July 22nd, 2009

wood cat

Worldcon programming involving diversity, discrimination, non-European-derived topics

Inspired by pgdudda's post, behind the cut is a list of Worldcon panels or program items that seemed to be explicitly about discrimination, diversity, race, gender, sexuality, disability, and/or non-European-derived works, artists, and fandoms, or to necessarily require discussion of the above. Because there's a fair bit of anime & manga programming, I put that separately. The lists are otherwise in chronological order. Absolutely no comment or endorsement is implied by an item's appearance on this list. If I missed something, let me know; this is based on a pretty quick skim through the book.

Note that something awful happened to the formatting of the academic talk descriptions in the program book; I put in // to mark what I infer are different papers.

The full program book is available in PDF; I hope that grids and something easier to manage are on the way. This list itself may be turned into an at-con handout with grid or some such, so stay tuned.

ETA July 23 8:00 a.m.: added three six items. Also forgot to note that I don't speak French so was going strictly off English descriptions. If you speak French or know of a bilingual panel (which appear to not be marked at all in the program book as such), please comment.

ETA July 23 6:30 p.m.: new additions are now marked with one or two *, depending on whether they were added this round or last round. Bilingual items are marked as such in the titles, using the information here.. I've also now bolded the relevant paper(s) in the academic track items for ease of reference, and gone through all the French-language descriptions with two web translators.

I am now finished updating this unless people point me to things I've missed.

ETA July 31: someone did! I'll put this in the proper place in the list under the cut too.

2-304 Fri/Ven 19:00 1hr
P-511D Human Culture
Time TravellerTM & Skins
Skawennati Tricia Frangnito, Jason Lewis
“TimeTravellerTM” is a series of Machinima episodes about a Mohawk person living in 2121 using glasses to view historical events. This is being ‘filmed’ in second life and the first episode will be ready before the convention. There will be a screening of the episode followed by a talk and Q&A. The “Skins” project is a mod’ed game using the unreal tournament game engine. It is based on Iroquois legends and was put together with teenagers from the Iroquois. A video of the project and a virtual slice of the game will be presented.

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Crossposted to anticipation_09.
deal with it, feminism

Readercon: I Spy, I Fear, I Wonder: Espionage Fiction and the Fantastic; bonus rant on sexism

Last panel report; second-to-last con report.

I Spy, I Fear, I Wonder: Espionage Fiction and the Fantastic.
Don D'Ammassa, C. C. Finlay (M), James D. Macdonald, Chris Nakashima-Brown, Ernest Lilley.
In his afterword to The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross makes a bold pair of assertions: Len Deighton was a horror writer (because "all cold-war era spy thrillers rely on the existential horror of nuclear annihilation") while Lovecraft wrote spy thrillers (with their "obsessive collection of secret information"). In fact, Stross argues that the primary difference between the two genres is that the threat of the "uncontrollable universe" in horror fiction "verges on the overwhelming," while spy fiction "allows us to believe for a while that the little people can, by obtaining secret knowledge, acquire some leverage over" it. This is only one example of the confluence of the espionage novel with the genres of the fantastic; the two are blended in various ways in Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, Tim Powers' Declare, William Gibson's Spook County, and, in the media, the Bond movies and The Prisoner. We'll survey the best of espionage fiction as it reads to lovers of the fantastic. Are there branches of the fantastic other than horror to which the spy novel has a special affinity or relationship?

Lilley was a last-minute replacement for John Shirley. If I'd known he was going to be on the panel ahead of time, I might not have gone, being deeply unimpressed with his behavior at a World Fantasy Con panel about non-European urban fantasies. Mostly (but not exclusively) thanks to him, you get a bonus rant about sexism at the end of this.

Note on panel composition: five white males. (Nakashima-Brown's name was acquired by marriage and not ancestry, according to a later conversation with him.)

Because more time has passed, I'm less certain about some of these expansions; I've noted this where it occurs. I welcome clarifications or corrections to the notes from those who were there.

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