Barbara Chamberlin

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Scholarly biography

I have been teaching in HE for twenty years, and over this time both my teaching and research has naturally evolved. My roots lie in TESOL and language teacher education, and my identity and practices as a teacher have been significantly influenced by this. My MA thesis explored the roles that visuals play in language learning materials, and this initiated a life-long fascination in visual cultures and narratives, and sparked my interest in comics as a form of visual storytelling.

My current teaching is highly interdisciplinary as I lead and teach across under and postgraduate modules in creative writing, English language, media and literature and include cinema, landscape writing, intercultural communication, teacher training and, of course, comics. I developed the first (and only!) comics-specific module in the university, and the success of this has seen students apply comics and comics studies both critically and creatively in their dissertations (including a student soon to finish their comics-related PhD). I also co-curate the Graphic Brighton symposium which brings together comics scholars, creators, publishers and readers and orientates around different themes in each iteration (previous themes include comics and the local community, inclusivity and marginalised voices, war and conflict, music and comics as research method, with plans underway for 'comics and children' in 2022). Graphic Brighton also offers a space for students to present work, give papers  and get involved. 

As a frequent walker, I am also interested in ways that walking can be used creatively and critically within my own work, both as a way of connecting story to teller to place and as a vital part of the creative (and thinking) processes. 

I am a part-time doctoral student at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London where I am doing a practice-based PhD that explores visual representations of witches in the British folk landscape, using walking and aspects of psychogeography to create an anthology of papercut comics. The creative practice-based part of my work is done through collaboration with an artist, thus enabling each story to be a negotiated construction that fuses multiple responses to the witch narratives and the walking experiences that frame them.

I am a regular speaker at comics and folk horror conferences, a member of CoRH! (Comics Research Hub) at UAL, have done a number of peer reviews for comics studies articles, been invited to do guest lectures at other UK universities, and am currently working on a co-edited collection on horror and comics.


Supervisory Interests

I always welcome conversations about research, and am especially interested in those that adopt and interdisciplinary approach and feature some kind of creative practice within their work. I would be delighted to supervise work around, but by no means limited to: comics studies, folklore and landscape, visual cultures, witch narratives and representations, horror in literature, film and comics and the Gothic.

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Media-Assisted Language Teaching, University of Brighton

Award Date: 1 Feb 2002

Master, Diploma in TESOL, University of Brighton

Award Date: 1 Feb 2002

Bachelor, BA Hons English Literature, Anglia Ruskin University