Jordanna Daniella Conn

Research title: A Picture Spans a Thousand Years: Jewish Graphic Narratives as ‘Proto-Comics’ in Pre-Industrial Times

Research Summary

My research is an interdisciplinary study of cultural history from the thirteenth to the twentieth century, using text-and-image productions as a framework which anaylses threads and connections of continuity in Jewish narratives. It explores the tradition of graphic narratives in Jewish culture, from religious illuminated texts such as the Haggadah to the creation of comic-book superheroes. It further considers how assimilation and living as a marginalised culture informs artistic productions and visuals, and to what extent do the visual depictions portray or assimilate into the majority culture, while at the same time designed to be understood by those within the minority culture as functioning within that culture itself. 

Research Interests:

  • Jewish graphic novels and comic books in the 20th and 21st century
  • 20th century comic book industry in the United States and Jewish American creators
  • Jewish illuminated manuscripts and cultural history
  • Illuminated haggadah and illustrated megillat Esther
  • Hero narratives in the Jewish tradition


External supervisors

Professor Laurence Grove

Dr. Nadia Altschul


2018-2020: Silverstone Trust Award in Jewish Studies. Two-year grant in Jewish Studies. 


Conference Papers:

  • Reinterpretation, Renewal, and Regeneration in Jewish Tradition: A Look at the Megillat Esther and Passover Haggadah through Graphic Novels. 'Regeneration', Sixth Annual PG Conference in Comparative Literature and Translation Studies. University of Glasgow. May 2021
  • The Image as Text: The Use of Visual Metaphors in Proto-Comics. Comics Forum. Leeds Central Library. November 2019
  • 'Why is this Comic Different From All Other Comics?': Proto-Comic Narratives in Jewish Haggadot'.Joint International Conference of Graphic Novels, Comics and Bande Dessineés. Manchester Metropolitan University. June 2019


Seminar Papers:


  • Anaylsing Identity Through Text/Image Relationships: From the Jewish Haggadot to the Glasgow Looking Glass. With Danielle Schwertner. ‘Stirling Maxwell Centre for the Study of Text/Image Cultures’. University of Glasgow. November 2020.








Graduate Teaching: 

  • TRS 1: Creation to Apocalypse: Introduction to the Bible. Theology & Religious Studies. Fall 2019
  • TRS 1: The Search For Meaning: Judaism, Christianity & Islam. Theology & Religious Studies. Fall 2019
  • Complit 1B: Heroes (Heroic Women). Comparative Literature. Spring 2020. 
  • Complit 1B: Heroes (Heroic Women). Comparative Literature. Spring 2021. 
  • Complit 1A: Heroes (Heroic Men). Comparative Literature. Fall 2021. 

Additional Information

Academic Background:

  • MLitt in Medieval History from the University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  • BA in History from Stockton University, New Jersey, US

Journal Editorship: