Apr. 21st, 2011

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I'm getting excited!

Sustainability Benchmarking for WisCon Fri, 9:00–10:15 pm     Caucus
Isabel Schechter, Catherine Krahe, Jennifer Ziebarth
Using conventional measures, WisCon has been making strides to become more environmentally sustainable. But we're a science fiction convention! What imaginative ways can we measure and track our progress on sustainability? How do we think about it from a systems perspective, indivisible from our feminist heritage? Does the number of con-goers at the Madison farmer's market make a good indicator? Bring your ideas to this facilitated discussion of what we can do to achieve environmental sustainability while maintaining our focus on social justice and economic viability.

How Intersectionality Enlarges Feminist Community Sat, 10:00–11:15 am     Capitol A
E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman, Ian K. Hagemann, Betsy Lundsten, Isabel Schechter, Shveta Thakrar
Although the world would be nicer if this weren't true, there are axes of oppression other than gender. A forward-looking, relevant feminism needs to take that into account and work for people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, people of size, people who speak different languages, to name just a few. How do we become inclusive of groups to which we ourselves do not belong?

Why Are Some Belief Systems Valued Over Others?
Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm     Room 623
Kimberly Gonzalez, Darrah Chavey, Elise Matthesen, Isabel Schechter, Shveta Thakrar
In 2009, WisCon hosted a panel in which the discussion celebrated paganism, Wicca, and atheism while criticizing and disparaging Christianity, Judaism, and other traditional religions. Let's have an honest discussion about why our community rallies to defend some belief systems and disparages others.

Religion in Hard SF: Why Don't We See It?
Sun, 1:00–2:15 pm     Room 623
Juliana, Jennie Devereaux-Weber, Chip Hitchcock, Isabel Schechter, Philip Weiss
Religion has been a driving force for many aspects of Western culture, yet authors of futuristic science fiction often ignore its force (with Mary Doria Russell, Lois McMaster Bujold, Dan Simmons, David Weber, and Robert Heinlein being notable exceptions). What is missing when stories of future societies leave out religion?

Creating Comfortable Space at Conventions and Other Gatherings
Mon, 10:00–11:15 am     Senate A
Debbie Notkin, Alyson L. Abramowitz, Vylar Kaftan, Isabel Schechter, Heather Galaxy
How do we create a space in which many kinds of people might feel comfortable, while doing what we can to assure that some members do not in turn cause others discomfort? How do we acknowledge and account for the over-arching role that privilege and power play in these dynamics? Let's discuss the various types of events we've run, the issues that have arisen, and the policies and outcomes that have resulted from those experiences. Let's consider a range of events, and learn from the different concerns we encounter and approaches we take. Types of events to consider: SF conventions like WisCon or ThinkGalacticon, Steampunk events, large multigenre cons (e.g., Dragon*Con or Wickedfaire), BDSM or BDSM-friendly events, academic conferences.


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