Posts By / aalberda

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTORS: Comics in the Time of COVID-19 (edited collection)

An edited collection on graphic medicine and graphic storytelling related to the COVID-19 global pandemic


Alexandra P. Alberda

Anna Feigenbaum

William Proctor

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to infect millions, kill people around the world, dismantle political, economic and cultural infrastructures, and disrupt our everyday lives, we have seen a surge in amateur and professional creative activity in the comics medium. From blogs to Instagram, superheroes to public health, educational comics to graphic memoirs, etc., artists are engaging with a variety of genres, narratives, platforms and styles to tell stories.

This edited collection seeks to bring together a range of creative work, along with practice-based and critical reflections on what it means to make, share and read comics in the time of COVID-19. Bridging the fields of comics studies, memoir studies, graphic medicine and data storytelling, this collection also aims to explore our definitions of ‘what counts’ as graphic medicine and graphic storytelling.

We invite submissions in the form of comics, graphic chapters, interviews and other alternative formats, along with more traditional academic chapters.

Themes include but are not limited to:

-Histories, Comics and Global Health

-Comics, Superheroes and COVID-19

-Graphic Memoir and Self-Narrative

-Data Comics and COVID-19

-Political cartoons and other types of commentary

-Genre, narrative and style in COVID-19 comics

-Online publishing platforms and environments

-Shifting economies of comic creation and distribution

This collection aims to take a transdisciplinary and transnational perspective, with contributions written for the broadest audience. We particularly encourage submissions from comics artists, PhD and early career scholars, those from underrepresented communities in academia and people from the Global South.

For a gallery of existing COVID-19 comics is a great resource: Also, check out the hashtag #covid19comicsforgood

Please submit a 300-word abstract, script or description of your proposed contribution to by May 31st, 2020.

Call for Presenters and Registration: Third Annual FMC Postgraduate Conference – Nov. 13th, 2019

We are excited to announce that the Third Annual FMC postgraduate conference will be hosted on 13th November 2019 at the Share Lecture Theatre in the Fusion Building on Talbot Campus. This will be a fantastic opportunity for all postgraduate researchers to showcase their excellent research to the faculty, as well as providing a great experience to present in a conference setting. There will be a chance for staff and student conducting postgraduate research to receive feedback from staff and peers.


We are happy to receive the following submissions from all FMC PGRs:

– 15 minute presentation

– 30 minute workshop


Additionally, first year postgraduate researchers have the option to present a 3- minute thesis, a shorter presentation with just one slide, to introduce their research topic to the faculty. This year there is also the option for postgraduates based elsewhere to present virtually (please be aware that you will be asked to make a back up recorded presentation in case of technical difficulties). We want the conference to be inclusive of all FMC postgraduates.


If you would like to present, please submit your abstract of no more than 250 words, presentation title, presentation format, and no more than 75 word bio to by 17 October 2019. You will be notified within one week of the deadline as to whether your presentation has been accepted.


If you are interested in attending the conference free registration can be completed here:


We look forward to receiving your abstracts and registration!

Alex, Bing, Evgeniya, Jo and Mel

Conference Organisers Postgraduate Researchers

Faculty for Media and Communication


Submission Checklist

O Presentation Title

O c. 250 word abstract

O Presentation Format

O c. 75 word biography

PROGRAMME RELEASED for FMC Postgraduate Researcher Conference 5 Dec 2018

We are two weeks away from our Second Annual Faculty of Media and Communication PGR conference. Below you will find the programme for the conference showcasing the diverse areas of research within our PGR community that will be presented throughout the day.

Official registration for the conference on December 5th is available via Eventbrite. Registration is open for all FMCers, free, and closes November 27th. There are a limited number of tickets for the beer tasting option for Dr Sam Goodman’s Keynote, so if you are interested in securing one of those spots please register as soon as possible. Over half of those tickets have already been claimed:

However, if you are not apart of the FMC and interested in these presentations don’t fret! We would love to have your presence, insights and participation on the day. If you are interested in any of our programming and have any questions please contact Alexandra Alberda (she would love to hear from you) at .

