Queen's Film and Media

Film and Media Studies
Film and Media Studies

Ali Na

Assistant Professor
Film and Media

PhD (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

M.A. (New York University)

B.A. (Whitman College)

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s University.

My approach digital media works through the social implications of media and identity with critical cultural and performance studies. My scholarship and teaching look to contextualize the limits and generative potential in digital media practices by reaching into the past. I do this by providing cultural and media histories as modes of understanding how the seemingly new and unknown brings with it sedimented pasts.   

I am interested in the performance of media technologies – that is the processes and entanglements of media – and performances of self through digital media. As such, my scholarship traverses the areas of digital media, popular culture, and media installation. My research seeks to establish a multidirectional relationship between medium and content. That is, I am interested how tangible technological objects and their processes, embodied practices around media technologies, and the content communicated through media work together. In the digital age, the ideas of media as immaterial, virtual, and transcendent dominate. My work pushes against this impulse by grounding the body, the material, and the haptic.

As a media scholar working at the intersections of race, queer, and feminist studies, my research focuses on how media performances define and defy conceptions of Asian/Asian diasporic bodies. Drawing on transnational cultural histories, I theorize resistance, complicity, and ambivalence in new border crossings facilitated by digital media.

My publications include “#AzizAnsariToo?: Desi Masculinity in America and Performing Funny Cute” in Women’s Studies in Communication, “Gangnam Eth(n)ic: The Transnational Politics of YouTube” in Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, and “The Fetish of the Click: A Small History of the Computer Mouse as Vulva” in Feminist Media Studies. I am currently working on my first book manuscript Trans Medial Performance: Affirming Asian/American Femininity Otherwise.