I have two general thoughts about discussion methods and modes prompted by the prior three panels (Vigorous Debate, or Verbal Harassment?; The Body Language of Online Interaction; FAIL!) and various discussions I had during the con.

Thought One: What Are Your Generally-Applicable Principles and Priorities? )

Thought Two: Preparation Is a Wonderful and Multi-Faceted Thing )

Feedback? Other general or panel-spanning thoughts?

This panel report is the third of a set; the first panel report was Vigorous Debate, or Verbal Harassment?, and the second was The Body Language of Online Interaction. There is also a fourth post for my general thoughts and for comments spanning more than one panel.

This is a panel I was on, which as usual means that I have notes for what I was planning to say and a couple of scrawled notes from during the panel on things I wanted to return to. This report is therefore a reconstruction—and, sadly, a very incomplete one, because when I first started working on it a week later, I could think of almost nothing specific. Please, please add your own recollections, correct mine, or request clarification.

The not-very-helpful description:

Racefail, Open Source Boob Project… so many ways to fail. How do we keep stepping in it? What is it we're stepping in? How can we avoid stepping in it?
E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman. Molly Aplet, Florian, Rachael Lininger, Kate Nepveu

a few panel recollections )

This panel report is the second of a set; the first panel report was Vigorous Debate, or Verbal Harassment?, and the third is FAIL! There is also a fourth post for my general thoughts and for comments spanning more than one panel.

This is a panel I attended, so the notes that follow were taken on a netbook and should be close paraphrases unless otherwise noted, either by quotation marks which indicates that I believe I am reporting verbatim, or by a qualifying statement. Corrections, additions, and requests for clarification are welcome. For the reasons stated in my first panel writeup, I will refer to panelists by their first names after the initial mention.

Description:

Contrary to received wisdom, it's possible to convey emotional information in text. In addition to the widely scorned emoticons, there's an evolving body language expressed through sentence length, word choice, timing, as well as purely typographic means. Every online community has its own nuances, and it can bewilder those hoping to join. This paraverbal information is used to maintain the boundaries between the cool kids and newcomers. Learn how to identify the body language in use to become a more confident net citizen.
M: Jaymee Goh. Lisa C. Freitag, Debbie Notkin, Heidi Waterhouse

panel notes )

Some further comments, with lots of examples from my own writing )

I was going to post about three panels together, but even though I hate splitting discussions it would have been just unreadably long. But they are all a set and I strongly encourage reading all three panel reports; the other two are The Body Language of Online Interaction and FAIL!. The fourth post of this set is for my general thoughts and for comments spanning more than one panel; you can of course leave comments specific to one panel on the report for that panel.

This is a panel I was on, which means that I have notes for what I was planning to say and a couple of scrawled notes from during the panel on things I wanted to return to. What follows behind the cut is therefore a reconstruction of what I said and some things I remembered other people saying. (Which nevertheless turned out ridiculously long, even after considerable editing. Sheesh.) Please do add your own recollections, correct mine, or request clarification.

Panel description:

One of the strengths of the SF community is that it's almost always open for discussion and debate. Unfortunately, when discussions get intense, the line between "vigorous debate" and "verbal harassment" can go from blurry to invisible. How can we tell when a discussion has crossed that line? What do we do if we're the one who's crossed it? How can we step in to call back a friend who's crossed it? Let's discuss how to recognize verbal harassment and brainstorm strategies for addressing it within a community where everyone is a friend of a friend.
M: Jess Adams. Andy Best, Kate Nepveu, Maevele Straw

(I was convinced that this had been changed to leave out the "Verbal" in the panel title as well, but the online schedule doesn't reflect that.)

First, I'm going to excerpt from the updated version of a post I wrote last year, How to Discuss Race and Racism Without Acting Like a Complete Jerk. That post was in two parts, steps to take and things to consider; the steps to take are quoted below because I referenced them during the panel.

how not to be a complete jerk )

panel report )

I was pretty happy with this panel, not that I thought we'd solved the problems of the world or anything, because obviously we hadn't, but it seemed that people were listening and interested and that we were able to get a good amount of discussion across in a fruitful way. However, I am aware that I talked a lot, and though at the time it seemed not excessive, I would genuinely welcome feedback and constructive criticism as to my conduct. Seriously: no-one wants me to be that person, least of all me.

