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LaPensée expresses herself through writing, design, and art in games, comics, and animation. Imarisha is an educator, editor, writer, organizer and spoken word artist. Both these creators are stretching the boundaries of speculative fiction by telling new stories and exploring new media through which stories can be told. Read more at the Tiptree website.
The Tiptree Fellowships program, which has been my main project within the Tiptree Motherboard this past year, supports the development of new work, in any form or genre, that uses speculative narrative to expand or explore our understanding of gender, especially in its intersections with race, nationality, class, disability, sexuality, age, and other categories of identification and structures of power. I’m so grateful to everyone who applied (we wished we could have given more than two fellowships) and to the rest of the selection committee – my fellow Tiptree Motherboard member Debbie Notkin, Tiptree Literary Award winner Nisi Shawl, and the inaugural Tiptree Fellow, who we brought on board to help design the program, micha cárdenas.
This site may have been quiet of late, but its writer has been extremely busy.
Two of the projects I’m most excited to be working on this semester have deadlines today, so it seemed like an excellent time to get around to updating.
First of all, if you are interested in applying for a Tiptree Fellowship, send your materials today! The fellowships are for creative work (broadly defined to invite applications from writers, artists, scholars, media makers, remix artists, performers, musicians, or, well) that uses speculative narrative to expand or explore our understanding of gender.
And second, the Transformative Digital Humanities conference and THATCamp is in two weeks! Registration officially closes today, so please do sign up if you’re planning to attend. While Friday’s event is open to the public, we need to know how much food to order…
I’m incredibly excited to announce that on October 2 and 3 2015, the University of Maryland Women’s Studies Department will host a gathering for scholars and practitioners doing gender, race, sexuality, class, and disability studies in digital humanities – where “digital humanities” is defined as broadly as we can imagine to mean both the use of digital tools to aid humanities scholarship and humanities scholarship about digital tools.
We want to include your work even if you can’t come to the DC area, and we’re inviting proposals for video contributions 3-10 minutes in length. (I like to think of it as a scholarly vidshow, for those of you who are into vidding). If you’re doing exciting digital work that focuses on gender, race, sexuality, disability, economic justice, or something related to these, we want to know about it! We welcome all kinds of scholarship, including work being done outside of traditional academic institutions. Send proposals (300 words max describing the video you’d like to submit) to email@example.com by July 1.
On October 2, we will have a day of scheduled presentations and workshops open to the public, culminating with a keynote speech from Lisa Nakamura. A plenary session will bring together several founding members of the #transformDH collective to discuss the history and future of the movement: Moya Bailey, Anne Cong-Huyen, Amanda Phillips, and Alexis Lothian. A #transformDH video showcase will include work submitted by scholars and creators within and outside of academia, and a roundtable on disability studies and digital humanities is in the process of being planned. We will be livestreaming all presentations and inviting remote participation in the form of video contributions; ASL interpretation will be provided.
On October 3, we will hold THATCamp TransformDH: a collaborative, impromptu ‘unconference’ in which participants from all backgrounds and skill levels learn, create, and play around together in sessions proposed on the spot. THATCamp is a participatory event that will be open to a limited number of participants. Registration will open formally in August. If you know you are definitely planning to attend and want to reserve your place now – or if you have any other questions – please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve just come back from WisCon, the world’s leading feminist science fiction convention (now in its 39th year), where I am now co-chairing the academic track. It went fabulously, and I’m looking forward to planning new ways to foster scholarship on feminist speculative topics both inside and outside the academy.
