The Steering Committee
Danny Graydon is an academic, journalist, and author specialising in Film and Comics / Graphic Novels. He joined the University of Hertfordshire in 2010 as a Visiting Lecturer, teaching C & CS on all four of the Screen degree pathways within the School of Creative Arts. In 2018, he was appointed Lecturer for Screen (Digital Animation & Model Design) and, from 2019, the Collaborate Partnership Leader for Escola Britanica des Artes Creativas (EBAC) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. From 2015 to 2017, he handled the film program for UH's cultural outreach unit, UHArts.
Outside of academica, he is a veteran journalist for international media - having previously written for Empire, Variety and the BBC - and a published author. His most recent book, co-authored with Dr Barbara Browning was The Superhero Costume: Identity and Disguise in Fact and Fiction (Bloomsbury, 2015). He is the Founder and Co-Director of The Superhero Project, an annual academic conference in partenrship with the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.
Dr Caleb Turner
Caleb Turner specializes in Contemporary Superhero Cinema, exploring how American cultural values are expressed, challenged and reconciled through the rhythmic action and visceral kinesis generated in the spectacular storytelling of these popular film and television franchises. He has chaired and organized Diversity In Industry Online Webinars with Disney Pinewood, Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magi (2020-2021) and careers events with the President of Sony International Pictures. Having presented research papers, given public cinema talks, and participated in discussion panels with industry figures on the superhero-action film, he has also created film courses that focus on Superhero Cinema and Post-Apocalyptic Worlds.
Caleb regularly teaches on courses that include: Introduction to Film Studies, Mainstream Cinema - Genre Studies, International Cinema and Cultural Theory, discussing topics such as: Hollywood Genres, History and Industry; Auteurship; Documentary; Animation; European Art Cinema, National Cinema and Film Movements, Post-Colonialism, Identity Politics, Feminism and other key aspects of film theory, history and critical analysis, as well as essential debates across the discipline of cultural studies. He is also the creator and program convenor of a new industry-focused film MA in Science Fiction and Fantasy at Richmond, The American International University of London.
Mikayla J. Laird
Information and Publicity Manager
Based in the United Kingdom, I am a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, School of Creative Arts, where I also earned my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Digital Media Design. I tech across both the Digital Media course and our award winning Animation degree. With DMD, I focus my teaching on Teamwork Practices and Storytelling through Interactive Narratives. With Animation, I focus primarily on theory, teaching Structuralism and Engagement with our first years, applying theory to Manga, Anime and Comics with our second years, and finally supervising Literature Reviews and Final Essays with our third years.
Alongside my work with UH, I am also undertaking my PhD under the supervision of Dr Daniel Goodbrey and Dr Steven Adams My focus is on the implementation and disruption of the perception of time within DC Comics, and how artists and writers have evolved these techniques. My case studies focus on Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour: Crisis in Time, Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis as this is a defined 25 period of time within DC history.
As a former student and assistant to Danny Graydon, my involvement with the Superhero Project began with the 3rd Global Conference, where I presented my first conference paper. Since this, my involvement has grown, and strengthened my belief that Superhero Studies MUST be looked at with as much passion and dedication as film or fine art.