Dr Keith Wagner

Dr Keith Wagner



Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Joined UCL
3rd Oct 2016

Research summary

Keith B. Wagner is an Assistant Professor of Global Media and Culture and Director of the Graduate Programme in Film and Media Studies. He is an interdisciplinary scholar trained in film studies, sociology, comparative literature, and art history and is particularly fascinated with putting film, media and literature in conversation with globalization. Dedicated to theorizing globalization's multidimensional conditions and processes, he has interpreted 'neoliberalism,' 'financialization,' 'glocalization,' 'co-cultural outlooks,' 'global cities,' 'global precarity,' 'illicit globalization,' 'globalization from below,' and 'south-south connectivity' all in relation to media and cultural formations. His teaching also reflects an international outlook, with many courses devised along Global South and North lines of inquiry.

Dr Wagner is also associated with a group of scholars carving out a sub-field in Film Studies dubbed 'world cinema studies.' His position was derived from his advocacy for global cinema as a concept and issue-based premise and was developed in the edited collection, Neoliberalism and Global Cinema: Capital, Culture and Marxist Critique (2011) and, in the social science journal, Globalizations (2015). Currently, he is co-editing a new book arguing that the deceleration of cultural globalization is an erroneous assertion and that large-scale cultural formations in literature and film have validity, in Against Deglobalization. In conjunction with his work on global conditions, he also has a forthcoming monograph entitled Living with Uncertainty: Neoliberal Societies and Precarity in Global Cinema which will be published in 2021. As the first monograph of its kind, he brings into dialogue flexible, insecure and temporary employment and its refraction through cinema across four continents, theorizing this casualization of toil as precarious labor. 

Elsewhere, Dr Wagner holds an intense interest in different national cinemas and art practices, comprising another strand of his research output. His co-edited collection China's iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for the Twenty-First Century (2014) was devoted to China's post-WTO film culture and its interconnectedness with digital and online media. He also co-edited one of the first comprehensive surveys of contemporary Korean art which was published by Phaidon Press in 2020. 

More recently, Dr Wagner has ventured into media and infrastructural studies. His comparative analysis of CCTV Africa was published in Screening China's Soft Power in 2017. He is currently editing the first regional focused collection of essays devoted to the Asian media industry, shedding new light on conglomerates, television networks and internet/platform companies.  

His work has also been published in numerous journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Radical History Review, Visual Communication, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Race and Class, Journal of Film and Video, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Critical Arts, Labor History, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies and Third Text and in the anthologies Rediscovering Korean Cinema, World Entertainment Media, Reliving the Crash: Global Recession Narratives in Film and Television and Japanese Animation: Transnational Industry and Culture in Asia. At present, his essays have been translated into Turkish, Korean and Chinese.  


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow | 2019


Dr Wagner completed his undergraduate education at Fairfield University and Yale University, received an M.Phil from the University of Cambridge and completed his PhD at King's College, London.