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Thanks to Chad’s mom, who pointed it out to me, I spent today at Ithaca College at the first holding of a conference called “Pippi to Ripley: Heroines of Fantasy and Science Fiction.” The conference program is here, which is presumably a temporary location, so I’ve copied it under the first cut.

This was an academic conference, not a fan convention. The audience seemed to be a mix of college students, academics and associates thereof, and random people like me. There were some workshops for teens, but I’m not clear how well-attended they were. Ithaca College is a bunch of concrete blocks on a hillside, but there was wireless and two of the three lecture halls had outlets. Thus, I have notes (of course).

General Comments

The present-a-paper mode of conference wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, perhaps because the presentations were limited to fifteen minutes, though there were still better and worse examples of this mode. Also, the conference started really early—the first session was at 8:30—and as you will see, there were a couple of papers that didn’t seem to have anything to do with the topic, so I’m not convinced that the program couldn’t have been trimmed down some and started at a more reasonable hour.

Also if this happens again next year and I come, I’m getting directions from Chad’s folks for actual restaurants close by. I’d say I’m too old to eat dining hall food except I didn’t actually like it when I was in school either.

Finally, it was very weird to be listening to and talking about feminism & SFF in this context. I kept wavering between wanting to give some of the presenters my DW address or ask them if they knew about cons, and suspecting that fandom has already been there and done that.

The program, for reference )

Session: Science Fiction Heroines of Film (Trends; Uhura/Spock) )

Session: Teen Sexuality in Television and YA Literature (Sex-positivity in YA urban fantasy; revised Eves; Whedon and Adolescence) )

Session: Variations on the Comics Theme (webcomics, JRPGs) )

Keynote address by Marleen S. Barr )

Session: Science Fiction for Grown-ups: Sex, Violence, and Dystopia (Zamyatin’s We, Lisbeth Salander, Cyberpunk heroines) )

Session: Children’s Literature (Harry Potter; magical Carnival) )

On the whole this was an interesting experience and I look forward to discussion here about it, though it’s not going to displace fannish cons in my heart.

(I forgot to fill out the feedback form, so I may send this link to the organizer for her information, though the different conversation protocols between fora may be an issue. I dunno.)

October 2017

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