Cassia Hayward-Fitch

Cassia Hayward-Fitch


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Personal profile


I am currently a PhD candidate at The University of East Anglia. My current research focuses on comics cultures, LGBTQ+ communities and media reception. 

My PhD examines the role of American comics in queer community formation from the 1980s to the present. It focuses specifically on two serial newspaper comic strips: Alison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For and Howard Cruse's Wendel. It aims to show how the narratives and formats of such work enabled them to build active, participatory, communities of readers, and thereby create strong communities. It is a continuation of my MA dissertation from University College London, which was awarded the John Hobbes Memorial Prize. 

My current research is funded by the University of East Anglia Doctoral Studentship, Faculty of Arts and Humanities. 

Academic Background

Doctor of Philosophy in Art, Media and American Studies | University of East Anglia, UK | 2021 - Present

Provisional Thesis Title: "I Was Drawn This Gay: Queer community activism in the serial comics of Alison Bechdel and Howard Cruse"


Master of Arts in Linguistics Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium | 2020-2021

Grade: Distinction

Dissertation Title: "'There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about' a corpus study on the use of LGBTQ+ language across two UK publications - The Guardian and The Daily Mail - from 2000 to 2020"

Master of Arts in "Interests in Modern Culture", literature from 1870 to the present | University College London, UK | 2019-2020

Grade: Distinction

Award: John Hobbes Memorial Prize for best dissertation 

Dissertation Title: "Drawn to Women: Lesbian Community Ties in Alison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For"
Bachelor of Arts in English and American Literature | University of Kent, UK | 2016-2019
Grade: First Class Honours

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Master of Arts, University College London


Bachelor of Arts, University of Kent