I have my finalized panels for WisCon, and it’s a pretty exciting line-up! Although now I’m feeling the need to brush up on the topic of class. And I suppose it is now imperative that I finish Mass Effect 3.
Imaginary Book Club
Sat, 10:00–11:15 am
Moderator: Alyc Helms. Participants: Saira Ali, Julia Rios, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Jane A Thompson
A repeat of “Imaginary Book Club” from last year’s WisCon. Each panelist presents a review of an imaginary book, and other panelists discuss the books and their merits. Possible books to review: Connie Willis’s foray into noir steampunk, “Beyond Lies the Dubstep” by Philip K. Dick, and Le Guin’s new translation of Borges.
Class Culture and Values in SF&F
Sun, 1:00–2:15 pm
Moderator: Debbie Notkin. Participants: Eleanor A. Arnason, Alyc Helms, ANONYMOUS, Rose Lemberg
Class isn’t just how much money you have or what work you do; it also involves cultural beliefs, values, and attitudes that are expressed in how you talk, what you do in your free time, and all sorts of less tangible elements. (See Barbara Jensen’s book Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America, due out in mid-May.) The SF&F writing and fannish communities are mainly middle class folks, which makes the class values of SF&F works mostly middle class, too. What works and creators explore classes outside the mainstream, white, European, middle-class value systems? What class markers tend to show up most, or least, often? Do these works show the non-middle classes positively? negatively? realistically?
Gender and Class in Gaming
Sun, 4:00–5:15 pm
Moderator: Tanya D. Participants: Lisa C. Freitag, Alyc Helms, Heather Porter, Jessamyn
This panel uses Dragon Age II, Mass Effect and classic table top games as a starting point to discuss class and gender issues that have been raised by players. We’ll discuss the ways in which class and gender are used in past and current games. How are gender and class issues used in the plot of the game? Does this detract or add to the gaming experience? Is it possible to be a feminist gamer?