Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Old School Feminists?

Over at Torque Control, Jonathan M., commenting on Niall Harrison's Reasons to Care about RaceFail, writes:

Ultimately, it strikes me that there’s fork in the road ahead. Either the existing fandom infrastructure has to make the right moves quickly and bring more people of colour into mainstream fandom or PoC fandom has to go off and do its own thing. Set up its own cons and its own imprints and its own blogs and find its own identity and voices.

I would be interested in hearing what old school feminist SF fans have to say on this matter as that second path strikes me as a very similar one to the one taken by feminist SF. Does fandom need a PoC Wiscon?

I'd never heard the designation "old school feminist SF fans" before; I suspect it might refer to Jeanne Gomoll, Janice Bogstad, Jane Hawkins, Debbie Notkin, and other WisCon Old-Timers. I find it interesting that Jonathan M. invokes them-- though the precise reasons for his doing so aren't entirely clear to me. What interests me most, though, is what anyone who is giving thought to the issues of RaceFail think of the analogy and the questions it raises.

Any thoughts on this, folks?


Cheryl said...

I suspect that Jonathan is making a fairly common mistake of assuming that US fandom is a single, monolithic entity. These days there are many fannish communities, some of which interact more than others.

Anyway, doesn't Diversicon already exist? It isn't specifically PoC, but it is certainly making an effort.

OTOH, when I can finally get offline I'm going to read Helen Merrick's essay about Russ and fandom from Farah's new book. I'm sure there will be parallels with current developments.

Timmi Duchamp said...

I immediately thought of Diversicon, myself.

I haven't read that particular essay of Helen's yet, but I will say that I drew some pretty sharp parallels while reading the ms of her book-- The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of SF Feminisms-- which Aqueduct will be publishing in December.

Cheryl said...

Lots of parallels, I think. I've done a blog post. And I'll definitely be looking for Helen's book when it comes out.