Readercon 27: My Schedule
readercon

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.
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July 6, 2016

readercon

Hurray, Readercon is tomorrow!  I’m really looking forward to seeing people and getting my nerd on for three and a half glorious days.

My Readercon schedule

Thursday, July 7
8:00 PM    BH    Bees! . Erik Amundsen, Max Gladstone, Natalie Luhrs, Julia Rios (moderator), T.X. Watson. From the serious scientific question of colony collapse disorder, through the also-serious metaphoric House of Evil Bees of Captain Awkward, to Chuck Wendig’s ridiculous #facebees, bees seem to proliferate among the interests of our genre community. Why? Are we in it for the honey or the sting, or is it the combination that attracts us?

9:00 PM    5    The Life and Times of Mary Sue . Gillian Daniels, Gemma Files, Ben Francisco, Barbara Krasnoff (moderator), Natalie Luhrs. New Republic senior editor Jeet Heer wrote, in a short Twitter essay about Mary Sues, “The popularity of the term ‘Mary Sue’ really says everything you need to know about sexism in fandom/nerdom.” Instead of unpacking the concept of Mary Sue, we’d like to zero in on the troubled history of this term, why it’s troubled, and how better to talk about “self-insertion” in fiction without the sexism.

Friday, July 8
4:00 PM    BH    Integrating the Id: What Fanfic can Tell Us About Writing Sex, Sexuality, and Intimacy. Victoria Janssen, Natalie Luhrs, Kate Nepveu (leader), Kenneth Schneyer, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. Sex scenes can be difficult to do well, but when they succeed, they can be highly efficient ways to reveal aspects of character. What are some pitfalls of writing sex scenes, and can fanfic teach us how to do it well? Does a sex scene need to be explicit, and does it even need to have “sex” at all, or is the key the intensity and intimacy that we associate with sex?

Saturday, July 9
11:00 AM    5    Beyond Strong Female Characters. Terri Bruce, Kathleen Howard, Ellen Kushner (leader), Natalie Luhrs, Delia Sherman. In a 2015 post on Tor.com, Liz Bourke puts forth that “volition and equal significance are better ways to think about, and to talk about, women’s narratives and storylines and presences in fiction,” rather than agency or strength. Bourke goes on to discuss the possibility of different types of heroism, and the possibility of a character being able to make choices in one form or another. The essay ends with the questions “Is the female character represented as having a will of her own? Does the narrative respect her volition? Does it represent her as possessing an equal significance with everyone around her, even if people around her don’t see her as equally significant? Does it, in short, represent her as fully human? Fully human, and not a caricature or a type?” Panelists will discuss ways to give women equal significance beyond physical strength.

If you see me around, please come and say hello!

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3 Comments

  1. robin reid

    Wow–I’d love to hear some of these panels. Readercon like WisCon is one I’d like to attend, but I keep having to go to academic conferences!

    Just dropping by to say that I’m teaching 2 sections (we had huge enrollment initiatives this summer, so BOOM, one class turned into two) of a graduate course on major British literary movements or figures this summer (the five week term starts next week), and I’m focusing on Griffith’s Hild. Your review is one of the required readings! I do NOT assign students to go comment on people’s blogs (that way lies….trouble for all), but I thought you might like to know!

    Have fun! *is jelus*

  2. Rainy

    I wish I could listen to some of those panels, wow!

    Also, now ReaderCon will give you bees!

    • Natalie Luhrs

      I’d completely forgotten about that! I will have to remember to bring it up in the panel. ?

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