At WisCon, I got to formally announce a project I’ve been working on for the past year as a part of the James Tiptree Jr Award Motherboard. The Tiptree Award, as many people reading this will know, is given each year for a work of speculative fiction that expands and explores our ideas of gender. The Fellowships are about helping emerging creators who are committed to that kind of work. Here’s the description:
After almost 25 years of Tiptree Awards, the Tiptree Motherboard is expanding the reach of the Award to reflect the changing and expanding landscape both of science fiction/fantasy and of gender itself. We know that the most exciting, challenging narratives of speculation don’t always fit within the boundaries of genre fiction as we know them – such as Janelle Monae’s genre bending work, which appeared on the Honor List of the 2013 Tiptree Award. We know that members of historically underrepresented communities are creating a lot of the most important work, with less recognition from the world at large than members of communities with higher visibility. And we know that emerging writers and creators are rarely paid for their labor, even when they produce and publish work that finds an audience. We want to support the development of new work, in any form or genre, that uses speculative narrative to expand or explore our understanding of gender, especially in its intersections with race, nationality, class, disability, sexuality, age, and other categories of identification and structures of power.
In 2015, we will open applications for Tiptree Fellowships. Fellowships will be $500 per recipient and will be awarded each year to two creators who are doing work that pushes forward the Tiptree mission. We hope to create a network of Fellows who will build connections, support one another, and find collaborators. We imagine that some of the works we support now might even win the Tiptree Award one day. We hope to change the field of speculative fiction by providing recognition for new voices that have been underrepresented, but whose work is vital in making visible the many forces that are changing gender today and tomorrow.
The Tiptree Fellows might be writers, artists, scholars, media makers, remix artists, performers, musicians, or something else entirely. If you are doing work that is changing the way we think about gender through speculative narrative – maybe in a form we would recognize as the science fiction or fantasy genre, maybe in some other way – you will be eligible for a Fellowship. You won’t have to be a professional or have an institutional affiliation, as we hope to support emerging creators who don’t already have institutional support for their work.
To start off the Fellowships program, we wanted to create a process for applications and decisions that would be as inclusive as possible. We decided to invite an inaugural Tiptree Fellow to help us work on developing that process. We chose micha cárdenas, who is, in her own words, “an artist, theorist, student and educator who creates and studies trans of color movement in digital media, where movement includes migration, performance and mobility.” Micha frequently uses science fiction narrative in her creative work, most recently in her online game Redshift and Portalmetal, which explores a trans woman of color’s experiences of interplanetary migration. She also writes scholarship about science fiction media, such as her essay “Shifting Futures” on the work of Janelle Monae. Tiptree Fellowship applications are now open.
You can read more about the Fellowships, and learn how to apply, by following this link to the Tiptree website. Applications are due September 1, 2015!
Almost a week ago, we had the culmination of my first year at UMD: the DC Queer Studies Symposium, Queer Speculations.
From the opening sessions to the celebratory dancing afterward, it was a really wonderful experience that left me feeling incredibly lucky to be in my current position. Plenary talks by Ramzi Famaz and Shanté Paradigm Smalls were inspiring (and followed by a great discussion of queer of color comics critique), and Juana María Rodríguez’s keynote “Feeling Queerly, Knowing Otherwise” was both sexy and unsettling in the best ways.
All of the talks I attended were really impressive, though, and I wished for a couple of clones so that I could have attended all three simultaneous panels. In the talks I did attend, though, I got to offer psychoanalytic help for a troubled software program, contemplate the contradictions and possibilities in queer insurrection and queer optimism, experience the uses of digital storytelling in Native queer communities, delve into decolonizing queer ecologies and black queer futures, and a lot more.
I’ve archived the tweets on the conference hashtag using Storify and organized them by panel for – you can read the whole day below.
DC Queer Studies Conference. 17 April 2015. University of Maryland College Park.
This week, Tavia Nyong’o was on campus for the first installment of Queer Speculations, the LGBT Studies lecture series and conference (April 17!) that I have been working on this semester along with my new colleagues. We have a rather wonderful poster, incidentally, created by Mira Azarm:
I livetweeted as much of the talk as I could, as did some other attendees; Tavia made many associative connections that are both perfectly and not at all captured in 140-character chunks.
It was a joy to introduce Tavia and take part in the colloquium on his work the next day, where we talked about Beasts of the Southern Wild, disciplinarity, British vs American cultural studies, and many other things. And this is just the first of several events this semester!