Note: after I had finished this and moved on to the other three panels in this set, I saw [personal profile] bcholmes's writeup, which contains a number of things I had forgotten; please do take a look.

You know what? I'm tired. Let's do something easy and fun.

Back for a third go-round, by popular demand! Writers of color working in F/SF face unique challenges, it's true. But, at the end of the day, being a "person of color" is only one aspect of what makes up our identities as writers. While it's very flattering to asked to be on panels, most of these panels never crack the ceiling of Race 101. With that in mind, wouldn't it be nice for multiple writers of color to sit on a panel that isn't about race at all? Here's our chance to do just that. So, what are we gonna talk about, instead? Practically anything! Presented in game show format, SIBLING OF REVENGE OF NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL brings together writers of color to get their geek on about any number of pop culture topics—none of them race related.
M: K. Tempest Bradford. Amal El-Mohtar, LaShawn M. Wanak, Isabel Schechter, Candra K. Gill

So the audience member rolls a 20-sided die and that determines which of a pre-determined number of topics they ask a question about. (This rule is subject to change if it would be more fun.) Someone brought a beach-ball-sized d20, which wouldn't stay inflated, so a heroic non-panel-member stuffed it with newspaper until it was sufficiently full and before then everyone used regular-sized die. The categories were:

  • superhero costumes/powers
  • ways to punish enemies
  • anime, manga, cartoons, comics
  • urban fantasy
  • desserts
  • Doctor Who
  • technology
  • franchise reboots
  • If you had a ____ name, what would it be?

(Each had two numbers assigned. If you rolled a 1, you could choose any from there; if you rolled a 20, you could ask anything at long as it wasn't about race.)

As before, I took notes on a netbook, and was typing furiously to keep up. I believe this is fairly complete and is a close paraphrase unless otherwise noted, either by quotation marks which indicates that I believe I am reporting verbatim, or by a qualifying statement. Corrections, additions, and requests for clarification are welcome.

notes )

Mary Doria Russell has apologized.

And if anyone else is having trouble commenting without an DW/LJ/OpenID login, you can always e-mail me at knepveu@steelypips.org (you can look for e-mail addresses by clicking on the little gray head/body icon next to people's usernames, which brings you to the user's profile page, though not everyone lists one).

This panel took place late Saturday afternoon, after my "Vigorous Debate or Harassment?" panel, but I am posting it out of order because I will be referring to it in the set of panel reports that "Vigorous Debate" belongs to.

Description:

How do we get beyond "Her skin was the color of a delicious Coca-Cola?" What metaphors, similes, techniques, and descriptors are less problematic when describing nonwhite characters' physical bodies? (Starter link: http://www.kith.org/journals/jed/2009/06/12/12163.html)

M: Mary Doria Russell. K. Tempest Bradford, Moondancer Drake, Amal El-Mohtar, Sumana Harihareswara

Everyone on the panel but Mary Doria Russell was a person of color. I would estimate that K. Tempest Bradford, Amal El-Mohtar, and Sumana Harihareswara are all of roughly the same twenties-early-thirties generation; Moondancer Drake is maybe a half-generation older; and Mary Doria Russell is about sixty (per Wikipedia).

This report will be in three parts: an accuracy/nomenclature preface; notes on what was said at the panel; and follow-up thoughts.

First, the accuracy/nomenclature preface: )

Second, the panel notes: )

Third, follow-up thoughts: )

Also, the rest of the panel was interesting and useful as well, and I hope it doesn't get overshadowed.

ETA 6/2/11: Mary Doria Russell has commented via a friend and apologized.

If we talked at any point for any length of time, please do feel free to introduce yourself and to link to any LJ/DW/blog/etc. you have. Comments are all screened. I have a sucky memory for many things, just one example of which is my post from last night, and I was existing in a haze of sleep deprivation and ticking-mental-to-do-list for much of the con.