Conference Programme

9:00 – 9:30am: Registration Check-in and Wristband Collection

9:30 – 10:00: Introduction

Prof Iain MacRury, Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice

Prof Candida Yates, Professor for Culture and Communication

Jo Tyler, PGR Broadcast Podcast

Welcome from Conference Committee – Alex, Steve and Mel


10:00 – 11:20pm: Panel 1 – Beyond the Image: Animation and Video Games

Chair: TBD

10:00am: Bibi Ayesha Noormah Soobhany – The Machine Brain

10:20am: Nurist S. Ulfa – Revisiting Consumption Play: Digital Virtual Consumption among Child Consumer

10:40am: Alex Tereshin – Automatically Controlled Morphing of 2D Shapes with Textures

11:00am: Valentin Miu – Real-time 3D Smoke Simulation with Convolutional Neural Network-based Projection Method


11:20 – 11:40 am: Tea and Coffee and Comfort Break


11:40 – 1:00pm: Panel 2 – Augmented Reality and the Body

Chair: Jill Nash

11:40am: Miguel Ramos Carretero – Efficient Facial Animation Integrating Euclidean and Geodesic Distance Algorithms into Radial Basis Function Interpolation

12:00pm: Ifigeneia Mavridou – Designing a System Architecture for Emotion Detection in Virtual Reality

12:20pm: Mara Catalina Aguilera Canon – Interactive real-time material removal simulation for acetabular reaming training in Total hip replacement procedures

12:40pm: Farbod Shakouri – Connected Tangible Objects for Augmented Reality Narratives


1:00 – 1:15pm: 3MT Presentations

Chair: TBD

1:00pm: Aaron Demolder – Shared Perceptions: Recording 3D Video to Improve Visual Effects

1:03pm: Sydney Day – 3D Facial Reconstruction from Obscured Faces using Trained Neural Networks

1:06pm: Robert Kosk – Synthesizing Space-Time Features for Ocean Heightfields Enhancement

1:09pm: Jack Brett – Gamification of Musical Learning Experiences

1:12pm: Jo Tyler – The Aurality of the Antihero  Adaptation as curation for graphic narratives


1:15 – 2:00 pm: Lunch FG06 (for registered attendees)

  • You are encouraged to check on the Doctoral College Live Exhibition over in Kimmeridge House during this time.


2:00 – 3:40pm: Panel 3 – History Repeating Itself: Broadcasting Political Tensions

Chair: TBD

2:00pm: Hua Li – Democracy in the News!

2:20pm: Sara Aly – The Dynamics of Meso-public spheres: Media Usage in Egypt during the Uprisings

2:40pm: Searchmore (Itai) Muridzo – Managing Public Service Broadcasting in Turbulent Times: A Case of Zimbabwe’s 2017 Coup

3:00pm: Ícaro Joathan – The evolution of the permanent campaign: a general review of the criteria to measure this type of strategy

3:20pm: Ian Robertson – With God on Our Side: A Comparative Study of Religious Broadcasting in the US and the UK 1921-1995: The Impact of Personality


3:40 – 3:50pm: Tea and Coffee and Comfort Break


3:50 – 5:10pm: Panel 4 – Environments of Now: Media Perspectives

Chair: Salvatore Scifo

3:50pm: Rehan Zia – Light, Time and Magic

4:10pm: Kenneth Kang – Switching around the Constants and Variables in International Environmental Law

4:30pm: Daniel Hills – Agents’ understandings, procedures and engagements with consumer emotional state as a targeting tool within the advertising industry: A Practice Theory approach

4:50pm: Siobhan Lennon-Patience – Jaywick Fights Back – Poverty Porn or Community Resilience?


