Final WisCon Programming Assignment!

So I just got the email that lists the panels I’m on for WisCon 32! Now the original email only had three panels but this final one added one more. When I saw the panel that was added I couldn’t supress a bark of laughter.

Here are the panels:

Title: Captain Jack’s Big Gay Torchwood
“The 21st century is when everything changes, and you’ve got to be ready.’ Is Torchwood breaking new ground, or just depending on our prurient tastes to grab viewers? Or both? Or neither? How do the gay relationships on the show compare with the straight ones? Finally, let’s hold a comparison among the various gay kisses portrayed on the show. ”
Saturday, 2:30-3:45 P.M.
Capitol A

M: Naamen Tilahun
Jennifer Pelland
Mary Kay Kare
Penny Hill
Victoria Janssen

Title: Time To Put Down The Laptop?
“Everyone and her sister/brother/dog seems to be blogging these days. Do you find blogging a waste of creative energy and a bane to more polished fiction? Does talking about your process keep you from engaging in it? Counting your words rather than crafting them? Or do you think this is a false economy of scarcity? Does blogging actually help you write more, better, faster, better-crafted? If so, how? ”
Sunday, 10:00-11:15 A.M.

M: Alan Bostick
M.K. Hobson
Naamen Tilahun
Cecilia Tan
Vylar Kaftan

Title: Dissecting Privilege — Let’s Look At The Guts
“Few words are more likely to provoke a rapid, vehement response than ‘privilege,’ whether it’s agreement with, an accusation, or a fervent denial. What made this 9-letter word a 4-letter word? From its beginnings as ‘private law’ to the current bugaboo, panelists will discuss what privilege does and doesn’t mean, determine how we can get past fighting about the word itself, explore the situations and structures that lie behind it and reflect on the implications for societal change.”
Sunday, 2:30-3:45 P.M.
Capitol B

M: Laurie Toby Edison
Steven Schwartz
Richard F. Dutcher
Naamen Tilahun
Alan Bostick 
Paula Fleming

Title: Faux Diversity vs. Actual Diversity
“Firefly was set in an Asia-dominated future that mysteriously contained no actual Asian people. More recently, the Last Airbender features a rich variety of cultures and societies with details taken from many Earth traditions, predominantly Asian–and almost no characters who are identifiably not white. What is with shows that use other kinds of diversity (or just the trappings of diversity) to stand in for racial diversity? It may come from good impulses on the part of show’s creators, but is wrong, wrong, wrong in execution. We can talk about this in terms of racism, worldbuilding…possibly even (dare we say it?) cultural appropriation. Let’s discuss any and all shows that come to mind, either as bad examples or (hopefully!) as good ones.”  
Sunday, 4:00-5:15 P.M.  
Senate B

M: Linda McAllister
Rachel Kronick
Julia Starkey
Janine Young
Naamen Tilahun

Okay considering what I talked about on Thursday and what my friend Bankuei said tell me it isn’t hilarious that the panel they decide to add me too (Faux vs. Actual) has the whole Avatar thing in it’s description. So I got the email, I LOL-ed for a few minutes and then I started thinking about what I want to say in the panels I’m on. I already have a general idea for things I want to bring up in each panel, just wish I had my notebook so I could jot them down. Oh, well that’ll have to wait til I get home tonight.


12 responses to “Final WisCon Programming Assignment!

  1. Oho, wow. I had to read the ” Faux Diversity vs. Actual Diversity” panel description twice to make sure it said what I thought it said.

    I’m still floored that anybody could look at the Avatar cast and call them white. What, do they want Zuko and Azula to actually be drawn with yellow skin, or what?!

  2. “Not enough othering” = MUST BE WHITE.

  3. I’m really looking forward to this Wiscon. Blogging has been a real double-edged sword for me, so that panel should be interesting.

    RE; Faux Diversity vs Real Diversity, that’s such an interesting topic for Wiscon as a whole, because there is so much “white guilt” in liberal sf circles. I was on a panel on a similar topic at Worldcon in Anaheim, only the target wasn’t sf tv shows, it was cons themselves.

