The creators:

Jenna Ng

Jenna is Senior Lecturer in Film and Interactive Media at the University of York (for more information and contact details, see Jenna’s university staff page; or connect on Twitter @knittedgardens). She researches primarily on digital media and visual culture. Her books include Understanding Machinima: Essays on Films in Virtual Worlds (Bloomsbury, 2013) and The Post-Screen Through Virtual Reality, Holograms and Light Projections: Where Screen Boundaries Lie (Amsterdam University Press, 2021).

Oliver Tomkins

Oliver is a Masters student at the University of York studying algorithm curation, and the rules and power dynamics of the new digital world. His essays on memeticism as a function of television are set to be published in January 2023 as part of a collection by Obverse Books. Beyond academic work, he writes film, television, and audiodrama fiction, often bending mediums, as on this site. He can be contacted at oliverjamestomkins@gmail.com.

The website:

This website is created as a first (and tentative) foray into para-academic work

This foray is made with particular inspiration from Eileen Joy and Nicola Masciandaro’s identification of how the para-academic “captures the multivalent sense of something that fulfills and/or frustrates the academic from a position of intimate exteriority……”, if with simultaneous awareness of the wider politics around the phrase, such as in relation to the corporatisation of the university. 

On the notion of multivalence, then, this website tries to achieve that variegation by presenting its ideas on contemporary visual culture across connected rhizomatic branches of academic scholarship, science fiction, audiovisual and interactive media. Likewise, its intention is multifaceted: this is a labour of sincere thoughts on visual culture, care about communication, and last but not least, both dissemination and dissensus.

If you have any comments or feedback about this work, please email jenna.ng@york.ac.uk. We would love to hear from you!



Some text on the website previously appeared in Jenna Ng’s book, The Post-Screen Through Virtual Reality, Holograms and Light Projections: Where Screen Boundaries Lie (Amsterdam University Press, 2021). The whole book is now open access and downloadable for free

With special thanks to:


The para-academic: as quoted in Paul Boshears, “Para-Academic Publishing as Public-Making,” in The Para-Academic Handbook: A Toolkit for Making-Learning-Creating-Acting, eds Alex Wardrop and Deborah Withers (Bristol: HammerOn Press, 2014), 179.

Dissensus: see Bill Readings, The University in Ruins, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: 180-194.


Date: August 31, 2022