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Dr Joana De Amil Da Costa Jacob Ramalho
Foster Court
Gower Street
  • Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities
UCL Subsidiary Supervisor

I studied Communication Sciences and Journalism at the New University of Lisbon (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium). I gained my master's degree in Film Studies at UCL in 2009. My dissertation focused on the disenchanted worlds of Vincente Minnelli's comedies, musicals and melodramas. In September 2009, I joined what was then known as the department of Spanish and Latin American Studies (now SPLAS - Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies), where I developed the programme for the first Portuguese language module in the department. I have since designed and convened several language and content modules at undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PGT) levels, continually contributing to curriculum development at UCL. In 2015, 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). That same year, I became Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and achieved a UCL Arena Fellowship in 2016. 

Research Summary

My research focuses on:


- the Gothic (film, television, music and literature);

- the connections and overlaps between Romanticism, the Gothic and Victorianism; 

- cinematic representations of death, memory, mourning and the senses;

- intermediality, generic hybridity and gender politics;

- film musicals and musical moments in film and television;

- radical humour and political correctness.


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 (low art, 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. This research has so far resulted in three book chapters that explore marginal films and musicians.


I welcome proposals for UG, MA and PhD projects that focus on or overlap with any of the research specialisms above.

Teaching Summary

In 2020-21, I convene two UG modules on Portuguese language and Lusophone culture (PORT0005 and PORT0008). At PGT level, I deliver two modules for the MA in Comparative Literature: Gothic Literature and Film (CMII0140) and Musical Satire (CMII0078).

I often teach post-A level modules on Portuguese language (Portuguese Language Portfolio I and II) and have contributed to the Translation Studies MA (Translation From and Into Portuguese). Other modules have included Spanish cinema (Spanish Film From the 1990s), an ELCS module (Gothic Cinema) and an optional module for the Comparative Literature MA (The Gothic: Reading for Defilement).

To date, I have undertaken UG and PGT dissertation supervision in Comparative Literature, Language and Culture (BALC), Film Studies and Translation Studies on a range of topics including Francoist cinema, intermediality, film musicals, melancholy and disenchantment.

2018 Senior Teaching Fellow Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies UCL, United Kingdom
2011 – 2018 Teaching Fellow Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies UCL, United Kingdom
2009 – 2011 PGTA Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2015   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
2015   Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy University College London
2009   Master of Arts University College London
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