    There are so many folks, especially among the Wiscon crowd, who are defensive about the fact that they want so much to support diversity and yet sf fandom is, and remains, overwhelmingly white. Are there sociological forces at work that are beyond the influence of well-meaning fans? Or is there really a vast, untapped non-white sf fan audience out there that cons simply don’t reach? I don’t know. Many people want to “blame” the situation on inherent racism in both the culture and the sub-culture, but I am unconvinced. The blame game is pernicious, though. I try to think positive and just keep supporting causes like the Carl Brandon Society.

  4. I think racism -does- play the part, but not necessarily in the way people think.

    For one, cons are built on social networks. If you are white, and have only white friends (or even if you’re non-white, and have only white friends), what kind of core network do you get?

    Then, who is targeted for outreach for the con?

    Then, where is the con located?

    Then, when we see flickr pictures of the con, what are people supposed to think?

    All of that is even without getting into fucked up shit like blackface drow lynchings or boob touching geeks.

    I’m not saying that everyone needs to run out and make POC friends, though I question these people very hard if they live in anything but a small town, where POC can be easily found if you’re not living a segregated lifestyle…

  5. Nenena:
    What, do they want Zuko and Azula to actually be drawn with yellow skin, or what?!
    It’s sad that I think the answer to that is yes. Some white folks cannot see a difference in race without intense othering stereotypes. Fopr example one of the myriad of reasons I have yet to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is the fact that they yellowed up Chow Yun Fat’s skin.

    “Not enough othering” = MUST BE WHITE.
    I like that quote mind if I use it at the panel, (crediting you of course)?

  6. Cecilia:
    Blogging is the same for me at times, I have some loose guidelines that have been helping me in the last month but still I have a love/hate relationship with blogging.

    As for the whiteness of SF and cons I think its a variety of things, like bankuei said I do think that location and networking has a lot to do with it. I also think that society has imposed this idea that People of Color don’t like sci-fi and so it can make it a more solitary activity because you feel othered or different. And there is a catch-22 at work where POC don’t come to some conventions because it’s all (or mostly white) and they don’t want to deal with that isolation and then of course that leaves the convention as mostly white and on and on and on.

  7. As a ‘was almost there but not quite then gave up on it’ fan of Firefly and [possibly closeted] Avatar fan and peripheral fandom member, I’m seriously hoping to see the results/transcripts/whatever from the panel. Sounds like it’d be an extremely interesting discussion and may help me conceptualize or understand something I’ve been trying to grasp and cope with the latter.

  8. Naamen- feel free to quote- you know it’s all love (and war) up in this.

  9. Juan:
    There are usually some transcripts and descriptions that come out of panels at WisCon but it depends on the panels themselves. If there are any of those though I’ll be sure to link to them in this blog when I get back.

  10. one of the myriad of reasons I have yet to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is the fact that they yellowed up Chow Yun Fat’s skin.

    … seriously? OMG. I did not know this.
    I *did* think the second Pirates movie was awful with that whole stupid cannibalism thing. And I was pretty annoyed that in the third movie Calypso, supposedly all-powerful sea goddess, kinda just disappears after she’s released. I kept thinking that she should’ve gotten to do so much more.

    But she’s a black woman. And it’s the white men who are the heroes.

  11. I’ve been trying to understand the bit in the description about Avatar since I first read it, because I had the whole, “white? Rly?” reaction, and then thought maybe I had brought some fucked up assumption into my watching of it by interpreting them as, well, not at all white. Good to know it’s not that I’m imagining the characters are Asian.

  12. Ico:
    But she’s a black woman. And it’s the white men who are the heroes.
    Speak truth to power.

    Good to know it’s not that I’m imagining the characters are Asian
    No, you are definitely no imagining their being Asian. It’s more a case of others going straight to the default of white and I have the same “white? Rly?” reaction whenever people try and argue that their all white.

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