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Dr Joana Jacob Ramalho
Foster Court
Gower Street
  • Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities

I studied Communication Sciences and Journalism at the New University of Lisbon (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). I moved to London in 2008 and gained my master's degree in Film Studies (UCL) in 2009. My dissertation focused on the disenchanted worlds of Vincente Minnelli's comedies, musicals, and melodramas. In September 2009, I joined the department of Spanish and Latin American Studies, where I developed the programme for the first Portuguese language module in the department. I have contributed to curriculum development at UCL with the introduction of three language modules (PORT0001; PORT0005; PORT0008/PORT0011) and one film module on Gothic Cinema, which ran in 2016. I completed my PhD on the transatlantic Romantic-Gothic films of early émigré and exile directors at the UCL Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry (CMII) in 2015. I became Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) in 2015 and achieved a UCL Arena Fellowship the following year. Currently, I teach modules on Portuguese language, Lusophone culture, and Spanish Film.

Research Summary

My research interests include 

  • Romanticism, the Gothic, and neo-Victorianism in film and television; 
  • cinematic representations of death, memory, mourning, and the senses;
  • intermediality, generic hybridity, and gender politics in dystopian films;
  • film musicals and musical moments in film and television;
  • Goth/ic music and Goth musical sub-genres, specifically dark cabaret, neo-romantic Gothic rock, and pop punk.
I have published on thresholds, haptic motifs, and sensory contagion in Gothic terror cinema; thing theory and the figure of the doll in Gothic and horror productions; and the role of portraits in 1940s psychological thrillers. I have presented my work at several international conferences in the UK, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Austria, and Portugal. Since 2017, I have been a reviewer for the online journal Fantastika

My current research project deploys the concept of carnival to investigate the ways in which specific forms of entertainment (lowbrow film, live-cinema, and dark cabaret artists) rewrite and externalise the convoluted dispute between an official culture and its rejects, while commenting on the failings of post-millennial socio-political systems and their neglect of subcultures and gender minorities.

I welcome proposals for MA dissertations that focus on or overlap with any of the research specialisms mentioned above.

2009 – 2011 PGTA Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2015 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Film studies University College London
2009 MA Master of Arts – Film studies University College London
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