We’re doing things a little differently this year, and the Souvenir Progam Book is currently looking for artwork for its cover. (This year, the Souvenir and Program Books will be combined!)
The Souvenir Book is WisCon’s gift to the community, featuring profiles of our Guests of Honor, pieces highlighting the work of WisCon’s child-organizations, and essays from community contributors. This year, we’re doing things a little differently: we’re specifically looking for 500-1,000 word entries revolving around this year’s theme, “What Does Justice Demand?” We are also changing up the format a bit; this year, the souvenir book and program book will be combined, so you’ll have one less booklet to keep track of. This will not affect the length or number of entries we will be considering.
For souvenir book submissions, we invite essays that explore the meanings, histories, and cultures of “social justice.” How is social justice lived/embodied without becoming a buzzword? And how does this shape feminisms’ relationship to speculative genres (scifi, fantasy, horror, and beyond) both past and present? This theme is an opportunity both for work that deals specifically with social and political questions of justice as they relate to feminist science fiction and for work on the histories and cultures of social-justice-oriented fan communities.
While we encourage everyone to consider this year’s theme, we are also open to considering essays that deal with broader Wiscon-related themes. Previous essay topics have included: an exploration of Working Class Studies, a retrospective of 40 years of WisCon, and an ethnographic intro to WisCon. The only topic requirement for the Souvenir Book’s essays is that they be relevant to the WisCon community.
We encourage everyone to submit their work, whether this is your first WisCon or your nearly-42nd!
Submit your essay to the Souvenir Book by March 15!
- Essays should be 500-1000 words
- Authors will be paid $20 USD at time of publication
- All essays or questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (Please use the subject line “WC41 Souvenir Book Submission: [Your Name]”)
- Submit essays as .doc or .rtf attachments
Because WisCon has always challenged us to take our own activism and geekdom to new levels via the evolving philosophies of Feminism, the Programming Department decided to try something new for WisCon 42. For this upcoming WisCon, the Programming Department came up with a theme to be tied into our activist discussions and activities.
Theme: What Does Justice Demand?
Although the words “social justice” are bandied about within the WisCon community, geek/nerd spaces, as well as the mainstream, and many talk about and endeavour to work within this framework, what does it actually mean. How is social justice lived/embodied without becoming a buzzword? And how does this shape feminism and genre work (scifi, fantasy, horror, and others) both past and present?
We’re excited to have other departments adding their own unique flavors to this year’s theme.
I’m Curious. How Exactly Will The Other Departments Be Participating In The Theme?
Glad you asked! Some of the departments provided us with some information as to how they plan to participate.
From the Art Show Department:
We often have artists in the Art Show who deal with issues of social justice directly or indirectly in their work, but this year we’ll be specifically inviting applicants to make art for the show addressing the question of what justice demands (although it won’t be required). Applications for the WisCon 42 show will open in January 2018, and we welcome new artists to apply (see http://wiscon.net/events/art-show/ for details).
From the Gaming Department:
The gaming track will also work to engage the theme What Does Justice Demand. If you have ideas for board games, tabletop roleplaying games, larps, or even video games that explore ideas of justice that you’d like to run, please keep an eye out for the call for games in early January. If you’d like to propose a game but are out of ideas, or want help finding ways to address the theme, please reach out to email@example.com and we’d love to work with you to find something you’d be excited about running.
Please note that participation in this theme is not mandatory. We would simply like to invite you to reflect on this theme. If you so choose, we welcome your panel suggestions that you believe would tie into it.
This Sounds Really Cool! Can I Start Submitting Panel Ideas Now?
That you can! Program ideas submissions are open! The Wiscon 42 programing department looks forward to receiving all of the awesome ideas YOU have to offer!
We invite you to submit programming ideas for WisCon 42 through January 19, 2018. To submit an idea, please click on “Submit your ideas for programming!” link on right-hand side of main page or go straight to the program idea submission form. We can’t wait to see your suggestions!
Please note starting this year, there will be a hard stop for accepting program idea submissions. Unfortunately, the WisCon 42 program committee will no longer accept any program ideas after the January 19, 2018. Make sure to submit your ideas before the deadline!
What If I Want To Submit An Academic Paper?
The call for Wiscon Academic Papers is open until February 1, 2018. Submit your proposal using the online form. You will be asked for a 100-word abstract, which will be printed in the convention’s program, and for a more detailed proposal of up to 500 words. If you are proposing something other than a traditional paper, please make sure you describe the format of your proposed program item. A projector and screen will be available; if you have further technological needs, please let us know in your proposal.
If you have any questions, contact the Academic Programming chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***SUBMISSION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 2/14***
One of the things that sets WisCon apart, besides being the first feminist science fiction convention, is that we place many types of fannish interactions side-by-side in our programming. We have panels dedicated to exploring a single book or film as well as panels that look at, say, race across all of science fiction. We have author readings, discussions of fanfic or fanvids, and conversations about games and gaming.
We also have an entire track dedicated to scholarly investigations of feminism and science fiction — open to scholars of all descriptions.
The proposal period for WisCon’s academic track programming is now open!
