izzybelbooks: (Default)
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.
izzybelbooks: (Default)

I've posted this on my LJ and disabled comments here because I really want to have all comments in one place, especially given how controversial this issue has already been. I hope you will go to my LJ and comment there.



Read more... )


izzybelbooks: (Default)
There are sooo many folks I met or re-connected with at WisCon, and so few user ids to go with them!  If you've friended me post-WisCon, please let me know who you are so I can connect the user id with the person in my mind.
izzybelbooks: (Sotomayor)

 Why are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
Let's have a round–table discussion of this book by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. First published in 1997, with additional material in 1999 and 2003, it still has a lot to say about racial identification and development of same. How does it speak to the discussions happening in WisCon and online, particularly about safer spaces and how to organize them?
M: LaShawn M. Wanak. Luke T. McGuff, Saira, Isabel Schechter   

To be totally frank, I don’t remember much of the details of the panel because it was so emotional for me that I was too involved to be able to remember to take notes or separate myself in any way from what was going on, so if anyone has actual notes, please let me know.  

I know that going into the panel, I was both confident and scared. I was confident that my co-panelists all took the topic seriously, had prepared appropriately, and were committed to the idea of creating safer space at WisCon. I was scared that there would be people in the audience who were opposed to the idea and that it might get ugly. I’m very glad that it didn’t get ugly, and instead turned out to be the highlight of the convention for me in that we made an impact and changed someone’s mind who had previously been opposed to a POC space at WisCon. The person whose mind we changed attended the panel and at the end, thanked us for sharing our personal stories and told us we made a difference. 


 THIS is what WisCon is about. Conversations, sharing, learning, understanding, growing. All of that and more.

 I’m still high off this. I may stay high for a while.

So back to the panel, as I commented in someone else’s journal, overall, I think it was a great panel. I enjoyed learning more about my fellow panelists and how brave they are, each in his/her own way. We each talked about how important it is to have a POC space, and we shared our personal stories about why we needed that space. In Luke’s case, he spoke as an ally, and while I don't want it to sound like I'm giving Luke a cookie (and I didn't feel like he was looking for one), I think it was brave of him to admit the he has experienced being uncomfortable, is still experiencing that in certain ways, and is actively working on it (my paraphrasing). I think that sometimes we POC want White enlightenment / transformation to happen immediately, and we forget that we ourselves are a work in progress. Given that the majority of the convention membership is not POC, I think it's great to have someone who is White model good behavior, and not good as in he's such a good ally, look at him, but as in, this kind of thoughtful behavior is good. Saira mentioned how she hosts people in her home for different salons; it’s not that she doesn’t ever host White people, it’s that sometimes, she needs to host people who have a similar experience so that they can all share that. In response to a question asked by someone in the audience, I mentioned that I realized that the more out I was about being a fan, the more it lead me to be out about other parts of my life, even though I hadn’t thought I was ‘hiding’ them. And as for the ones I knew I was hiding, like my accent, I’ve stopped hiding, and now when I hear myself talk, it almost sounds like I’m faking an accent because for so many years I didn’t sound like that (except when I was agitated or drunk and my control slipped). I also mentioned how intersectionality plays a part in the need for a POC space. For example, even at a feminst sf convention, it’s still difficult to explain some issues to a woman who shares my same gender, but not the same cultural background or expectations I have/had.

I’m sure there was lots more said, but I was too highstrung at the time to be clear-headed, and now I’m just high.


I look forward to the POC space next year.

izzybelbooks: (Default)
I am posting my WisCon reports over on LJ because I know that there's lots of folks that haven't migrated over (yet) and I want to have all comments in one place.
izzybelbooks: (Default)
I am back!  I haven't yet unpacked or caught up with the mail, electronic or snail, and am still going through LJ and DW.  I expect I will post something soonish, but it could be a few days.
izzybelbooks: (Default)
My packs are packed, the car is loaded, the hubby is standing over my shoulder to kiss me goodbye, this is it folks!  See you on the other side!
izzybelbooks: (Default)

I have had a less than wonderful spring, what with quitting my job, conducting a job search in a recession, getting sick, not getting a job twice, having an allergic reaction to something in my garden, and still being unemployed, so I plan to enjoy myself thoroughly at the convention, 'cause Lard knows I need it!  Plus, I am sooooo excited to see so many awesome people that I unfortunately don't get to see more often!

I will be arriving in time for dinner on Thursday, which I think will include a margarita (heck, I'm not driving home, so there might even be more than one margarita!).  I am looking forward to the ROOO reception and hearing our GoHs read.  Friday, I will be helping with the Gathering.  I know I retired as co-coordinator, but it's hard letting go.  Especially since if I don't work set-up, I don't get first crack to see all the cool stuff at the Clothing Swap.  I've scored several awesome finds there in years past, and will again be wearing one of the dresses on Sunday night.  Saturday, I plan to eat and shop my way through the Farmer's Market, then I will be on 2 panels:

2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
The Intersection of Religion and Fandom
Panelists from varying religious backgrounds will share their challenges and views about being religious and being a fan.
M: Carrie L. Ferguson. Isabel Schechter, Magenta Griffith, JoSelle Vanderhooft

4:00 PM - 5:15 PM
Why are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
Let's have a round–table discussion of this book by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. First published in 1997, with additional material in 1999 and 2003, it still has a lot to say about racial identification and development of same. How does it speak to the discussions happening in WisCon and online, particularly about safer spaces and how to organize them?
M: LaShawn M. Wanak. Seressia Glass, Isabel Schechter, Luke T. McGuff

Sunday will start with brunch at the Orpheum.  In the evening, I will be wearing one of my Clothing Swap dresses as I feast on nummy desserts and hear the GoH speeches.  Then, it's off to get pictures taken at the WisCon Photo Booth, then the Think Galactic party, where I will be for a good chunk of the evening, promoting our 2011 convention.

Things I would like to do that aren't yet scheduled:  
eat at the Italian restaurant across from ROO
eat at Noodles
eat mac and cheese pizza (Ian's?)
shopping at ROOO
shopping at the used books store 2 doors down from ROOO
have ice cream at the shop that tells you if you want healthy, eat carrots
Lunch and dinner every day with awesome people!

I'm sure my plan and reality will collide at some point, especially once I take a good look at the panel schedule, but that's my plan so far!
See you all there!


izzybelbooks: (Default)
One of my roomates can't make it after all, so we now need a 4th female non-smoker for Friday-Sunday. 
I am going up on Thursday without the rest of my roomates, so I'm also looking for up to 3 roomates for Thursday night.
Comment here or PM me.

ETA: I found a space for Thursday night, but am still looking for a 4th for Friday-Sunday.
izzybelbooks: (Default)
I've been excitedly assuming all you great people will be going to WisCon, but lately I've been seeing posts saying folks aren't going!  Oh noes!  Who's going and when are you getting there?  I'll be driving up some time on Thursday.


izzybelbooks: (Default)

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