Overview of Research Interests
In my research work, I acknowledge that culturally maligned objects (such as horror and pornography) express serious, complicated philosophical ideas. I have written various articles and chapters on contemporary issues in moral philosophy, selfhood studies and feminism, each of which proposes that (a) popular horror films and pornographic texts articulate the same concepts that concern philosophers (albeit in intuitive ways), and (b) these popular objects complicate and contribute to the on-going conceptual debates that define contemporary philosophical and political thought.
PhD in Film, Media and Cultural Studies: ‘Selfhood as Instance of Horror: Ontology, Ideology and Narratives of Body-Terror’, University of Sussex
MA (Hons) Modern Literature, University of Leicester (Distinction)
BA (Hons) English, University of Leicester (First class)
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Society For Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Scholarly Interest Group in Film-Philosophy, Horror Studies, and Adult Cinema History
British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) Special Interest Groups in Horror Studies, Film and Philosophy, and Screening Sex
Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)
The Screening Sex Network
The Onscenity research group
Steve joined Northumbria University in 2010. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Arts., and Head of Subject for the Media group.
From 2011 – 2016 he was programme leader for the degree programme BA (Hons) Media, Culture and Society. In 2016-17 he was programme leader for the BA (Hons) Mass Communication programmes, and link tutor for the MSc Mass Communication Management (London campus). From 2018-2021, he was Head of Subject for the Media, Film and Languages Programmes at Northumbria University. From 2018-2021, he was external examiner for University of East London.
Steve previously taught in the School of Film, Media and Music, University of Sussex (2006-2010).
Visiting teaching or research roles at other Universities
Steve is currently Adjunct Research Professor in Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University (Ottawa).
PhD Supervision and Examination
PhD Principal Supervisor
Calvo, K. Representations of Violence against Children in Film.
Nisa, A. The Camera as Character: Theorising Non-Human Agency in the Found-Footage Horror Film.
Lonergan, M. (Carleton University) Explicit Governance: Pornography, Technology, and Violence in the Digital Era.
Stanton, R. R. (2019) Representations of Animal Harm and Objectification in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Films (1937-2016) Utilizing Theories of Romanticism, Speciesism, and Compassion.
O’Donnell, J. (2017) The Digital Backlash Against Feminism: The Feminist Response to Gamergate and MRAs.
Watson, T. J. (2015) Audiovisual Violence and Editorial Manipulation: The Relationship Between Violent Image-Content and Violent Image-Form.
PhD Second supervisor
Wiegand, E. Exploiting Reality: Selling Sex, Culture, and Authenticity in the Exploitation Documentary.
Herron, A. Queering the Porn Theatre: Sexual Spaces in New York City, 1967-1980.
Ross, A. (2020) Notions of Story, Plot, Narrative and Genre as Aspects of Creative Content in Narrative Cinema.
Mahoney, C. (2017) A Historical Sensibility: Television, Postfeminism and the Second World War.
Oliveria, R. (2020) Beyond Euro Horror: The Horror Cinemas of Southern Europe. Northumbria University.
Kreitem, H. (2020) Internet Walled Gardens and Digital Inclusion. Northumbria University.
Prawira, I. (2019) The Political News Construction in Post-authoritarian Indonesia. Citizen Journalism in Online News Media during 2017 Election. Northumbria University.
Wongwilatnurak, N. (2018) Buddhism and Supernatural Thai Drama. Northumbria University.
Mack, J. (2015) (Indie) Mediality: Intermediality in Contemporary American Independent Film. Northumbria University.
Taylor, T. (2015) American Captivity in Contemporary Horror Cinema, Loughborough University.
Publications and Research Outputs
“If Nancy Doesn’t Wake Up Screaming: The Elm Street Series as Recurring Nightmare”, in Proctor, W. and McKenna, M. Critical Studies in the Horror Film Franchise. London: Routledge, 2022.
“Re-examining Extreme and Hardcore Horror”, in Hickinbottom, Falvey, & Wroot (eds.) New Blood: Framing Horror in the 21st Century. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2021.
“Zmrcvarjen do smrti: cikel slasherjev”, Kino, 40/41, 2020.
“Jigsaw: Torture Porn Rebooted?” in Bacon (ed). Horror: A Reader. New York: Peter Lang, 2019.
“Preserved for Posterity?: Present-Bias and the Status of Grindhouse Films in the ‘Home Cinema’ Era”, Journal of Film and Video, 70:1, 2018.
“Sex and Horror”, in Attwood & Smith (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality. London: Routledge, 2018.
“Kartezijanstvo intersubjektivnost filmski seriji Paranormalno ter filozofiji duha”, Kino, 36, 2018.
“The Origin of the Faeces”, Porn Studies, 4:4, 2017.
“Cartesianism and Intersubjectivity in Paranormal Activity and the Philosophy of Mind”, Film-Philosophy, 21:1, 2017.
“‘Tvoja Zgodba je Resnina in Ljudje to Cutijo’: Muenje v Kontekstu”, Kino, 31/2, 2017.
“‘Extreme’ Porn?: The Implications of a Label”, Porn Studies, 3:3, 2016.
“A View to a Kill: Perspectives on Faux-Snuff and Self”, in Jackson, Kimber, Walker, & Watson (eds.) Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media. New York: Bloomsbury, 2016.
“Torture Pornopticon: (In)security Cameras, Self-Governance and Autonomy”, in Reyes & Blake (eds.) Digital Horror: Haunted Technologies, Network Panic and the Found Footage Phenomenon. London: IB Tauris, 2016.