5:10 – 5:30pm: Comfort Break and Keynote Set-up


5:30 – 6:30pm: Keynote – Dr. Sam Goodman

Critical Drinking: Approaches to Interdisciplinary research practice through British Beer Culture

Chair: Alexandra Alberda

UK drinking culture is currently at the height of its renaissance. The market in craft beer and spirits is buoyant, with a raft of new independent bottle shops, breweries and distilleries opening each year, whilst supermarket alcohol aisles are heaving with a range of new options as ‘Big Beer’ conglomerates try to ride the wave of this unexpected trend. The high-street pub is likewise transformed; though many rural pubs are closing as stricter legislation on drink-driving comes into force, those in urban centres have been regenerated (for good and ill) into spaces that are increasingly egalitarian when it comes to gender, though conversely exclusive in terms of class, and wealth. However, these developments and the popularity of the drinks they advocate are not as modern as they initially appear, and in fact draw on the iconography, tastes and sensibilities of the British past, especially those of the British Empire. Through focus on the interrelation between history and the present-day, this session asks pertinent questions of a significant contemporary cultural movement. It considers Britain’s various regional, national and international drinking communities past and present, and the questions around gentrification, masculine/gendered and national identities, health, well-being and excess that exist within them, as well as analysing the links between cultural history and representation within a contemporary media context.

This talk will also illustrate how the field of ‘Drink Studies’ offers a means of bridging the fluid boundaries of humanities research across a range of disciplines, and for both scholarly and public audiences. Drawing on research conducted at the British Library India Office Archive and supported by the Wellcome Trust, the talk will draw focus on the advantages of interdisciplinarity through the lens of drinking, arguing that the development of flexible theoretical approaches to traditional subjects offer researchers new ways of working within historical studies, medical humanities, and contemporary media, culture and society. In addition, the talk will be accompanied by three tasters of modern British beers that have been chosen to pair thematically with the subjects under discussion, and to illustrate that how researchers approach a subject can be as impactful as the research itself.

Dr Sam Goodman

Senior Lecturer in English & Communication, JEC (FMC)



6:30 – 7:30pm: Reception in FG06



REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: Second Annual FMC Postgraduate Researcher Conference 2018

Firstly, we would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of the researchers who took the time to submit their abstracts for next month’s Second Annual FMC Postgraduate Researcher conference. The conference committee was particularly delighted to see the exceptional quality and diversity in submissions this year, and only further underlines the level of research being undertaken here in the Faculty of Media and Communication. We will respond to all applicants by Friday 9th November (today).

Conference Keynote Speaker – Dr Sam Goodman

In addition to this year’s fantastic collection of papers, we would like to say a massive thank ‘brew’ and warm welcome to our own Dr Sam Goodman, Senior Lecturer in English & Communication here in the Faculty, who will be delivering the keynote to close our conference:

Critical Drinking: Approaches to Interdisciplinary research practice through British Beer Culture (details below)

In addition to Sam’s talk, there will be a complimentary optional beer tasting, comprising of three tasters of modern British Beers that have been chosen to pair thematically with the subjects under discussion. So come along and ease the ‘ale-ments’ of researching with this fantastic closing event.

Although the tasting is free of charge to all FMC staff and postgraduates, we would kindly ask you to register as early possible, as places are limited, and it would be ‘un-beer-able’ if you were to miss out!


Registration is now open to all FMC staff and postgraduates, and can be accessed via the Conference’s Event Bright Page here:

Through this link you will find registration for both the conference and the additional optional beer tasting. All of our conference speakers are required to register, so if your abstract is successful we still ask you to register (link above).  If you have any questions or queries regarding registration or the tasting please do not hesitate to email Alex:

With a larger and more diverse line-up of papers, talks, and events than ever before, we can’t wait to see all of you at this year’s Second Annual FMC Postgraduate Researcher conference on the 5th December.

The Conference Team

Alexandra P. Alberda

Graphic Medicine and Curatorial Practice

T: @ZandraAlberda

Stephen Allard

Socio-digital Poetics

T: @fictiondissy

Melanie Brown

Copyright Law and Cultural Heritage


Call for Presenters: Second Annual FMC Postgraduate Researcher Conference 2018

After the success of last year’s conference, we warmly invite you to the Second Annual FMC Postgraduate Researcher Conference 2018 on the 5th December 2018. This all day conference is open to all Postgraduate Researchers from the Faculty of Media and Communication, so whether this is your very first conference, or you are a seasoned presenter, we want to hear from you.

