Ewan Kirkland lectures in media and screen studies with specialist research interests in digital gaming, children’s culture, and media representations of identity.
Ewan's research includes extensive work on the Silent Hill videogame series, and the depiction of masculinity, heterosexuality and ethnic whiteness in popular culture. He has also spoken at numerous academic and non-academic contexts on such diverse subjects as Battlestar Galactica, My Little Pony, Little Big Planet and That Mitchell and Webb Look.
Ewan teaches on the Film and Screen Studies BA(Hons) degree at the university.
Dr Ewan Kirkland completed his PhD at the University of Sussex, where he explored the representation and construction of childhood in children's cinema. Ewan has been studying and teaching film, media and cultural studies for over ten years, incorporating such subjects as popular television, new media technologies, merchandising and publicity, horror games, and music videos in his lectures and research.
Writing about videogames, survival horror, and Silent Hill, Ewan has explored issues of narrative, gender and racial representations, ethics, discourses of art, self-reflexivity, and immersion. Ewan has spoken at conferences and conventions on media paratexts, whiteness, and analogue remediation in this long running horror videogame franchise. A recent paper examined Silent Hill Shattered Memories and its reflection upon processes of memory, photography, and Freudian psychoanalysis. Ewan’s essay on the relationship between horror videogames and literature was included in a reader on Gothic culture published by Routledge. Ewan has also written on Shadow of the Colossus, Little Big Planet and Haunting Ground, and this work informs a second year option he teaches on videogames cultures.
Ewan's academic interests also include representations of race, gender and sexuality in popular culture. Of particular interest are dominant identities such as masculinity, heterosexuality and ethnic whiteness, and the ways in which these are depicted in the media. In this respect, Ewan has published on race and Dexter, Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as masculinity in videogames, and heterosexuality in romantic comedy cinema. For the past five years Ewan has co-organised a conference series on racial whiteness held at Oxford University. Recently Ewan completed an essay on Battlestar Galactica’s Starbuck in the context of the action woman in popular film and television.
As a continuation of his PhD, Ewan also examines culture produced for children, including literature, film, television and digital media. He has published on family cinema, the films of Robin Williams, Dora the Explorer and The Powerpuff Girls. His work is concerned with the continuities across different forms of media for children, the ways in which such media reflect dominant ideas about children and childhood, and the pleasures for adults in consuming children’s culture. Most recently he completed a paper on Bronie fandom, animation and child audiences, and the relationship between feminine cultures and Hasbro’s My Little Pony franchise. A third year module Ewan teaches explores film, television, and digital culture for children, and is informed by this research.
Reflecting his multidisciplinary approach, Ewan has been published in journals such as Screen, Games and Culture, Brumal: Research Journal on the Fantastic, Gothic Studies, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media and Camera Obscura.
In addition Ewan is an active organiser of academic events. Ewan has held and co-organised conferences on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, zombies in popular culture, and science fiction and memory. More recently at the University of Brighton, Ewan organised the first ever conference on My Little Pony, as a consequence of which he edited a dossier on the subject for the Intellect Journal of Television Studies.
Examining Gothic traditions across the survival horror videogame series 'Silent Hill'
Questioning the extent to which ancillary texts released by the developer Konami confer an artistic status on the 'Silent Hill' videogame series
Examining the politics of the cartoon 'The Powerpuff Girls', situating the series’ three heroines within the 1990s popular discourse of ‘girl power’
Kirkland, Ewan (2017) "Little girls and the things that they love": My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Audience, Identity, and the Privilege of Contemporary Fan Culture Camera Obscura, 32 (2). pp. 89-115. ISSN 0270-5346
Kirkland, Ewan (2016) Situating Starbuck: Combative Femininity, Figurative Masculinity, and the Snap In: Helford, E.R., ed. The Woman Fantastic in Contemporary American Media Culture. University of Mississippi Press, Jackson, USA. ISBN 9781496808714
Kirkland, Ewan (2016) Undead avatars: the zombie in horror video games In: Fischer-Hornung, D. and Mueller, M., eds. Vampires and zombies: transcultural migrations and transnational interpretations. University Press of Mississippi, Mississippi, pp. 229-245. ISBN 9781496804747
Kirkland, Ewan (2015) Restless dreams and shattered memories: psychoanalysis and Silent Hill Brumal: Research Journal on the Fantastic, 3 (1). pp. 161-182. ISSN 2014-7910
Kirkland, Ewan (2015) My Little Pony: a transcultural phenomenon Journal of Popular Television, 3 (1). pp. 93-97. ISSN 2046-9861
Kirkland, Ewan (2014) Gothic and Survival Horror Videogames In: Byron, Glennis and Townshend, Dale, eds. The Gothic World. Routledge, London, pp. 454-464. ISBN 0415637449
Kirkland, Ewan (2014) Racial whiteness and 'Twilight' In: Clayton, Wickham and Harman, Sarah, eds. Screening Twilight: critical approaches to a cinematic phenomenon. I. B. Tauris, London, pp. 151-163. ISBN 1780766661
Kirkland, Ewan and Yilmaz, Aybige (2013) Introduction: memory and modernity Science Fiction Film and Television, 6 (3). pp. 319-325. ISSN 1754-3770
Kirkland, Ewan (2012) Whiteness, vampires and humanity in contemporary film and television In: Mutch, D., ed. The modern vampire and human identity. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 93-110. ISBN 9780230370135
Kirkland, Ewan (2012) Gothic videogames, survival horror, and the Silent Hill series Gothic Studies, 14 (2). pp. 106-122. ISSN 1362-7937
Kirkland, Ewan (2012) Experiences of embodiment and subjectivity in Haunting Ground In: Riha, Daniel, ed. Frontiers of Cyberspace. Rodopi Press, Oxford, pp. 125-147. ISBN 9789042035836
Kirkland, Ewan (2011) Survival horrality: analysis of a videogame genre The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies, 10. ISSN 2009-0374
Kirkland, Ewan (2011) Morality and survival horror videogames In: Malliet, S. and Poels, K., eds. Vice city virtue: moral issues in digital game play. Acco Academic, York, pp. 287-302. ISBN 9789033484681
Kirkland, Ewan (2011) Dexter and Whiteness In: Greene, R., Reisch, G.A. and Robison-Greene, R., eds. Dexter and Philosophy: Mind Over Splatter. Open Court, Chicago, pp. 209-218. ISBN 9780812697179
Kirkland, Ewan (2010) Discursively constructing the art of Silent Hill Games and Culture, 5 (3). pp. 314-328. ISSN 1555-4120
Kirkland, Ewan (2010) The politics of powerpuff: putting the ‘girl’ into ‘girl power’ Animation, 5 (1). pp. 9-24. ISSN 1746-8477
Kirkland, Ewan (2009) Narrative in survival horror videogames In: Perron, B., ed. Horror video games: welcome to the world of horror videogames. McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina, pp. 62-78. ISBN 9780786441976
Kirkland, Ewan (2009) Masculinity in videogames: the gendered gameplay of Silent Hill Camera Obscura, 24 (2). pp. 161-183. ISSN 0270-5346
Kirkland, Ewan (2009) Resident Evil's Typewriter Survival Horror and Its Remediations Games and Culture, 4 (2). pp. 115-126. ISSN 1555-4120
Kirkland, Ewan (2007) ‘The Self-Reflexive Funhouse of Silent Hill’ Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media, 13 (4). pp. 403-415. ISSN 1354-8565