Nichola Dobson profile picture

Job title:

Senior Lecturer in Animation


ECA Director of Postgraduate Research


North East Studio Building, I.03


Dr Nichola Dobson is a leading scholar in Animation Studies. Between 2015 and 2019 she was the President of the Society for Animation Studies promoting scholarship around theory and practice in Animation. Founding editor of the online, peer reviewed journal, Animation Studies (2006 - 2011) and Animation Studies 2.0 (2012- present), she has published widely on animation, television genre and fan fiction, including Norman McLaren: Between the Frames (2018) for Bloomsbury, The Animation Studies Reader (co-ed and authored, Bloomsbury 2018) and both Historical Dictionary of Animation and Cartoons (2009) and Historical Dictionary of Animation and Cartoons (2nd Edition 2020) for Scarecrow Press. She is currently working on a book on TV animation with Paul Ward for Edinburgh University Press. She gained her PhD at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh in 2004, organised and chaired the 2010 Society for Animation Studies annual conference and has worked at Edinburgh College of Art since 2010.

She has presented keynote addresses at numerous conferences and events both internationally, focusing on the large project on Scottish Animator Norman McLaren.

She recently founded (and is Director of) the Animation Research Network Scotland (ARNS) to promote collaboration in animation related research in Scotland and beyond.

Research interests

  • Animation History
  • Animation theory
  • Animation Pedagogy
  • TV Anicom
  • Scottish Animation and archives


Course Organiser:

  • Animating Stories
  • Animation 3, Issues of Representation
  • What's Up Doc? Introducing Animation Studies

Team teaching:

  • Animation 2C: Documentary
  • Language of Animation
  • Animation 4A, 4B & 4C


My research has always been around promoting and developing animation history more broadly and the field of animation studies specifically. I have a long standing (since 2000) interest in TV animation, genre and comedy which has recently included issues around voice, performance, identity and animation production. My research into Scottish animator Norman McLaren has yeilded outputs in a variety of aspects of archives and the ethics of personal practice; queer representation; national identity and experimental animation, with a series of international presentations and publications.  I am currently working on developing archives and the consideration of their educational value.

I am happy to supervise students with an interest in most aspects of animation.

PhD Supervision Topics

Accepting applications
  • Animation theory
  • Animation History
  • TV Animation
  • Performance
  • Archives
  • Representation

Related programmes