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Dr Joan Ormrod

Programme Leader BA (Hons) Film and Media Studies

Researching women in comics and subcultural identities. Research into subcultures develops my PhD, 'Expressions of Nation and Place in British Surfing Identities' which focused on analysing representations of surfing and national identity through film and popular culture. I have extensive publications in surfing, surfing cultures and their representations.

Currently writing a book on Wonder Woman which examines cultural, political and social influences upon the representation of the human body from the 1940s . Also editing a book with Dr Matthew Jones of UCL in time travel in the media. I co-edit Routledge's Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics with David Huxley . We have organised five international comics conferences at Manchester Metropolitan University with colleagues in Intellect's Studies in Comics and the European Journal of Comic Art. This year we are co-organisers with Julia Round and Chris Murray putting on the conference at the British Library.
I am interested in supporting anyone researching in any of the areas mentioned above.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teach a range of units over the three years undergraduate degree in film and Media. In the past twelve years I have been programme leader and year tutor for all three years. I have also tied practice and theory on my units as this is a method that seems to be a source of inspiration to students. "Youth Cultures and Subcultures", "Media Narratives" and "Science Fiction". I also teach research methods, especially empirical research and qualitative methods to undergraduates. I have also worked with postgraduate students supervising their research and teaching on the MA.
My current role is in developing employability across the curriculum and I organise the second year Business Portfolio unit. In this unit students develop their career skills and as a final project they can choose either to organise work experience for themselves, research a career, volunteer or plan an enterprise project. In developing employability across the curriculum, I have strong links with MMU careers office and external media producers who speak on the year two programme. I am currently a member of the employability skills online group and who are producing an online teaching programme for students to support their career development.


UK Romance Comics: Fantasy and Pop Music in the Teenage Wasteland

Developing my work in surfing, I examine the ways pop music was promoted in UK romance comics of the 1950s. Drawing upon Dr Mel Gibson's work into women comics readers, I explore how fan practices were developed within the 1950s and 60s comics. Details…

Wonder Woman:Transformation, Place and the Body

A discursive study of the ways culture, society and history influence the representations of the body in the comics and media. Wonder Woman is one of the three major superheroes in DC Comics, and possibly the most recognizable of any female costumed hero. Details…


Joan Ormrod is a member of the Media Research Group.

A selection of recent research outputs.

Jointly Authored Book

On the Edge poster

Ormrod, J. and Wheaton, B., 2009. 'One the Edge: Representing Adventure Sports', Leisure Studies Association.

Edited Books

Huxley, D., Gibson. M. and Ormrod, J., 2014. 'Superheroes and Identities', Routledge.

Ormrod, J., 2008. 'Endless Summer: Consuming Waves and Surfing the Frontier', The University Press of Kentucky.

Book Chapters

Ormrod, J., 2014. 'Bodies in Wonder Woman of the 1990s: Good Girls Bad Girls and Macho Men'. In Conference Proceedings Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy: Catwoman to Katniss, Cambridge Scholar.

Ormrod, J., 2014. 'Cold War Fantasies: Testing the Limits of the Familial Body'. In Joseph J. Darowski (eds.) The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times, 1, 52-63, McFarland and Co., Jefferson, North Carolina and London.

Ormrod, J., 2012. 'In the Best Possible Tastes – Rhetoric and Taste in AIP’s Promotion of Roger Corman’s Poe Cycle'. In Dennis Perry and Carl Sederholm (eds.) Adapting Poe: Re-imagings in Popular Culture, Palgrave Macmillan.

Ormrod, J., 2011. '• 'Pa/trolling the Borders of the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency Website: Realism, Gender, Authenticity','. In Gareth Schott & Kirstine Moffat (eds.) Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire in Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire,, 3, 33-54, Washington DC: New Academia Press.

Ormrod, J., 2004. 'Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921 -1937'. In Eileen Kennedy and Andrew Thornton (eds.) Leisure, Media and Visual Culture: Representations and Contestations (LSA Publication No. 83), Leisure Studies Association.

Internet Publications

Ormrod, J., 2005. ''Just the lemon next to the pie': Apocalypse, History and the Limits of Myth in Big Wednesday (1978)', Scope Online Journal of Film Studies,

Ormrod, J., 2002. 'Issues of Gender in Muscle Beach Party (1964)', Scope Online Journal of Film Studies,

Journal Articles

Ormrod, J., 2008. 'Surfing and the Artistic Debate in the 1960s–1970s', Kurungabaa: a journal of literature, history and ideas for surfers, 1:1, Online journal.

Ormrod, J., 2007. 'Surf Rhetoric in American and British Surfing Magazines Between 1965 and 1976.', Sport in History, v27, n.1, March 2007, 88-109.

Ormrod, J., 2005. ''Endless Summer (1964): Consuming Waves and Surfing the Frontier'', Film and History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies, Vol 35, No 1, pp.39-51.


Ormrod, J., 2012. 'Reading production and culture in UK romance comics 1955-63: Consumerism, pop stars and lucky guitars', Qualitative Methods Panel, British Psychological Society, London, 18th-20th April, 2012.

Ormrod, J., 2010. 'Consuming Bodies in Wonder Woman Good Girls, Bad Girls and Macho Men', British IBBY/NCRCL Conference, Leeds Art Gallery, November 2010.

Ormrod, J., 2010. 'Issues of Time, Space and Duration in Richard McGuire’s ‘Here’', Conference of Comics and Graphic Novels, Manchester Metropolitan University, 23rd April 2010.

Ormrod, J., 2010. 'Negotiating Local Identities in 1970s Surf Films: Practice, Production, Embodiment', Youth Studies, British Sociological Association, Reading University, November 2010.

Canniford, R., and Ormrod, J., 2007. 'Surf Soundtracks', European Association for Consumer Research Conference, University of Bocconi Milan, 11-14 July 2007, in TBA.

Ormrod, J., 2006. 'From Surf Bums to Silver Surfers: age, location and subcultural identities', Researching Youth Sport Conference, Loughborough University, 20th September, 2006, in Edited book forthcoming..

Ormrod, J., 2006. 'Hippie Rhetoric in British Surfing of the 1970s: Risk, Edgework and the Aesthetic Impulse', Social History Society Annual Conference, University of Reading, 31st March-2nd April, 2006.

Ormrod, J., 2006. 'The Crystal Voyager (1973) Myth, Rhetoric, Sports', Film and History Biennial Conference: Documentary, Dallas, Texas, 6th-12th November, 2006.

Ormrod, J., 2006. '‘Wild Men who Run with Wolves’ – Masquerade, Disguise and Transformation in Brotherhood of the Wolf', European Nightmares, Manchester Metrpolitan University, June 1-3, 2006, in Forthcoming edited book..

Ormrod, J., 2005. 'Expressions of National Identity in British Surfing 1966-1980', British Society of Sport History, University of Glamorgan, 31st July-2nd September 2005.

Ormrod, J., 2004. 'Surfing the Zeitgeist:: Hippie Rhetoric in a British Surfing Magazine of the early 1970s.', Leisure Studies Association, University of Leeds, July 14th 2004.

Ormrod, J., 2003. ''You Should Have Been Here the Day Before Yesterday': Representations of English surfing in the holiday and leisure industries 1924-1937', Leisure Studies Association, University of Sussex, Roehampton, July 2003.