#WomenOnPanels is designed to raise the visibility of women and non-binary individuals working in and around comics studies. The initiative operates under the philosophy that more perspectives help us improve and strengthen our field. To that end, we hold social media events and have developed the directory on this site for publishers, editors, and scholars committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity in comics studies.
Our Origin Story
On February 24th, 2019, women took advantage of Twitter as an intersectional feminist space and addressed gender inequality in comics studies using #womenonpanels. The event, suggested by Andréa Gilroy and organized by Leah Misemer, happened in response to a tweet from Adrienne Resha about comics studies’s “misogyny problem.” Women from around the world shared short descriptions of their work and recognized other women who inspired them by tweeting with the hashtag. After the event, Carol Tilley of the Comics Studies Society designed t-shirts and whose proceeds went towards funding annual conference attendance for two scholars. For more on the initial #womenonpanels event read Leah Misemer’s blog post, “Taking Twitter Higher, Further, Faster: Leading the #Womenonpanels Event” at TECHStyle. You can also still purchase “Read, Cite, Invite” shirts, mugs, and buttons to support travel for women and nonbinary scholars to future Comics Studies Society conferences.
What the future holds
We continue to build on this social media origin, asking everyone in comics studies, but especially those editing collections or putting together conference panels, to “read, cite, and invite” women and people of marginalized gender identities. Leah Misemer (@lsmisemer) and Adrienne Resha (@AdrienneResha) remain the stewards of #womenonpanels. In addition to the directory located on this site, we have plans in the works for additional social media events, especially surrounding CFP deadlines for upcoming comics studies conferences. You can watch our Twitter accounts, as well as the hashtag, for upcoming events in a Twitterverse near you. If you have suggestions for us, feel free to reach out. We are all better together.