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Dr Michele Aaron

Associate Professor in Film & Television Studies
Email: M dot Aaron at warwick dot ac dot uk
Tel. +44 (024) 765 22436
Room A1., Millburn House
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7HS



I did my BA in English Literature at Queen Mary’s (or QMW as it was then) and both my MA, (in Culture and Social Change) and PhD (in contemporary film and fiction) at the University of Southampton. I’ve joined Warwick from the University of Birmingham where I have been based since 2004 having previously taught at Brunel University. In 2016-17, I was the principal investigator on the AHRC funded project ‘Digital Technology and Human Vulnerability: Towards an Ethical Praxis’. I am the director/curator of Screening Rights Film Festival, the Midlands International Festival of Social Justice film and debate, which launched in 2015.

Research Interests

These centre on the question of the potential of film to affect and even effect personal, social and political change. Historically, this meant writing about the power and ethics of representation and spectatorship in relation to, principally, mainstream English language cinema. In recent years, these interests have very much turned both outwards and towards film practice and I am, increasingly, engaged in community-based collaborations - with artists, filmmakers and community groups – that create work that explores this potential of film.

Current Work

I am involved in two ongoing activities and completing two articles. The first set of activities involves developing and delivering various public engagement and impact events related to ‘Digital Technology and Human Vulnerability: Towards an Ethical Praxis’. This research centred on the co-creation and then sharing of films by participants from John Taylor Hospice in Erdington. The Life:Moving exhibition, of the six films that resulted, is being brought to community groups, end of life professional and the public in the UK and abroad. For the second, in collaboration with Sharek, a youth advocacy agency in Ramallah Palestine, I have been delivering an intensive ‘smart phone filmmaking’ course with university students in the West Bank in 2016 and 2017. The best film that is produced by students is screened during Screening Rights Film Festival.

Selected publications


Death and the Moving Image: Ideology, Iconography, and I (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014). Winner of the Kraszna Krausz Foundation Best Moving Image Book Prize 2015
Spectatorship: The Power of Looking On (London: Wallflower, 2007)
Ed. Envisaging Death: Visual Culture and Dying (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013)
Ed. New Queer Cinema: A Critical Reader (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004)
Ed. The Body’s Perilous Pleasures (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999)

Edited Journal

Ed. “Text < - > Screen” EnterText 1.2 (Spring/Summer 2001)


‘Ethics and Digital Film’, for 40th year of Film Criticism (Jan 2016)
“Cinema and Suicide: Necromanticism, Necropolitics and the Logic of the Vanishing Point” Cinema Journal Vol. 53, no. 2 (2014)
“Passing Through: Queer Lesbian Film and Fremde Haut” Journal of Lesbian Studies Vol. 16, no. 3 (Summer 2012)
‘Looking On and Looking the Other Way: Hotel Rwanda and the Racialised Ethics of Spectatorship’ in James Walters and Tom Brown, Film Moments (London: BFI: 2010)
‘Towards Queer Television Theory: Bigger Pictures sans the Sweet Queerafter’ in Glyn Davis and Gary Needham, eds. Queer TV (London: Routledge, 2008)
‘(Fill-in-the) Blank Fiction: Dennis Cooper's Cinematics and the Complicitous Reader” Journal of Modern Literature Vol. 27, no. 2 (Fall 2004)
“Pass/Fail: Screen Debate on Boys Don’t Cry” Screen Vol.42, no. 1 (March 2001)
‘The Queer Jew and Cinema: From Yidl to Yentl and Back and Beyond’ Jewish Culture and History 3.1 (2000)


I have supervised PhDs on contemporary cinema and: masochistic masculinity, fatherhood and AIDS; on lesbian fandom and television. I’m currently supervising PhDs on the representation of torture and on digital film and the mediation of the suffering other in war.


Undergraduate modules

FI108: Theories of the Moving Image

Film and Social Change

Postgraduate modules

Post-colonial Film