Professor Anna Feigenbaum
Professor in Digital Storytelling at Bournemouth University
PI, UKRI/AHRC Project: COVID-19 Comics & Public Health
I am a writer, researcher, teacher and workshop leader specialising in data storytelling for civic good. From digging into dusty archives to data visualising absent deaths, I am drawn to the difficult, the messy, the ethically challenging questions that exist around the edges of debates over how we tell stories with science and data. As a consultant and trainer, I collaborate with charities, NGOs, Public Health organisations, investigative journalists and other researchers to explore empathetic and effective ways to tell data stories. I believe that it is often those without access to big budgets and fancy tools that hold the data stories we most need to change the world.
Dr José Blázquez
Lecturer in Media Production and Postdoctoral Researcher at Bournemouth University
I am a teacher, researcher and practitioner in the creative industries. Our AHRC-funded project, ‘Comics in the time of COVID-19’, has given me the possibility to expand on some of my research areas of interest, such as media literacy, webcomics, ephemeral media, audience engagement and data storytelling. I also lead the ACE-funded project 'Press Start: The use of videogame assets in audience creative practices’, revolving around the study of machinima, in-game photography and gamics (game webcomics). My work has been published in academic journals, books and newspapers. My first academic monograph, Participatory worlds: the limits of audience participation, will be published by Routledge in 2022. As a creative industries practitioner, I have engaged in multiple projects and roles, from film and media production to illustration and (graphic/web) design.
Dr Sam Goodman
Principal Academic in English & Communication, Bournemouth University
My research focuses on formations of identity in relation to literature and medical humanities, particularly around Britishness, popular cultures, and contemporary media. I am the author of British Spy Fiction & the End of Empire (2016), and editor of Medicine, Health & the Arts: Approaches to Medical Humanities (2014), both published with Routledge. Within the COVID Comics project, I’m particularly interested in how these texts reflect national, local, and subcultural subjectivities, affording the opportunity for expressions of selfhood in a given time and place. Moreover, I’m keen to explore how popular media can not only respond to assumptions about people, and societies, but challenge and subvert them too.
Dr Julia Round
Principal Lecturer in Communication at Bournemouth University
My research examines the intersections of Gothic, comics and children’s literature, which I’ve written about in my books Gothic for Girls: Misty and British Comics (2019, winner of the Broken Frontier Award for Best Book on Comics) and Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels (2014). Gothic adapts to suit its time, and I’m interested in using my research to explore how its themes and archetypes appear in stories of the pandemic. How are isolation and anxiety conveyed? What metaphors of monstrosity and evil recur when we talk about illness and disease? What might our COVID vampires or zombies be like?
Dr Alexandra P. Alberda
Research Illustrator at Bournemouth University
Curator of Indigenous Perspectives at the Manchester Museum, University of Manchester
My PhD, titled Graphic Medicine Exhibited: Public Engagement with Comics in Curatorial Practice and Visitor Experience since 2010, explores the intersections of the comics medium, health, and exhibition to understand potential methodological approaches and sociocultural values of these experiences. My collaborative projects, namely with Dr Anna Feigenbaum and Aria Alamalhodaei, have explored such topics as public health, data storytelling and visualisation, comics (graphic medicine, graphic social science, data comics), and creative-led knowledge exchange. As a research illustrator I have worked on a number of projects, including the recent The Data Storytelling Workbook (Routledge 2020) and two COVID-19 webcomics. As a curator, I explore how different media, such as comics and zines, can create more emotive connections between different cultures, place, and time, contribute towards decolonisation, and foster social justice and care in upcoming museum professionals.
Dr William Proctor
Principal Lecturer in Comics, Film & Transmedia at Bournemouth University
I teach and research in areas related mainly to popular culture, including comics, film, television, franchising and other media platforms. My interests focus on the relationships between texts, production cultures and audiences, considering the complex and variegated discourses that underpin cultural production and reception within networks of global capitalism. I have published on a wide variety of topics, including fan and audience cultures, popular transmedia franchises (Star Wars, Star Trek, James Bond, Stephen King, etc.), global convergence cultures, transmedia storytelling, superhero and science fiction comics, and more. At present, I am currently working on two edited collections, Horror Franchise Cinema (with Dr Mark McKenna, Routledge) and The Scandinavian Invasion: Nordic Noir and Beyond (with Dr Richard McCulloch, Peter Lang), as well as a single-authored monograph titled Reboot Culture: Comics, Film, Transmedia for Palgrave. My future plans include working on an external funding bid that can be seen as an extension of the COVID Comics project, with a focus on the way in which comics may support adults who have received a late diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (in collaboration with Dr Rachel Mosely, also from Bournemouth University). In broad strokes, I believe that comic books have the potential to provide support and insight into health and wellbeing, not only through medical information, but also through personal testimonies and autobiographical stories.
Professor Julian McDougall
Professor in Media and Education
Head of the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University
I’m working in the fields of literacy, media and education and recently this work has connected me with projects and networks looking at how media and digital literacies can offer a societal response to challenges like misinformation, marginalisation, civic disengagement and the disconnect between education and students’ living literacy practices. I’ve published on media literacy in ‘third spaces’ and for current projects I’m working on this theme with refugee youth (AHRC), intercultural youth-led media (British Council) and diverse stakeholders shaping the new Digital Education Hub with the European Commission. Storying data as a form of media literacy is an exciting intersection for me to be working in.
My name is Jonny, and I am currently working on my postgraduate degree in Media and Communication at Bournemouth University. My background as a freelance illustrator means I know a thing or two about comics, and I am interested in learning about the potential of this medium to communicate meaningful social ideas and concepts.
Ozlem Demirkol Tonnesen
I am a PhD candidate researching the ways digital cultures inform the expressive styles of political talk. I love exploring how reality is narrated online and I am moonlighting as a research assistant in two projects on social media and public health.
My name is Georgia, and my areas of interest are Gender and Sexuality, Fan and Online Communities and Popular Culture. My academic background is multi-disciplinary, covering media, communications, sociology and anthropology. I love to explore the use of art and culture to share experience, share knowledge and create community.
I’m Conor, I’m currently studying for my MA in Media and Communications at Bournemouth University whilst also working as a freelance writer. My research interests lie in niche media and internet subcultures.
I am a trainee communications researcher with a background in journalism. My research interest is in health communications targeting disadvantaged groups. I studied international media framing of COVID-19 for my MA. My current research interest is in identifying online media contents which can be powerful triggers of public health behaviour change.
I’m Shannon and I am an International Political Communications student at Bournemouth University. My research interests are health, inequalities and communications.