School of Arts

profile image for 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.

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Wood, A. (2015). Software, Animation, and the Moving Image: What's in the Box?. [Online]. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Available at:
Wood, A. (2007). Digital Encounters. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.
Wood, A. (2002). Technoscience in contemporary American films: beyond science fiction. Manchester University Press.
Wood, A. (2014). Behind the Scenes: A Study of Autodesk Maya. Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal [Online] 9:317-332. Available at:
Wood, A. (2014). Contests and Simulations: Tron: Legacy and its Connections with Technologies. Journal of Film and Video.
Wood, A. (2013). Intangible space: three-dimensional technology in Hugo and IMAX in The Dark Knight. Convergence: The International Journal of Research Into New Media Technologies [Online] 19:1-13. Available at:
Wood, A. (2012). Where Codes Collide: the Emergent Ecology of Avatar. Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal [Online] 7:309-322. Available at:
Wood, A. (2012). Recursive space: play and creating space. Games and Culture [Online] 7:87-105. Available at:
Wood, A. (2011). Digital afx: digital dressing and affective shifts in Sin City and 300. New Review of Film and Television Studies [Online] 9:283-295. Available at:
Wood, A. (2008). Encounter at the Interface: Distributed Attention and Digital Embodiments. Quarterly Review of Film and Video [Online] 25:219-229. Available at:
Wood, A. (2008). Proliferating Connections and Communicating Convergence. Fibreculture [Online]. Available at:
Wood, A. (2007). 'Pixel Visions: Digital Intermediates and Micromanipulations of the Image'. Quarterly Review of Film and Video Film C:72-94.
Wood, A. (2006). Re-Animating Space. Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal 1:133-152.
Wood, A. (2004). The Metaphysical Fabric that Binds Us': Proprioceptive Coherence and Performative Space in Minority Report. New Review of Film and Television Studies 2:1-18.
Wood, A. (2002). The timespaces of spectacular cinema: crossing the great divide of spectacle versus narrative. Screen 43:370-386.
Book section
Wood, A. (2015). Inception's Timespaces. in: North, D., Rehak, R. and Duffy, M. S. eds. Special Effects: New Histories, Theories, Contexts. BFI: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 254-266.
Wood, A. (2013). Sonic Times in Inception and Watchmen. in: Vernalis, C., Richardson, J. and Herzog, A. eds. The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 417-437.
Wood, A. (2008). Cinema as Technology: Encounters with an Interface. in: Furstenau, M., Mackenzie, A. and Bennett, B. eds. Cinema and Technology. Palgrave Press.
Wood, A. (2005). Vectorial dynamics: transtextuality and complexity in the Matrix. in: Gillis, S. ed. The Matrix. Wallflower Press.
Wood, A. (2005). The Animated Queer. in: Griffiths, R. ed. Queer Cinema in Europe. Intellect.
Wood, A. (2004). The Expansion of Narrative Space: Titanic and CGI Technology. in: Street, S. and Bergfelder, T. eds. Titanic as Myth and Memory: Representations in Visual and Literary Culture. I.B.Tauris, pp. 225-234.
Wood, A. (2004). The collapse of reality and illusion in The Matrix. in: Tasker, Y. ed. The Action Reader. Routledge, pp. 119-129.
Wood, A. (2001). Fresh Kill: Information Technologies as Sites of Resistance. in: Munt, S. ed. Technospaces: inside the new media. Continuum, pp. 161-174.
Wood, A. (1998). "You ever fuck a mutant?" Technology, Gender and Identity in Total Recall. in: Ainley, R. ed. New Frontiers of Space, Bodies and Gender. Routledge, pp. 191-202.
Wood, A. (2014). Gravity. Science Fiction Film and Television [Online] 7:441-444. Available at:
Conference or workshop item
Wood, A. (2015). Excavating Software Algorithms. in: Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image.
Wood, A. (2015). Aardman! In an Adventure with CGI!. in: Aardman Workshop.
Wood, A. (2015). Making Movements: Technological Imaginations of Animators and Algorithms. in: Society for Animation Studies 2015.
Wood, A. (2014). Software, Animation and the Moving Image: What's in the Box? in: Creative Animation Knowledge Exchange Conference.
Wood, A. (2014). Software, Animation and Autodesk Maya. in: Digital in Depth.
Wood, A. (2014). What's in the Box? in: BAFTSS Annual Conference.
Wood, A. (2014). Software and Visual Effects. in: Society for Animation Studies.
Wood, A. (2013). Hugo and 3D Space: tracing digital contours. in: Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference 2013.
Wood, A. (2013). Introducing 'more-than-representational space: software and visual effects. in: The Magic of Special Effects.
Wood, A. (2013). Intangible Spaces: Tracing Technologies in the 3-D Space of Hugo. in: CRASSH: Joining the Dots.
Internet publication
Wood, A. (2013). Talking about Maya [pdf]. Available at:
Wood, A. (2018). Where Do Shapes Come From? in: Harris, M., Husbands, L. and Taberham, P. eds. Experimental Animation: from analogue to digital. London, UK: Routledge.
Wood, A. (2016). Digital Contours, Chases and Spaces: thinking about space through software. in: The Magic of Special Effects. University of Chicago Press (unconfirmed).
Total publications in KAR: 38 [See all in KAR]
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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.




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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.


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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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Last Updated: 22/11/2018