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Oliver Kenny, BA MPhil


Graduate Teaching Assistant



I am a graduate of the University of Cambridge with a BA in Modern and Medieval Languages (German and French) and a MPhil in Screen Media and Cultures. I have also taken modules in Interpreting and Italian language and literature at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. I moved to Queen Mary in 2013 and am currently working on a PhD in the Film department under the supervision of Libby Saxton and Jenny Chamarette on the ethics of extreme cinema. In my research, I explore the representation of sex and violence in a number of recent films, particularly those containing explicit or unsimulated sex and/or graphic depictions of violence. I am particularly interested in thinking through the cinematic presentation of these acts and questioning what perspective the films take both on actual sex and violence as well as their representation. Spectatorship and arguments about the effects of watching such material are therefore an abiding concern. By considering the specific cinematographic context of these acts and comparing them to other depictions of graphic violence in Western film such as torture porn, horror and slasher films, I examine their particular contribution to debates about the representation of sex and violence, spectatorship and perhaps also to the concept of cinematic pleasure more broadly. Outside of this, I also work as a tutor for The Brilliant Club, teaching courses on film analysis and the French New Wave to secondary school pupils.



Conference Papers and Presentations:

'Food, property, misery, torture: thinking porn beyond pornography', Visual Cultures Forum, Queen Mary University of London, January 27th 2015 

'Violence at the Limit: What makes the 'New Extremity' Extreme?', Cine-Excess 2014, University of Brighton, November 15th 2014 

'Being moved by 'extremity': visceral reactions to violence', London French Postgraduate Conference 2014, Senate House, London, November 7th 2014

'It's not just a game: The Spectacle of Violence in the Saw Franchise', British Association of American Studies conference, University of Birmingham, April 2014


Queen Mary Postgraduate Symposium: With financial support from the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS), I recently organised a postgraduate symposium on spectatorship and the gaze, with a keynote by Dr. Laura McMahon. Papers and discussions focussed on animals, the Holocaust, Italian terrorism and metaphor theory in relation to cinema and the act of looking. The event took place at Queen Mary University of London, 17th April 2014.

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