Nickianne worked at LJMU for just short of 30 years, teaching on and then leading the university’s Media and Cultural Studies provision. Sadly, she died in 2019 following a period of illness, leaving behind a multitude of memories and legacies for students and academics alike.
She combined being a dedicated researcher of popular culture with a strong commitment to developing and supporting her students, which is remembered fondly by many students past and present.
Beyond her teaching and programme leadership responsibilities, Nickianne played a fundamental role in the establishment of the Femorabilia collection in the university’s Special Collections and Archives, leaving a lasting legacy for future students and researchers. The collection brings together girl’s comics and women’s magazines, which date back to the 1920s, charting the development of the feminine reading career, from young girl’s adventure stories through to marriage and domesticity.
Having started her academic life as a graduate in sociology, and then undertaken postgraduate work on film, Nickianne’s central concern was to examine popular fictions as being meaningful in everyday life and culture.
She published widely on topics as diverse as representations of plague in popular fiction, the cultural history of animal welfare, and gender and race in Sci-Fi television and medical fictions. Nickianne was also the convenor for the Association for Research in Popular Fictions and was editor of the Association’s journal Diegesis and later the journal Popular Narrative Media. She had also undertaken an editorial role for the journal Textile.
Any discussion of Nickianne’s life would be incomplete without an acknowledgement of her devotion to cats, who appeared in some of her research projects, often in teaching materials, and as one of life’s pleasures more generally.