This year, along with Lauren Lacey, I have taken over as co-chair of academic programming at WisCon, the feminist science fiction convention for which I have immense and enduring love. The convention is in Madison, WI on May 22-25 2015, and academic proposals are due on February 23. They’re open to all, and I would encourage anyone doing research related to WisCon’s areas of focus to consider attending. It’s a very different experience to an academic conference (presentations of scholarship are a tiny, tiny proportion of what is going on) and, for me at least, a reminder of why critical cultural analysis of gender, race, sexuality, and disability matters beyond the academic sphere.
Here are the details (at WisCon’s web page):
WisCon Academic Programming
WisCon has a track of academic programming that is open to undergraduate, postgraduate and independent scholars. One of the benefits of this track is that it strengthens the links between the wider feminist science fiction community and students and other scholars working on feminist SF and fantasy and related fields. The track operates very much like a conventional academic conference, with presentations based on extensive research. However, scholarly work on all aspects of feminist science fiction reaches an audience at WisCon that gives a kind of passionate and informed feedback that is rare at academic conferences. We also encourage submissions from people who aren’t involved in formal academic work! Over the years, people have presented papers on fantasy, horror, and science fiction literature, media and fandom, examining issues of feminism, gender, sexuality, race, disability, and class amongst many others.
Call for Proposals for WisCon 39: May 21-24, 2015
Deadline: February 23, 2015
WisCon, the world’s leading feminist science fiction convention, invites scholars of all descriptions to propose programming for its academic track. We invite proposals from anyone with a scholarly interest in the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability with science fiction – broadly defined – in literature, media, and culture. We would especially welcome scholarship on the work of 2015’s guests of honor, Alaya Dawn Johnson and Kim Stanley Robinson, and on the histories and cultures of feminist and social-justice-oriented fan communities. We encourage submissions from scholars in all fields, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary areas, and from amateur and independent scholars as well as graduate students, postdocs, and faculty.
At WisCon, papers are presented in groups of two or three during a single 75-minute programming slot. If a group of presenters would like to submit their papers together as a single panel, they should indicate that on their paper submissions. We also encourage the presentation of scholarship in formats other than the traditional paper, and discussion-based panels focused on issues of particular interest to scholars of science fiction and feminism.
An incomplete list of possible subjects:
- Gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability in individual works of science fiction
- Feminist, queer, critical race, and critical disability analysis of science fiction media (film, television, video games, online culture)
- Speculative aspects of feminist and social justice movements
- Science fiction and feminist science and technology studies
- Race, colonialism, and speculative fiction; Afrofuturism and related cultural movements
- Fan cultures and communities
- Feminist pedagogy and speculative fiction in the classroom
An incomplete list of possible formats:
- 15-20 minute paper presentations, with or without visual accompaniment
- Presentation of scholarly creative works, including digital scholarship
- Readings from recently published or forthcoming scholarly books
- Discussion-based panels and roundtables on scholarly research, teaching, or service
- Mentoring sessions on academic professional life: graduate study, the job market, tenure and promotion, publishing and presentation
- Screenings and discussions of short films or videos
Please submit your proposal via this form (you must create a Wiscon login to submit a proposal).
The deadline is midnight CST on February 23, 2015.
You will be asked for a 100-word abstract, which will be printed in the convention’s program, and for a more detailed proposal of up to 500 words. If you are proposing something other than a traditional paper, please make sure you describe the format of your proposed program. item. A projector and screen will be available; if you have further technological needs, please let us know in your proposal.
When I set up this website, I decided to commit to blogging once a month. That hasn’t exactly happened since I embarked on the tenure track… It hasn’t been for lack of activity, though. Most recently, I had a generative and wonderful time attending the George Washington Digital Humanities Initiative Symposium on Disrupting DH. Jonathan Hsy wrote a wonderful summary post about it here: #GWDHI and Embodied Digital Communities: Openness, Danger, Care.
