University of the Arts London
IGNCC 2020 presentation slides H.Rowland.mp4 (282.35 MB)

Hollie Rowland - Do Androids Dream of Neo-fascism? Accelerationist Fantasies in, as, and Around Comics

Download (282.35 MB)
posted on 2020-06-29, 15:51 authored by Hollie Rowland

03/07/2020 13:00 Room 1 #doaphs

Accelerationism is a term that is frequently contested and often difficult to delineate because the debate around it is always flexing and splintering. Broadly, it suggests that we can and should exacerbate capitalism beyond its limits in order to incite rapid social change1. This acceleration into and through capitalism is associated with sociotechnical imaginaries of endless productivity, innovation, and cybernetic assemblages, leading to emergent fantasies of technology as saviour in relation to techno-fascist progress.2, 3

The forms through which we glimpse the shifting spectre of accelerationism can be observed in terms of the narrative, literary, and extratextual levels. Observing these fantasies through these three levels of form in comics creates moments of captive and occasionally haptic space in which to examine the multiple overlapping facets of such fantasies. This analysis pays particular attention to the significance of variations in the speed of narrative delivery and aesthetics of accelerationism in comics and the associated culture surrounding them.

This paper examines the ways in which accelerationist fantasies of technology as saviour can be observed both as and between forms through the lens of Caroline Levine’s work. In doing so, we can unpack how each form shapes and is shaped by its collisions with other forms through the inherent motion at work within these interactions.

1. Benjamin Noys, Malign Velocities, (Zero Books, 2014)

2. Robin Mackay and Armen Avanessian, #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader (Urbanomic, 2014)

3. Steven Shaviro, No Speed Limit, (University of Minnesota Press, 2015)



Hollie Rowland completed her Masters degree in English Literature at the University of Chichester in 2019, with a focus on comics, critical theory, and cultural analysis. She has previously presented at Comics Forum twice on presentations of violence and young girls in comics, as well as at the IGNCC on transmedia universes. Her main areas of interest include comics, cultural materialism, ‘nerd culture’, memes and communication through images, critiquing Dark Enlightenment, and presentations and/or modes of transgressive behaviour in comics. She is currently pursuing a place and funding on a PhD for 2021.