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Dr Mel Gibson

Associate Professor

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

 Her interest in these areas led to research about audiences, and also into work on memory and how we build our childhood reading into our autobiographies.

She is also a National Teaching Fellow. This means that Mel is recognised nationally as an expert in Teaching and Learning at university, particularly in relation to large-group work, having developed her skills with the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Assessment for Learning at Northumbria where she worked with Professor Kay Sambell.

Mel is probably best known, however, as one of the small group of academics who established Comics Studies in Britain. Her work on comics and memory is considered internationally significant. She has, additionally, been involved in initiating or supporting the development of a number of initiatives around comics, including the Comics Laureate Award, awarded bi-annually, which involves a comic creator supporting literacy development at national level and Comics Forum, one of the main British academic conferences on comics. She is also involved in comic festivals and other events, both talking about her research and running training on understanding visual literacies and reading for pleasure.


  • Cultural Studies PhD November 30 2001
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2002

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Comics, childhood and memory, Gibson, M. 7 Oct 2019
  • Memories of a medium, Gibson, M. May 2019, In: Participations
  • Obituary of Nickianne Moody, Gibson, M. 18 Sep 2019, In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
  • It's all come flooding back, Gibson, M. 27 Aug 2018, Comics Memory: Archives and Styles, Cham, Palgrave
  • Let’s hear it for the girls! Representations of girlhood, feminism and activism in comics and graphic novels, Gibson, M. 1 May 2018, In: MAI: A Journal of Feminism and Visual Culture
  • ‘One upon a time, there was a very bad rat…’, Gibson, M. 30 May 2018, Child-Animal Relationships in Comics, University of Liege
  • Rising from the ashes: making spaces for new children’s comics cultures in Britain in the 21st century, Gibson, M. 12 Dec 2018, In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
  • ‘There is no race so wretched that there is not something out there that cares for them’: Multiculturalism, understanding, empathy and prejudice in Discworld, Gibson, M. 16 Mar 2018, Terry Pratchett’s Narrative Worlds, Palgrave
  • ‘Who’s the girl with the kissin’ lips?’ Constructions of class, popular culture and agentic girlhood in Girl, Princess, Jackie and Bunty in the 1960s, Gibson, M. 1 Nov 2018, In: Film, Fashion & Consumption

PGR Supervision

  • Emma Croft Constructions and Paradigms in Tension: Visually Impaired Students and Higher Education Start: 24/10/2017
  • Lindey Cookson Somebody’s Child: An exploration of the contribution made by Bulgarian grandmothers to the de-institutionalisation of disabled children Start: 15/08/2018
  • LINDA GRAHAM Start: 01/10/2016
  • Pamela Graham Start: 13/06/2016


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