“Torture Born: Representing Pregnancy and Abortion in Contemporary Survival-Horror”, Sexuality & Culture, 19:3, 2015.
“Pretty, Dead: Sociosexuality, Rationality & the Transition into Zom-Being”, in Jones & McGlotten (eds.) Zombies & Sexuality: Essays on Desire & the Living Dead. Jefferson: McFarland, 2014.
“Zombie Sex” (with McGlotten, S.), in Jones & McGlotten (eds.) Zombies & Sexuality: Essays on Desire & the Living Dead. Jefferson: McFarland, 2014.
Torture Porn: Popular Horror after Saw. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013.
“No Pain, No Gain: Strategic Repulsion and The Human Centipede”, Cine-Excess, 1:1, 2013.
“Gender Monstrosity”, Feminist Media Studies, 13:4, 2013.
“XXXombies: Economies of Desire and Disgust”, in Balaji (ed.) Thinking Dead. New York: Lexington Books, 2013.
“Twisted Pictures: Morality, Nihilism and Symbolic Suicide in the Saw Series”, in Aston & Wallis (eds.) To See the Saw Movies: Essays on the Saw Franchise. Jefferson: McFarland, 2013.
“Video Nasty: The Moral Apocalypse in Koji Suzuki’s Ring”, LIT, 23:3, 2012.
“Mindful violence? The Rambo Series’ Shifting Aesthetic of Aggression”, New Review of Film and Television Studies, 10:4, 2012.
“The Lexicon of Offense: The Meanings of Torture, Porn, & ‘Torture Porn’”, in Attwood, Campbell, Hunter, & Lockyear (eds.) Controversial Images. London: Palgrave, 2012.
“The Pure Moment of Murder: The Symbolic Function of Bodily Interactions in Horror Film”, Projections, 6:2, 2011.
“Death of the Image/The Image of Death: Temporality, Torture and Transience in Yuuri Sunohara and Masami Akita’s Harakiri Cycle”, Journal of Japanese & Korean Cinema, 3:1, 2011.
“Porn of the Dead: Necrophilia, Feminism, and Gendering the Undead”, in Moreman & Rushton (eds.) Zombies Are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead. Jefferson: McFarland, 2011.
“Dying to be Seen: Snuff-Fiction’s Problematic Fantasises of ‘Reality’”, Scope, 19, 2011.
“‘Time is Wasting’: Con/sequence and S/pace in the Saw Series”, Horror Studies, 1:2, 2010.
“Technologies of Isolation: Apocalypse and Self in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Kairo”, Japanese Studies, 30:2, 2010.
“Horrorporn/Pornhorror: The Problematic Communities and Contexts of Extreme Online Imagery”, in Attwood (ed.) Porn.com: Making Sense of Online Pornography. New York: Peter Lang.
Recent Conferences & Talks
Done to Death: The Slasher Cycle, Kurja Polt Film Festival, Slovenia
La Petite Mort: Sex and Death in Hardcore Horror, Offscreen Film Festival, Brussels
Masterclass with David Kerekes, Offscreen Film Festival, Brussels
Cut and Run: An Introduction to the Slasher Film, Abertoir Film Festival
Wild Justice: Revenge in Contemporary American Film, Kurja Polt Film Festival, Slovenia
Masterclass with Fabrice du Welz, Kurja Polt Film Festival, Slovenia
Torture Porn as Political Allegory, Kurja Polt Film Festival, Slovenia
Masterclass with Christina Lindberg, Kurja Polt Film Festival, Slovenia
Remembering the Deuce, Abertoir Film Festival
Grindhouse in the Digital Age, Offscreen Film Festival, Brussels
Hard Body, Cold Heart: The Body in 80s Action Cinema, Offscreen Film Festival
Women in Horror: Moving Beyond Misogyny, invited seminar speaker, Coventry University
Grindigital: The Ghost of Grindhouse Present, Global Exploitation Cinemas: Historical and Critical Approaches, Lincoln University
Torture Born: Representing Pregnancy and Abortion in Contemporary Survival Horror, invited seminar speaker, University of Sunderland
Examples of Public Engagement
Script editor, translator, actor and writer for Necrostorm Films
Interview for The Last Word on The Last House on the Left documentary, High Rising Productions
Interview for The Emmanuelle Effect, High Rising Productions
Guest Article, “Issues with the BBFC’S 2018 consultation exercise”, Screening Sex
Interviews for Umetni Raj (RTV Slovenia)
Interview for Cult Conversations
Invited member of Delphi panel for ‘Pornography’s effects on audiences’ project, funded by the Australian Research Council
Co-host and editor for the Horror Lab Podcast
Porn Laid Bare symposium, invited consultant, Terence Higgins Trust/University of Sussex
La Jetee and Twelve Monkeys: Time Travel Narratives, Memory and Human Drama. Guest Lecture, Tyneside Cinema (ScienceFest)
Editorial Board and Peer Review Experience
Editorial Board member for Porn Studies
Peer Review – Journals
Cultural Politics; Crime, Media, Culture; European Journal of American Culture; Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal; Feminist Media Studies; Gender & Society; Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance; Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies; Journal of Popular Television; Mosaic; New Review of Film and Television Studies; Participations; Porn Studies; Sexualities.
Peer Review – Monographs and Edited Collections
Published by Edinburgh University Press; Routledge; IB Tauris; Palgrave-Macmillan; Rutgers University Press; McFarland; Bloomsbury; Sage; Pearson; Rowman & Littlefield.