This week I am traveling to Milwaukee for the National Women’s Studies Association conference. I will be presenting on the “Fraught With Feeling: Affect, Activism, and Vulnerability in Networked Counterpublics” panel with Alexis Lothian, Avery Dame, Megan Condis, and Carol Stabile (as our respondent). In my paper, “Raising Fannish Consciousness: Accountability, Vulnerability, and Allyship in the Formation of Feminist Science Fiction Fandom,” I examine the early feminist science fiction fanzines Janus and The Witch and the Chameleon and argue that this fandom’s longevity (WisCon, the feminist SF con, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in May) is due to its early cultivation of an ethics of relation. Feminist science fiction fans and authors merged feminist and fannish practices, embracing accountability and vulnerability in the discussion of differences. Unlike the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, which closed this year after decades of turmoil, largely around its anti-transgender policies, feminist SF fandom and WisCon continue to evolve, and they do so because of difficult negotiations, not despite them. Another important component to feminist SF fandom’s adaptability and perseverance is its sense of humor, and I will therefore also be discussing the zines’ hilarious fan art, as hinted at here.
The panel is Friday morning at 8am in Wisconsin Center, 102C (LCD). My co-panelists will be discussing trigger warnings in multiple contexts and queer online gaming culture. Please join us!