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Research interests

I am a Lecturer in the History of Art, specialising in 19th and 20th century modern art and visual culture, with expertise in the field of cartoons, comics, and the illustrated press in Germany and Britain. My research emphasises how the illustrated press presents pictorial journalism, humour, sport, adventure, literature and art as lighthearted amusements, while simultaneously debating contentious representations of military figures and legitimate heroic myths. I am also particularly interested in the permeable boundary between journalistic integrity and the use of illustration as entertainment that was variously: funny, reassuring, exciting, and sensationalist.

I have recently completed my PhD at the University of Bristol (awarded December 2021) titled Unbroken Heroes: German Comics and the First World War, 1915-1925, for which I was awarded the Faculty of Arts Alumni Award in 2019. Therein I argue that comic art played a decisive role in contesting German national heroes during and after WWI. I question the misconception that ‘traditional’ German comics simply lagged behind international examples, to show how they resisted global comics formulas (first codified in the USA) in favour of local styles that contested regional identities. I show how graphic art participated in inflammatory disagreements about the meaning and memory of WWI, mapping the fragmentation of heroic  belief in Germany through visual culture.


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