I’m not going to write up each panel. Here is the excerpted Good Bits version of my panel notes.
On Cultural Appropriation –
“the process by which ‘The West’ separates forms from performers, converts those forms into influences, brings those influences into the center, leaves the living sources on the margin, and pats itself on the back for being so cosmopolitan.”
– Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, “Making Difference,” Writings on Dance, vol 13,
Middle Grade Fiction:
kids vs. adults
us vs. them
external conflict more than internal
examining the precipice of upcoming adolescence
more, different rape narratives — ENOUGH ALREADY with “stranger rape, violent, she cries a lot, gets over it in 4-6 weeks OR when she meets the magical healing penis.”
NO MORE magical healing penis
show process of assimilating and moving through the trauma. Show more of the aftermath.
Show different time frames — how does it look from three days after? Six months? Ten years? Twenty? How does a rape survivor deal with the rape of someone they know twenty years after their own experience?
Gay and transgender rapes are incredibly prevalent, hugely under-reported, and their narratives are entirely absent. Where is their voice?
How is Olivia Dunham So Awesome?
Red Olivia is coded in ways that are described as “more masculine.” She swaggers, she OWNS the space she occupies, she owns her sexuality, she asserts. Yet Red Olivia is also far more emotive, she smiles more, she makes eye contact, she has better relationships and maintains them better. In that way, she is coded more feminine than Blue Olivia.
However, Blue is far more damaged. “Broken” is how she describes herself in an episode. Yet she claims the hell out of this word — broken implies a state that can and WILL be fixed. She is not damaged, in her own estimation, because she can be made well.
It’s this brokenness, though, that gives her her righteousness. Red and Blue are both women of honor. But Blue is a general and Red is a soldier. It’s the righteousness that gives her strength.
Blue is coded as a father not only in relationship to Walter, but in relationship to her niece. The absent parent who works long hours but whose time is intensely valued, the one who brings the outside world in, the one who saves and rescues rather than nurtures and maintains.
Blue has great relationships with children generally — due both to her niece, and to her memories, however fragmented, of her own childhood needs and fears. Yet none of this is coded as maternal.
In short, Olivia Dunham is awesome.
Romance and SFF:
Romance demands a happy ending. But diversity in romance forces one to redefine what happy means.
“On the ebook, no-one knows you’re feeding your id.”
Paranormal and SFF Erotica:
“If you get rid of ONE fisting scene, we can pitch this as Young Adult fiction.”