Min-Kyoo Kim


Wolfson College


Dr. Laura McMahon

Research topic:

The visuality of nuclear violence and victimhood in the photographic and moving image archive


Min-Kyoo is a first-year PhD student at the Centre for Film and Screen. He previously studied for a BSc in International Relations (First) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2016-19). He then undertook a MPhil (First Class with Distinction) in Film and Screen Studies at the University of Cambridge (2020-21), where he wrote a dissertation entitled: The nationalist-melodrama of the North Korean cinema-state: the formation and evolution of juche cinema. In other essays, he also explored interests on the Third Cinema identity of the Battle of Algiers (1966) and the Benjamin-Adorno debate on mass culture.


Min-Kyoo’s research interrogates the aesthetic and political complexities of archiving the forms and victims of slow, structural nuclear violence. He explores the entanglement of nuclear power in global discourses of imperialism and racism, and how this occludes the historical and ongoing proliferation of nuclear violence. He also draws upon the insights of Jacques Derrida’s Nuclear Criticism, to consider how nuclear violence resists iconic, symbolic, and indexical representation, and defies consignation in the archive.

This interdisciplinary research incorporates works from across different media and national contexts: from atrocity photographs in the Congo, to the experimental photo-roman of La Jetée (1962); from documentary footage of the Chernobyl disaster, to contemporary North Korean propaganda. Currently, Min-Kyoo is working on a project that reads the time-travelling cyborg of The Terminator (1984) as Derrida’s figuration of the spectre, a revenant from the future who embodies the logic and threat of the nuclear death-drive.

Scholarships/ Prizes:

Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities 2022-25

Other activities and roles:

Captain of the All Greys, Cambridge’s inter-collegiate rugby team for mature Colleges


Cambridge Film & Screen

Tel: +44 (0)1223 335057