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 I am involved in. 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.

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

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

Applied Comics Network (co-host, with John Swogger and Ian Horton)

Research and Comics Seminar Series (co-organiser, with Jorge Catala-Carrasco and Mel Gibson)

Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (core member)

Institute for Creative Arts Practice (Applied Comics Etc is a partner organisation)

British Educational Research Association (member)

Comics Studies Society (member)

Graphic Justice Network (member)

Indicators of esteem
• Invited speaker, Oxford Torch Comics Network, February 2020
• School Governor (Queen Alexandra VIth Form, North Tyneside), as Newcastle
University representative
• Invited plenary panel member, 10th World Politics and Popular Culture conference
• Joint coordinator of Applied Comics Network, a national network for anyone working
with comics or graphic narrative and information.
• Invited plenary panel member, Comics Forum conference 2014, Leeds

Recent publications

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.

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

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. (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.