Skip to main content
Maria Ivanova

Miss Maria Ivanova

Research student

Two Central Square, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS


I am a PhD candidate at Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Culture. My research is situated in the area of fan studies. It observes the way fan communities engage with fandom in regards to their mental health. The goal is to get a better understanding of how being part of a fandom can help fans deal with their mental health issues. This project has been in development for a few years and is currently being supervised by Dr Ross Garner and Prof Jenny Kitzinger. 

Prior to undertaking this PhD I have graduated with a postgraduate MA degree from the University of Bristol in Film and Television, which I started after I finished my undergraduate degree in Journalism Media and Cultural Studies from Cardiff University.

Currently, I am working on a chapter in an edited collection on Fandom and Mental Health. The project revolves around Eastern European fans and their understanding of digital fandom and its connection to mental health. 


My main interests are in the area of fan studies. Mental health has been a prominent topic in my research; I often try and understand the role fandom plays in helping fans cope with their mental health struggles.

Currently, I have been engaging in research about Eastern European fans and their relationship with fandom. 


  • 2019-2020      GTA: Media Audiences (Dr. Ross Garner) – JOMEC, Cardiff University
  • 2018-2019      GTA: A History of Mass Communication and Culture (Prof. Justin Lewis) –  JOMEC, Cardiff University
  • 2018               GTA: Media Audiences (Dr. Ross Garner) – JOMEC, Cardiff University


Jenny Kitzinger

Jenny Kitzinger

Director of Research: Impact and Engagement and Co-Director of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre