Monday, September 24, 2007

Call for Submissions: The WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 2

Aqueduct Press is seeking submissions for volume two of the series, which will deal with WisCon 31 (2007). We are interested in papers that were presented as a part of the academic track at WisCon 31 as well as essays engaging with WisCon 31 and its programming. We are especially interested in essays on the following panel topics:

What if You Don’t Want to Have Kids
: Is not wanting kids the last feminist taboo? For more about this, see the discussion on Ambling along the Aqueduct.

The Future of Feminism: How does feminism need to change? Is it time for a reassessment of what feminism means? How can we take more action? Some people attending the panel felt that it was too much about white, middle-class, middle-aged feminists worrying about passing the torch to the younger generation. How would our thinking change if we looked forward to the issues likely to challenge us in the near and middle future, or if we looked laterally to the organizational strategies and tactics of the many feminist movements that are so vibrant and active in the third world today? As readers and writers and critics of feminist sf, surely we can expand our view of what feminism could be in the future!

The Romance of Revolution: Why in sf circles is the romance of revolution always so white, when in real life, postcolonial revolutions are so common? We would be interested to see essays addressing not only the discussion that took place at the panel* but the issues that arose in the aftermath of the panel. Are “utopian aspirations” useful for feminists and other progressive activists? Is the romance of the revolution important for sf? Why, in sf circles, are revolutions frequently so white? We’d be especially receptive to an essay that draws on more diverse images of revolution and relates them to images of revolution in sf.

*This panel was rife with controversy. When a person of color in the audience asked the panelists to include examples of non-American, non-European revolutions, one of the members of the all-white panel ironically remarked that he “liked the Pol Pot revolution” and then suggested that it’s not possible to “retrain” people, so that you have to “start from scratch” if you want to change a society. He later said that he alluded to Pol Pot’s genocide in order to make a point about the dangers of “utopian aspirations.” In addition, some audience members were outraged when another panelist asserted that the Indian Revolution was successful only because the US pulled Britain’s loans after WWII. For more about the controversy, see two posts at Ambling along the Aqueduct

Unfair to Middle-class White Guys: This was a discussion that quickly moved beyond its satiric but misleading title to address issues of increasing racial, cultural, and gender-based diversity in the field. Can editors transcend their own cultural limitations to publish works that appeal to the diverse world of science fiction readers? Are the ones who can’t doomed? Or is it the genre itself that will end as bleached bones kicked to the roadside of literature?

What These People Need is a Honky: Tom Cruise is the Last Samurai. Kevin Costner wins the heart of American Indians with his wolf dancing. Orlando Bloom, in Kingdom of Heaven, goes from medieval England to Jerusalem to teach the Arabs how to sink wells and transport water. Is there anything that can be done about this plague of Orientalist white-guy Mary Sue-ism?

If you would like to write an essay on a panel or panel topic that we haven’t mentioned, please query us. Chances are good that we’ll be interested.

The deadline for the submission of papers and essays is November 1, 2007. Preferred word length: 1000-5000 words. Payment will be nominal.

Email or postal submissions/queries are both acceptable.
Send email to
Send postal mail to PO Box 95787, Seattle WA 98145-2787.


L. Timmel Duchamp
Eileen Gunn
The WisCon Chronicles, Volume 2

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