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Sarah Lightman

 Sarah Lightman

PhD candidate



I am researching a Ph.D. in the re-appropriation of Biblical iconography within traumatic autobiographical comics by women. I have had my research widely published in newspapers, journals, and books. I am guest editor of two special issues of Studies in Comics (2015, 2016). I am co-curator of Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women, an internationally touring exhibition of 18 comic artists. I edited Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews (McFarland 2014). The book was awarded The Susan Koppelman Prize for Best Feminist Anthology (2015) and The Will Eisner Award for Best Scholarly Publication (2015).

I studied at The Slade School of Art for my BA and MFA (AHRC funded) where I was awarded numerous scholarships including The Slade Prize, The William Coldstream Award for Excellence, The Slade Life Drawing Prize. I exhibit my artwork internationally.
Myriad Edition will publish my graphic novel The Book of Sarah, my own visual autobiography, in 2017. I am Director, with Nicola Streeten, of Laydeez do Comics, the UK’s only women led monthly comic forum now with branches worldwide.

Research and Teaching Interests

My interests include different representations of autobiographical trauma within art and graphic novels. These traumas include mental illness, medical trauma, miscarriages, bereavement, sexual abuse and the Holocaust.

I have interviewed Bobby Baker twice about her Diary Drawings and mental illness: '"Diary Drawings" by Bobby Baker', Studies in Comics, 1:1. I have written about the representation of miscarriages in the comics “Baby Talk: A Tale of Four Miscarriages” by Diane Noomin: "Cartoon Tears in Diane Noomin's 'Baby Talk: A Tale of 4 Miscarriages'", Trauma Narratives and Herstory, eds. Sonya Andermahr and Silvia Pellicer-Ortin (London: Palgrave Macmillan). I have interviewed comic artists Maureen Burdock, Nicola Streeten and Sarah Leavitt about the representation of trauma in their graphic novels: "Metamorphosing Difficulties: The Portrayal of Trauma in Autobiographical Comics", The Unspeakable: Narratives of Trauma, eds. Magda Stroinska, Vikki Cecchetto, Kate Szymanski, Peter Lang. I have written about Will Eisner and how the loss of his daughter is embedded in “A Contract with God”: "Disappointed Believers? The Jewish Question Mark in Will Eisner's 'A Contract with God'", The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Anglophone Jewish Fiction, eds. David Brauner and Axel Stähler (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press).




  • College of Arts, School of Modern Languages and Cultures