My reading time is finite, so I cannot promise to subscribe to you, but whether I subscribe or track or bookmark to stop in every so often, it would make me really happy if you stopped by and said hi.

I had a great time. Enormously busy and shorter on panels that I would have liked, but productive and fun and thought-provoking.

Thursday was, as previously documented here, completely lost to travel.

Friday )

Saturday )

Sunday )

Then today I came home.

Overall I was very impressed with the con's logistics. I think every con should immediately adopt putting the panel description on the back of the name tents, along with a "your next panel is:" line, because OMG SO USEFUL. Also using stapled manilla folders to make name-tent-holders is brilliant.

Great signs; visible and apparently-extensive accessibility efforts (not perfect; for instance, in my Sunday morning panel, the room hadn't been reset from the prior night, so people had to move chairs and tape on the fly, but it was a concern present at all times); terrific hotel (those party rooms!) and very friendly hotel staff.

Morning ETA: POC Safer Space rocked and I was entirely remiss not to mention it last night, thank you for organizing Tempest.

Minor suggestions: I could not easily find the registration hours or dealer's room hours on the website. In an enormous effort, Tempest made Twitter hashtags for every panel, which were available in that room, but a central list of them would have been awesome. (I don't like that stuff on Twitter vanishes after a while, but if people are going to report by Twitter or not at all, then Twitter it is.) Certain aspects of panels would be improved if everyone had a microphone, rather than sharing two among themselves.

A couple of not-good things happened at panels that I was at, but did not snowball into enormous FAIL as they could have (yes, I will explain more in the panel reports). I gather that at least one panel was worse than that, but am waiting for details (and will link).

Panel reports I will be posting:

In this order:

And then in some order:

I am totally excited to continue these discussions. But not when I promised myself to be in bed 45 minutes ago.

Stuff I will certainly be at above the cuts and marked with **, stuff I might be at behind them (generally).

Wow this is a lot.

Thursday

Arrive mid-day late afternoon. Collect T-shirts from hotel. Collapse in little heap.

(I seem to have been under the mistaken impression that stuff started Thursday when booking my flights. That's okay, this gives me plenty of time for travel snafus, decompressing (oh so necessary), etc.)

Possibly attend 6:00 reception/reading at Room of One's Own Bookstore.

Friday

** 1:00 PM - 3:45 PM: Capitol/Wisconsin: The Gathering

At which I help with Con or Bust's silly SFF Characters of Color Faceoff (go tick some boxes to select the characters who'll be in the bracket), while sneaking peeks at the Clothing Swap and Tiptree Auction Preview.

then some panel choices )

** 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM: POC Dinner

Night

So many parties! Arrgh!

I will definitely be at the Carl Brandon Society Party (room 629), where we will be selling the aforementioned T-shirts. And at the Live Journal/Social Media Party (room 607)—stickers! Saying hi to other people! And I want to hear about FOGcon (room 611). . . . I guess I'll be skipping the vid party (room 623).

Saturday

some panel choices at 10am )

** 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM: Conference 4: Vigorous Debate, or Verbal Harassment?

One of the strengths of the SF community is that it's almost always open for discussion and debate. Unfortunately, when discussions get intense, the line between "vigorous debate" and "verbal harassment" can go from blurry to invisible. How can we tell when a discussion has crossed that line? What do we do if we're the one who's crossed it? How can we step in to call back a friend who's crossed it? Let's discuss how to recognize verbal harassment and brainstorm strategies for addressing it within a community where everyone is a friend of a friend.
M: Jess Adams. Andy Best, Michelle Kendall, Kate Nepveu, Maevele Straw

** 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM: Capitol B: Fanfic 401

This is the serious stuff—it is most certainly NOT a 101 panel! Let's discuss bisexual invisibility, the erasure and/or marginalization of female characters, authorial intent, trigger warnings, underage audiences, and source problems. When does fanfic get it right? When does it get it wrong? This will be a cross-fandom discussion.
M: Florian. Johanna Eeva, Beth Friedman, Kate Nepveu, Nonie B. Rider

one panel I'd really like to go to )

Night

Then I figure I should at least stick my head in at the Tiptree Auction. And I want to go to the Think Galacticon party (room 634); I hope I can fit a book or two in my suitcase to donate to the swap.

