Academic research

I am an interdisciplinary social science researcher. My main field is education, combining this with further interests in cultural studies, creative arts practice, and history/heritage. My research interests include:

  • using comics in research (multimodal and sequential methods of data elicitation, collection, analysis and dissemination)
  • how people shape and are shaped by the social and cultural world (Vygotskian and post-Vygotskian sociocultural theory of learning)
  • how the structural forces of race and class affect people’s lives (Marxism; Critical Race Theory; Raceclass)
  • the difference that the arts can make to people (evaluating of the uses of participative creative arts in education).

I am currently a Research Associate in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences (Newcastle University), based in the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching. Here’s a link to my institutional web profile page. I am also working on my part-time PhD in Education (ESRC funded through NEDTC/NINEDTP at Newcastle University). The working title of my PhD is ‘British comics, British values’.

Comics research
Here is a list of recent collaborative research projects. The links go to project websites/outputs where possible, including full collaborator credits. For more on my practice in (collaborative) comics for specific purposes see Applied Comics Etc.

  • Applied Comics Collaborations. A comic and resource pack… [Applied Comics Collaborations: Ways for humanities and social science researchers to work together with comics creators was made by Lydia Wysocki with Adam & Lisa Murphy. We’d also like to thank Carol Moxam as an advisor on this comic] …based on learning from the project ‘Accelerating collaborations between comics creators and researchers’, led by Lydia Wysocki with Rachael Ball, Hannah Cawardine, John Cei Douglas, Stacy Gillis, Jim Medway, Raksha Pande, Irina Richards, Hannah Sackett, Rohit Sharma, Mark Stafford, Nate Sterling (Kaimera Collective), Anja Uhren and Audrey Verma.
  • Making and evaluating patient information comics (with the Great North Children’s Hospital and Janice McLaughlin)
  • Gertrude Bell comics (with the Gertrude Bell Archive and Mark Jackson, John Miers, Sana Al-Naimi, Jane Webster, Brittany Coxon, Sara Qaed, and team)
  • Freedom City Comics (with Freedom City Festival, Matthew Grenby, and team)
  • Newcastle Science Comic

Social justice research

  • VOICES project (partnership between Newcastle University and Children North East)
  • Theory of Change evaluation update of Poverty Proofing the School Day (Research Associate working with Children North East, Liz Todd, Laura Mazzoli-Smith, and team)
  • Theory of Change evaluation of In Harmony (Research Associate working with Sage Gateshead and Karen Laing)
  • ROMtels (Research Assistant on Erasmus+ project led by Heather Smith and Leena Robertson, working with Nathalie Auger, Fred Dervin, Nicu Gal, and team)

Affiliations/membership

Indicators of esteem

  • Invited speaker, Oxford Torch Comics Network, February 2020 [PDF of slides]
  • School Governor (Queen Alexandra VIth Form, North Tyneside), as Newcastle
    University representative 2017-2021
  • Invited plenary panel member, 10th World Politics and Popular Culture conference
  • Invited plenary panel member, Comics Forum conference 2014, Leeds

Recent publications

Wysocki, L. (in press 2021). ‘Strike comics: representing the inequities and absurdities of academic precarity’. In: Young Lives in Crisis: Precariousness in Contemporary Graphic Narratives, ed.s María Porrás Sanchez and Gerardo Vilches. Routledge.

Wysocki, L., and McLaughlin, J. (in press 2021). ‘Risk in healthcare collaboration: applied interdisciplinary social science in clinical settings’. In: Reflecting on Risks in Partnership in Education, ed.s Karen Laing, Kathrin Otrel-Cass and Janet Wolf. Springer.

The VOICES team, 2021. Covid disruption and the resource divide: interim evidence from children and young people in the North East. First interim report of the VOICES project. Available online: https://www.voicesproject.co.uk/evidence/covid-disruption 

Wysocki L. (2020) Hate, Marginalization, and Tramp-bashing: A Raceclass and Critical Realist Approach to Researching British National Identity through Comics. In: Thom Giddens, ed. Critical Directions in Comics Studies. University Press of Mississippi.

McNicol S, Wysocki L. (2020) Using comics as a research method. In: Paul A. Atkinson, Sara Delamont, Alexandru Cernat, and Richard Williams, ed. SAGE Research Methods Foundations. SAGE

Wysocki L, Jackson M, Miers J, Webster J, and Coxon B. (2019). Making the invisible visible: hyperlinked webcomics as alternative points of entry to the digitised Gertrude Bell Archive. International Journal of Heritage Studies, (ePub ahead of print). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2019.1663236

Wysocki L, Leat D. (2019) Collaborative comic as Boundary Object: the creation, reading, and uses of Freedom City Comics Cómic colaborativo como Objeto de Frontera: la creación, lectura y usos de Freedom City Comics. Tebeosfera, 3(10). https://www.tebeosfera.com/documentos/collaborative_comic_as_boundary_object_the_creation_reading_and_uses_of_freedom_city_comics.html

Wysocki L. (2018) Farting Jellyfish and Synergistic Opportunities: The Story and Evaluation of Newcastle Science Comic. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 8(1), 6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/cg.119

Wysocki L. (2018) Linking research and practice: qualitative social science data collection at a UK comics convention. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, (ePub ahead of Print). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21504857.2018.1524393

For a full list of publications please see my Google Scholar profile. My most recent publications have been rated 3* for REF UoA 23 (Education). If paywalls get in the way of you accessing any of my academic publications, get in touch and I’ll do my best to help.

Research impact
I worked with Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books to develop the learning and participation offer for their Comics! exhibition (2017). Seven Stories has since established its own children’s comics club, as a way to engage with older children and to support them as creators.

My collaborative work on comics as dissemination of research is often intertwined with the impact of other people’s research. Freedom City Comics, Newcastle Science Comic, and Gertrude Bell comics have all led to co-authored research publications and new research. I also have experience of working with colleagues to write REF Impact Case Studies, and have taken part in internal quality assessment reviews of publications.