Elizabeth “Biz” Nijdam is a lecturer in the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She is also a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo, working on her book manuscript Graphic Historiography: East German Memory Discourses in Comics and Graphic Novels (under contract with Ohio State University Press). Biz’s research and teaching interests include the representation of history in comics, comics and new media on forced migration, exploring intersections between Indigenous studies and German and European studies, and feminist methodologies in the graphic arts, which the subject of her second book project (under contract with Routledge). Biz also sits on the Executive Committee of the International Comic Arts Forum and the Executive Board of the Comics Studies Society.
Biz is currently pursuing a research project that explores the remediation of refugee experience and the dissemination of information on forced migration through new media. A collaboration between a group of international and transdisciplinary scholars that began with the “New Media Aesthetics Virtual Workshop” in April 2021, this project seeks to develop digital literacy around the representation of refugee experience as well as new methodologies in relaying information and stories about forced migration that draw from inclusive and engaged research practices.
Biz’s recent publications include a special issue of Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies, entitled “The Social Justice Work of German Comics and Graphic Literature” and co-edited with Charlotte Schallié as well as articles in ImageText, the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, World Literature Today, and International Journal of Comic Art and chapters in the edited volumes Class, Please Open Your Comics (2015) and Comics of the New Europe: Intersections and Reflections (2020), and The Routledge Companion to Gender and Sexuality in Comic Book Studies (2020). She has articles forthcoming in Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture as well as chapters in the upcoming edited volumes Transnational Modern Languages: A Handbook with Liverpool University Press, Comic art and feminism in the Baltic Sea region: Transnational perspectives with Routledge, and Geschichte des Comics. Studien zu Epochen, Ländern und Einzelwerken with Ch. A. Bachmann Verlag.
Biz was recently awarded a Diversity and Inclusion Grant in German Studies from the Waterloo Centre for German Studies for her project to develop educational tools and curricular content that engage Indigenous methodologies and activate Indigenous systems of knowledge in German studies teaching and research. Beyond finding intersections between German studies and Indigenous studies, Biz’s work aims to support UBC’s German Program in meeting the goals of UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan, seeking to model how German studies might also respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.