Sunday

yet more interesting-sounding panels at 10 o'clock? )

** 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM: Con or Bust in the POC Safer Space

I'll grab some lunch and hang out in the POC Safer Space during the break; any persons of color/non-white people who have questions or feedback about Con or Bust can stop by then. (Everyone is welcome to ask me about it at any time, too.)

two post-lunch panel options )

** 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM: Wisconsin: SIBLING OF REVENGE OF NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL

Back for a third go-round, by popular demand! Writers of color working in F/SF face unique challenges, it's true. But, at the end of the day, being a "person of color" is only one aspect of what makes up our identities as writers. While it's very flattering to asked to be on panels, most of these panels never crack the ceiling of Race 101. With that in mind, wouldn't it be nice for multiple writers of color to sit on a panel that isn't about race at all? Here's our chance to do just that. So, what are we gonna talk about, instead? Practically anything! Presented in game show format, SIBLING OF REVENGE OF NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL brings together writers of color to get their geek on about any number of pop culture topics—none of them race related.
M: K. Tempest Bradford. Amal El-Mohtar, Michelle Kendall, Victor Raymond, LaShawn M. Wanak

As I am reliably informed that it is not to be missed.

** 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM: Capitol A: FAIL!

Racefail, Open Source Boob Project… so many ways to fail. How do we keep stepping in it? What is it we're stepping in? How can we avoid stepping in it?
M: E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman. Molly Aplet, Florian, Rachael Lininger, Kate Nepveu

** 5:15 PM - 6:00 PM: Post-FAIL! panel breakout session in POC Safer Space

A breakout session for POC to follow up on the FAIL! panel immediately prior.

Night

GoH speech, 8:30; maybe parties, maybe collapse, maybe stop in the dance party. I leave Monday morning, so we'll see how much I've left in the tank.

And some of these panels are probably going to put aside in favor of "sell T-shirts at the Aqueduct Press table." (What are the dealer's room hours?)

Wow this is a lot.

I will be on the following panels at WisCon this year (full schedule):

Vigorous Debate, or Verbal Harassment?: Sat, 1:00–2:15 pm, Conference 4

One of the strengths of the SF community is that it's almost always open for discussion and debate. Unfortunately, when discussions get intense, the line between "vigorous debate" and "verbal harassment" goes from blurry to invisible. How can we tell when a discussion has crossed that line? What do we do if we're the one who's crossed it? How can we step in to call back a friend who's crossed it? Let's discuss how to recognize verbal harassment and brainstorm strategies for addressing it within a community where everyone is a friend of a friend.

Jess Adams (m), Andy Best, Michelle Kendall, Kate Nepveu, Maevele Straw

(My first comment will be to correct "the line . . . goes" to "the line can go.")

Fanfic 401: Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm, Capitol B

This is the serious stuff—it is most certainly NOT a 101 panel! Let's discuss bisexual invisibility, the erasure and/or marginalization of female characters, authorial intent, trigger warnings, underage audiences, and source problems. When does fanfic get it right? When does it get it wrong? This will be a cross-fandom discussion.

Anon (m), Beth Friedman, Kate Nepveu, Johanna Eeva, Nonie B. Rider

(I am already making so many mental lists for this, to combat my tendency to forget titles and names, you have no idea. Soon I will progress to writing them down!)

FAIL!: Sun, 4:00–5:15 pm, Capitol A

Racefail, Open Source Boob Project… so many ways to fail. How do we keep stepping in it? What is it we're stepping in? How can we avoid stepping in it?

E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman (m), Anon, Molly Aplet, Rachael Lininger, Kate Nepveu

(I think this is a repeat? I seem to recall reading a very similar description previously. Not that it's a topic that shows any signs of becoming irrelevant any time soon.)

I'm really looking forward to these.

May 2017

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