Glitching Comics

deadline for submissions: 
February 16, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
The Comics Studies Society

In her 2020 publication Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto, Legacy Russell explores the notion of “glitch-as-error with its genesis in the realm of the machinic and the digital.” With this framing, she argues that glitches might “inform the way we see the AFK [Away-From-Keyboard or real] world, shaping how we might participate in it toward greater agency for and by ourselves” (8-9). With her sights set on social systems of gender, race, and sexuality in particular, Russell asks how embodied subjects who defy patriarchal white supremacist cisheterosexist norms are positioned or appear as glitches, as errors, in digital and AFK spaces. Rather than take for granted the normative understanding of glitch-as-error, Russell argues for a feminist praxis that reconceives glitches as a form of refusal and a means by which to challenge the status quo. Russell is particularly interested in how artists record, perform, and embrace the glitch to expose our flawed social systems, explore the in-between, and “imagine new possibilities of what the body can do, and how this can work against the normative” (14). To read Russell’s work online or to hear her talking about glitch feminism see here: 

Building on Russell’s bold and necessary work, the CSS Conference Committee invites members to join us in glitching comics. What can errors in production processes of print comics reveal about systems of racialization? How might digital reading practices expose industry sexism or ableism? What do creators accomplish when they embrace glitchy aesthetics? How do comics or comics media that dwell in the in-between or sit with discomfort help us to refuse violent social norms? How do marginalized creators take advantage of systemic failures? 

Like Russell, we recognize the feedback loop between digital and AFK spaces so we encourage participants to draw on print or digital comics, comics-related media, or texts that actively blur these distinctions. The Comics Studies Society invites proposals for 15-minute individual papers, pre-formed panels, media objects (such as critical making, comics, video, Twine, or performance), and pedagogy or other workshops that engage with how comics (across forms, genres, media, experiences, regions, and cultures) disrupt the status quo. Topics may include but are by no means limited to: 

  • “Glitch Refuses”
    • Resistant narratives
    • Texts that defy genre distinctions
    • Subversive reading practices
  • “Glitch Throws Shade”
    • Errors that expose hegemonic social norms
    • Aesthetics that reveal the fallibility of normative ideals
    • Reactivity in fan communities
  • “Glitch is Error”
    • Comics that embrace the unknowable
    • Media that strive for elasticity
    • Historical errors that disrupted the status quo
  • “Glitch is Anti-body”
    • Disability in comics
    • Production processes that prioritize accessibility for disabled creators and readers
    • Representations of bodies that glitch “hegemonic normative formulations”
  • “Glitch is Virus”
    • Reception of or resistance to AI art in comics
    • The brokenness of labor standards in the comics industry
    • Infection or monstrosity as a “vehicle of resistance” to identity norms
  • “Glitch Mobilizes”
    • How digital platforms/modes of creation provide opportunity
    • The promise of “newly proposed worlds” in comics media 
    • Fan activism
  • “Glitch is Remix”
    • Retcon as a form of reclamation
    • The rearranging of creative traditions to generate something liberatory
    • Repurposing discomfort to reveal truths

We are seeking Individual Paper Proposals, Panel Proposals, Roundtable Proposals, and Workshop Proposals. We ask that you submit 250-word abstracts via the Google Forms located at no later than 11:59pm Central Time (US) on February 16, 2024.

All submissions will undergo transparent peer review. Notifications will go out and registration will open in March. The virtual conference will take place in June 23-26 2024.

Please contact the Conference Committee with any questions at