Steven has research interests in various aspects of Anglophone cinema. He has published a range of work examining cinematic depictions of landscape, space and place in British and Australian cinema, including the representation of the seaside in British films. Current projects include a monograph that questions the privileged image of the outback as the defining landscape of Australian cinema and an anthology entitled Narratives of Place in Literature and Film, co-edited with Kirsten Møllegaard, PhD (University of Hawai'i at Hilo, USA).
He has an ongoing interest in animation, which has resulted in publications exploring sound in Tex Avery’s cartoons, anime fandom and the representation of death and trauma in animation. The latter forms part of an overarching research interest into the representation of the body, with a particular focus on its relationship to memory/history and trauma. His book Cinema, Pain and Pleasure – Consent and the Controlled Body (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) examines such an interchange with a focus on how mainstream cinema has rejected social motivations founded on masochistic pleasure.