CFP: Comics as Resistance

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities
June 2023
Stichtag: 2023 01 31

The conference seeks to bring together a wide range of scholars and creators to explore the poetics and politics of resistance within comics and graphic literature.

“Comics is a highly diverse and versatile medium, able to speak across boundaries, languages, temporalities, and cultures.,” say the organisers. “This kind of formal flexibility makes it a particularly potent form for mediating resistance and resistance narratives.

“We understand resistance as a theme in a broad sense, from acts of political defiance to cultural practices that challenge perceived hegemonies. Resistance can also be a useful concept with which to examine the way that comics as a medium engages with categorizations, ideas about cultural legitimacy, and dominant forms of storytelling and historical representation.

“How are stories and histories of resistance mediated through comics? How are resisters and their agency depicted? How do comics creators contest dominant narratives and formal expectations and constraints? How is ‘resistance’ conceived of and enacted within the comics medium?

“We invite papers that engage with these questions, and with resistance more broadly as a theme and/or as a mode of critical enquiry. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Depictions and/or mediations of historical acts of resistance, resistance networks, and the role of comics within cultural memory
  • Representations of contemporary resistance movements
  • Examples of comics being used to challenge dominant/hegemonic discourses and/or contribute to political discourses of resistance
  • Formal conceptions of resistance within comics, for example the use of sound as a means of ‘resisting’ the silence of the medium; forms of hybridity than could be understood as resistance between text and image; resistance through the use of frames, the gutter, and text
  • Histories of publication, distribution, and reception, particularly within transnational and global contexts
  • Comics and/in translation
  • Issues of genre, such as tensions between graphic fiction, memoir, and non-fiction
  • The role of comics within pedagogies of resistance
  • Comics as a collaborative form of resistance
  • Comics and/as adaptation
  • Graphic journalism

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers to be delivered in English. Please submit your abstract (max. 250 words) and a short biographical note (max. 75 words) using this form.

A publication of selected papers is planned.

The Oxford Comics Network at the University of Oxford (UK) brings together students, academics, and practitioners from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to explore the power, politics, and potential of the comics form.

• The deadline for submissions is 31st January 2023 | Submit your abstract using this form | Notifications will be made by 15th February 2023. Please direct any queries to

Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities is online at

• Comics and/as Resistance – Oxford Comics Network Conference Thursday 22nd – Friday 23rd June 2023 TORCH, Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG | Event Details here