Lisbeth Frølunde


  • Universitetsvej 1, 40.2

    DK-4000 Roskilde



Research output per year

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Personal profile


Frølunde's (Frolunde's) teaching and research areas are visual communication, arts-based research (the intersection of the arts and qualitative research methods), narrative inquiry and health care ethics.

She is currently doing research on the arts and health in "Dancing with Parkinson’s" project, which is a collaboration between Roskilde University, Danish Parkinson's Association and Tivoli Ballet School, and is funded with a grant from the Velux Foundation, HUMPraxis Programme (January 2019-December 2021). Please read more about "Dancing with Parkinson’s"


Her research is in the intersection of the arts and health communication, specifically narrative and graphic medicine and arts-based research. She is interested in the potentials of telling personal stories about illness, especially graphic novels (comics). This interest includes writing her own autofictional stories and making drawings for graphic novels, including Parkinson's disease in the family and immigration experiences in line with historical settings and political events. Her creative process involves doing memory work with photos and poetic representation inspired by tragicomic graphic novels with family “memoirs”. She has participated in the 2018 course taught by artist Halfdan Pisket on making comics under "Skolen for Tegneseriekunst" at Gladiator publishers.

Frølunde is concerned with methodology and the critical and sensitive use of facilitation methods, such as drawing and collage, literary and autoethnographic methods. Research topics also include war refugees, mediation of memories, mourning, difference in collaboration, everyday online practices and identities (e.g. avatars), and the original promises and mounting challenges of digital social media, such as censorship, polarization and echo chambers. These topics relate to issues of inclusion/exclusion, representation, the ethics of voice and privacy.

A parallel research interest is research or knowledge communication using new media, especially how academics communicate knowledge in academic videos to tell about their research to audiences outside academia. The notion of research expertise is pertinent in these times of "fake news".

A key research motivation is the potential for social change through media and the arts - the personal voice as having the power to change. She studies how basic human abilities to communicate involve many complex abilities (to play, to design, to develop literacy, to empathize, to reflect), grounded in embodied practices of making images and telling stories.

Her research has a critical and arts-based approach to creating meaning, whether through filmaking, oral storytelling, or other modes of meaning, and the rise of online digital technologies. For instance, video production and dissemination has changed with adoption of platforms such as Instagram, twitter, YouTube and TED Talks. The many kinds of audiovisual stories shared in our current online ”folk culture” incur changes in the media ecology. The Internet may be a new printing press, but the transformations in media production and distribution raise many questions, including: if and how communicative genres are transforming, what are the implications of social media in particular for authorship, ownership, and distribution of multimedia texts by organizations and individuals? 

Theoretical inspiration includes: social semiotics, dialogic theory, pragmatics (Dewey), British Cultural Studies, critical humanities in medicine, literature, narrative inquiry and critical art history (Berger, Benjamin). Her research explores a range of contexts for collaborative writing, drawing, reading, making hybrid texts (such as graphic novels, animation shorts, games, video and film), and how difference impacts on collaboration. She is engaged in arts-based research and its development, especially aesthetic issues in relation to empowerment, creative potential, and audience.


She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Communication Studies theory with special focus on visual, narrative and multimodal communication and the rise of digital technologies, including data visualization. Courses include: Narrative and Visual Communication, Introduction to Communication Theories, Knowledge Communication, and Digital Dialogic Communication. Workshops include: Digital Media: Video, Storytelling: Animation.

She supervises group projects for Danish and international students on the graduate level. A sample of the students' project topics are: songwriting and identity, cross-cultural communication related to a refugee art exhibit, creativity discourses in the design sector, apps to prevent food waste, the failures of anti-smoking campaigns, critical approaches to international aid on twitter, audience reception of documentary films on war, dialogic approaches to representing mental illness, ethical issues regarding visual elicitation as interview method.


Besides the Velux Foundation grant (2019-21), Frølunde has received funding for her post.doc. research (2009-11) at RUC from two sources: Nordic Innovation, and KINO (a strategic research grant under the Danish Research Council), both with focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and new digital media production practices.
Previous funded research work are grant from Linneaus University, Sweden (2009) on digital storytelling. She was the sole Danish researcher funded by the Norwegian Media Council, as part of the Scandinavian project Making a Filmmaker (2008-09) on young Scandinavian filmmakers.

Her PhD (2004-09) was funded in part by KINO under the research project DREAM (Danish Research on Education and Advanced Media) led by Professor Kirsten Drotner. She received an additional grant from the Ministry of Education to support the collaborative production of educational materials on animation filmmaking with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation.

PhD studies

Her PhD is from the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, 2009. Animated Symbols, her doctoral thesis, concerns how young people design animated films and the notion of a critical, multimodal design literacy. Her PhD stay abroad was at University of California Berkeley under the supervision of Prof. Glynda Hull.


Frølunde’s background combines research training and practical experience in visual communication, visual art, design, computer human interaction, as well as clinical art therapy and education.

She earned an MA from Lesley University Graduate School, Cambridge, Mass., and a BFA from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. She has lived in Denmark since 1991.

Her work experience includes as Concept Developer for the LEGO Group in Billund and London (1997-2001), products included Mindstorm robots, the Friends girl-oriented product line, Creator 3D worlds, Bionicle, and film-editing LEGO software. She was a free-lancer in the publishing, IT and game industry as usability consultant, multi-media designer, and game illustrator back in the 80's when Boston was a hub for game design.

She was art teacher and project leader for the Danish Red Cross (1992-95), co-led a newspaper and facilitated arts and writing workshops for asylum seekers. She worked as an art therapist at museums and public psychiatric hospitals (including day hospitals under Harvard Medical School) in Cambridge, Mass., USA, (1985-90).

Frølunde has previously taught and supervised at several universities. She taught communication design at the IT University in Copenhagen (2001-02), taught expressive art therapies on the graduate level (in a Danish program under the European Graduate School, Switzerland, 1991-96), and at Lesley College Graduate School, USA, (1985-88). She was research assistant at Learning Lab Denmark, the Danish School of Education, collaborating closely with Prof. Mitch Resnick from MIT Media Lab, USA, on bringing Computer Clubhouses to Denmark (2001-04).


  • Literature, Art, Music, Aestheticism
  • Artbased research
  • Art theory
  • dance
  • graphic novels
  • poetic inquiry
  • visual writing
  • collaboration as creative practice
  • comics
  • Autobiographical writing
  • arts as therapy
  • Aesthetical learning processes
  • Communication, Journalism, Media
  • visual methods
  • media ecologies
  • Media history
  • autoethnography
  • Dialogic communication
  • cross-media productions
  • narrative theory /storytelling
  • social semiotics
  • multimodality
  • Discourse analysis
  • Health, Medicine
  • Ethics of communication
  • Health care
  • narrative and graphic medicine
  • Inclusion/exclusion
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Education, Learning, Training
  • Pragmatism

Publication network

Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.
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