This year’s conference aims to be more diverse and dynamic than ever before, so whatever your research, there’s never been a better opportunity to share your work with us in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

We are accepting 15-minute presentations, 30-minute workshops, or if you are a first year postgraduate researcher, a shorter 3-minute introduction to your research topic. The deadline for applications is the 2nd November 2018, now less than two weeks away; so don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to share your research with us.

Please email your presentation or workshop title enclosed with a 250-word abstract to by no later than the 2nd November 2018.

Can’t make the 5th December? Don’t miss out.

We appreciate that this may be a busy time for researchers across the faculty, so for the first time we will also be accepting the digital submission of papers. We welcome researchers to submit video uploads of papers, or to present remotely. If you would like more information about digital submission, or delivering a paper remotely please do get in contact with a member of the organizing team.

With a fantastic line-up of papers, workshops, and events don’t miss out on your chance to add your voice to this faculty-wide showcase. We look forward to receiving your submissions very soon.

– Steve

on behalf of the

The conference team

Alexandra P. Alberda

Graphic Medicine and Curatorial Practice

T: @ZandraAlberda

Stephen Allard

Socio-digital Poetics

T: @fictiondissy

Melanie Brown

Copyright Law and Cultural Heritage

‘Women in Science’ panel – assessing expertise in the current media landscape

Are ‘who gets to be a scientist’ and ‘who’s expert voice is used in the media’ two separable questions? The inclusion of women scientists as sources in news media is of particular interest to Dr. Shelley Thompson and Alexandra Alberda (BU) who organised a panel on this topic for Bournemouth Univerisity’s Festival of Learning 2018. This panel is one part of a larger research project looking at women’s expertise in STEMM (fiction and non-fiction sources and settings) and how that affects public perceptions of scientists.

The event facilitated a conversation between media scholars, scientists, public relations experts and journalists around the topic of ‘women in science.’ Panellists were: Dr.  Thompson (BU), Professor Tiantian Zhang (BU), Nathaniel Hobby (BU), Laura Hood (The Conversation), Cerys Bradley (UCL) and Dr. Amy Chambers (MMU), and was MC’ed by BU neuropsychology master’s student Michael Varkovetski. The audience included scientists, academics and their families.

Dr. Thompson and Professor Zhang introduced the discussion by highlighting points of progression and stagnation regarding women in STEMM. The diverse range of STEMM subjects and women mentioned moved beyond the tokenised Marie Curie example. Dr. Chambers discussed the problems of tokenisation as appearing as progressive while, in fact, hindering continued change in women’s representation as science experts and the construction of diverse fictional characters.

The panel agreed that progression within school-aged children was steady for representation and support in these fields, however, it was contested whether this was mirrored in support at postgraduate and industry levels. The idea that women need to act more like men to have fruitful careers is a constant pressure for those in the field. The stereotyped binary of women = emotions and men = objectivity continues as a hurdle for all scientists. These stereotypes are problematic for women and men in science restricting who they get to be and how they get to behave.

Nathaniel and Laura discussed self-promotion between women and men. On average women tend to struggle with celebrating and sharing their major successes, while men appear to be less likely to struggle with this and share more consistently. Scientists considering themselves experts in their own fields followed the same trends and confidence levels.

Dr. Chambers explained the importance of social media movements like #ImmodestWoman and media campaigns in bringing these problems into social and supportive spaces…though Cerys and Dr. Chambers challenged that some campaigns, such as the initial ‘It’s a girl thing’, are problematic for the progression of non-stereotypical representation. Social media was viewed as providing a platform for the voices of women in science to directly create spaces of support and build imagined communities.

Women raising up other women was seen as a strength and good practice for stimulating change. Cerys spoke on the importance of being known as the science communicator who also offers referrals to journalists: pointing out that this keeps you at the top of journalist’s contact lists. Laura mirrored this from a journalist’s perspective as being important in keeping the interest of journalists even when you can’t actively help them in their article.

The conversation ended with an energetic sense of activism with directions to move forward and examples of points where progress is perceived by field experts. The research team is appreciative of the expertise and context the panel provided. In the last month, the research team has used this discussion and momentum to analyse women’s expertise in nanotechnology and public ideas of who gets to be a scientist.