I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between digital humanities and embodied communities because I am working on a chapter for a new Companion to Digital Humanities, focused on gender and digital humanities work. I’ve been using the opportunity to think about DH in the broadest sense, and so far my rough draft goes from Turing’s imitation game to women of color’s unacknowledged labor in the production of digital devices to cyberfeminism to feminist archives, Wikipedia activism, and #transformDH. As part of my research, I went back to my timeline of tweets from the 2014 ASA Convention, in particular to the panel This Bridge We Call Cyberspace. I made a Storify archive so that I could refer to and reflect on them more easily; for anyone else who might want to do so, the link is at Women of Color Feminist Digital Humanities at #2014ASA
One of the first and most exciting tasks I’ve undertaken in my new job has been inviting speakers and developing the theme for the annual DC Queer Studies Symposium – an event I watched longingly from afar before I moved here (I defended my dissertation during the 2012 conference celebrating the career of Samuel R. Delany, as I recall). I’m delighted to share this year’s theme and call for papers, and I hope that everyone reading this will distribute it widely and consider attending! The official call for papers is online at this link.
What if? And what then? The time and space of gender, sexuality, race, and empire are shaped by acts of speculation: both financial speculation on “futures” markets and the speculative imaginaries that invent, theorize, imagine, and enact different kinds of worlds. Queer theory, politics, and life have always engaged in speculative practice, demanding we attend to forms of kinship, politics, gender, sex, and sociality that exceed the logics of assimilation. In recent years, attention has turned both to the ways in which some queer formations can reinforce the logics of speculative capital, and to the work of speculative cultural production in imagining different, deviant worlds.
We invite proposals for presentations at QUEER SPECULATIONS, the 8th Annual DC Queer Studies Symposium at the University of Maryland. The symposium will be a daylong series of conversations about the various speculative practices queer theory, politics, and life engage, and the kinds of queer speculations about queer bodies, objects, feelings, pasts, futures, utopias, dystopias, and transformations that are emerging. Events will include paper sessions featuring faculty and graduate students, a buffet lunch, and a plenary session featuring Ramzi Fawaz (University of Wisconsin, Madison) and Shanté Paradigm Smalls (St. John’s University), whose work is expanding the field of scholarship on queerness and race in speculative cultural production.
The day will culminate with a keynote address by Juana María Rodríguez, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Rodriguez is author of Sexual Futures: Queer Gestures and Other Latina Longings (NYU Press, 2014) which speculates about the world-making practices of queer of color femme intimacies and embodiments. Her other publications include Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces (NYU, 2003) and numerous articles related to her research in sexuality studies, queer activism in a transnational American context, critical race theory, technology and media arts, and Latina/o and Caribbean Studies.
The 2015 symposium marks the coming-together of Women’s Studies and LGBT Studies at the University of Maryland College Park, a moment to inspire creative speculation about possible futures for transformative knowledge production within the university.
We welcome proposals for presentations on topics including but not limited to:
- Queer speculative cultural production in media and literature
- Speculative worldmaking in queer communities and social movements
- The relationship of queer politics and culture to speculative capital, risk, and debt
- Queer currents in speculative materialism / the philosophical speculative turn
- Speculative uses of emerging technologies for queer bodies and worlds
- Queer interventions into global, imperial logics of speculation
- Speculative queer ecologies of the human and nonhuman
- Speculation as queer knowledge production in the academy and beyond
Proposals for 15-minute presentations should include name, affiliation, e-mail address, title of paper, a 250-word abstract, and a 1-2 page CV. We also welcome submissions for 45-minute panels, but we may reorganize speakers due to the demands of scheduling. If you submit a panel, please include a panel title and a brief explanation of the panel rationale. Please send materials by e-mail attachment (Word or PDF only) by January 16, 2015 to DCQS@umd.edu. Put “Submission for Queer Speculations” in the subject line of your message. For more information, contact JV Sapinoso at email@example.com. Selected participants will be notified by February 20, 2015.
All symposium events are free and open to the public. More details will be forthcoming at http://www.lgbts.umd.edu