity of animation, from cel-animations, to puppets, 3D computer animation and on-line animations. We study shorts and features from around the world, exploring animation as an aesthetic and cultural phenomenon. 

Digital Domains: beginning with the history of special effects, we look at the shifting terrains of digital filmmaking. Charting a course from familiar effects films, we move towards more experimental works and the changing opportunities for filmmakers and audiences alike.

Cinema and Technology: Following the rapid developments in digital and computer media, interest in cinema and technology has grown. This MA module draws on an interdisciplinary framework from media and cultural studies, science and technology studies, philosophy and film theory, exploring changes in the cinema within a broadly defined technocultural shift.


I am open to enquiries about PhD projects interested in the relationship between digital technologies and new ways of thinking about or experiencing space in a wide range of media. I welcome projects that explore questions across media or via a single one, and have an interdisciplinary perspective. Proposals on animation, games, visual effects, 3D cinema and VR would map well onto my research focus.

Areas I have supervised include:

  • Animation and theories about character
  • Animation, cartooning and theories of satire
  • Hybrid images
  • Animation industry: gender and production culture
  • Superheroes in American Cinema since 2000
  • Games and cinema
  • Comics and cinema
  • Trailers and cinema
  • Alternative Porn
  • Digital uncanny
  • Italian American Masculinity in the 1970s
  • Trans identity in the cinema
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