WisCon’s track of academic programming, framed by the convention’s intersectional feminist principles, encourages submissions from scholars in all fields, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary areas, and from amateur and independent scholars as well as graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. One of the benefits of this track is that it strengthens the links between the wider feminist science fiction community, students and other scholars working on feminist science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy and related fields.
Given WisCon 42’s theme: “What Does Justice Demand?” We invite papers and panels that explore the meanings, histories, and cultures of “social justice.” How is social justice lived/embodied without becoming a buzzword? And how does this shape feminisms’ relationship to speculative genres (scifi, fantasy, horror, and beyond) both past and present? This theme is an opportunity both for work that deals specifically with social and political questions of justice as they relate to feminist science fiction and for work on the histories and cultures of social-justice-oriented fan communities.
Further, we invite proposals from anyone with a scholarly interest in the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability with science fiction — broadly defined — in literature, media, and culture. We encourage contributions that emphasize WisCon’s focus on how science fiction has played an important role in the exploration and creation of socially just futures: futures where people of all colors and backgrounds flourish, where women’s rights and women’s contributions are valued, where gender is not limited to one of two options, where no one is erased out of convenience, hidden discrimination, or outright bigotry. We especially welcome scholarship on the work of 2018’s Guests of Honor Tananarive Due and Saladin Ahmed.
An incomplete list of possible subjects:
- What Does Justice Demand? How is social justice lived/embodied? How does social justice shape feminism and genre work (scifi, fantasy, horror, and others) both past and present?
- Gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability in individual works of science fiction and fantasy, especially in the works of our Guests of Honor, Tananarive Due and Saladin Ahmed
- Feminist, queer, critical race, and critical disability analysis of science fiction and fantasy in media (film, television, music, video games, online culture)
- Speculative aspects of feminist and social justice movements
- Race, colonialism, and speculative fiction; Afrofuturism and related cultural movements
- Feminist pedagogy and speculative fiction in the classroom
An incomplete list of possible formats:
- 15-minute paper presentations, with or without visual accompaniment
- Groups of presentations submitted together as panels
- Presentation of scholarly creative works, including digital scholarship
- Discussion-based panels and roundtables on scholarly research, teaching, or service
- Screenings and discussions of short films or videos
The deadline for submitting an abstract for WisCon 42 is midnight Central Time on February 14, 2018.
Please submit your proposal using this form (wiscon.net site profile is required). You will be asked for a 100-word abstract, which will be printed in the convention’s program, and for a more detailed proposal of up to 500 words. If you are proposing something other than a traditional paper, please make sure you describe the format of your proposed program item. A projector and screen will be available; if you have further technological needs, please let us know in your proposal.
If you have questions, please email: email@example.com.
W. L. Bolm
The Souvenir Book is WisCon’s gift to the community, featuring profiles of our Guests of Honor, pieces highlighting the work of WisCon’s child-organizations, and essays from community contributors. We now call on our community members to submit their essays of 500 – 1000 words for the WisCon40 Souvenir Book! Previous essay topics have included: an exploration of Working Class Studies; an ethnographic intro to WisCon; and a look at making connections between trans feminism, sisterhood, and Orphan Black through vidding. The only topic requirement for the Souvenir Book’s essays is that they be relevant to the WisCon community. We encourage everyone to submit their work, whether this is your first WisCon or your 40th!
- Essays should be 500-1000 words
- Topics both current and historic that are relevant to the WisCon community
- Authors will be paid $20.00 USD at time of publication
- All essays or questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (Please use the subject line “WC40 Souvenir Book Submission: [Your Name]”)
- Please submit essays as .doc or .rtf attachments.
March 15th, 2016 March 27!
Beth, Sarah, Mathew
WisCon Gaming is looking for games and game-players for WisCon 39! We will be offering board games and storytelling games/RPGs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from 8 p.m. to midnight, as well as a fun activity at The Gathering. If you’re interested in playing board games or tabletop RPGs with other people, read on.
We need games! Please email us at email@example.com if you have a game or are interested in seeing a particular game this year. Let us know:
“I have a game I’m bringing with me! I’ll keep it with me, but I’d like to run it at least once in the public gaming arena.”
Great! Please make sure to let us know what game you’re bringing and check out the information in the section on GMs and Gaming Volunteers to see what other information we need.
“I have a game I’m bringing with me! I’ll leave it with you and people are free to check it out and play it over the course of the convention.”
Please don’t leave the game with us if this is a limited edition game, not easily replaceable, or you are concerned about keeping it in a particular condition. We will do our best to take care of your property, but accidents do happen.
“I have a game I’d like to donate! [The game] is about [dimensions] in the box, is in [descriptor] condition and I’d like to donate it to WisCon gaming for this and future conventions to enjoy.”
Please note that we appreciate your generosity, but may not be able to accept all donations; we would like to know ahead of time what you want to donate so we can make sure we can take it.
“I have a game I’d like to see at the table! Here’s some more information about the game: [brief description, how to find it, etc.]. I’d like to [play/run] it if a copy can be found.”
Even if you don’t have a copy of a particular game you’d like to introduce people to, tell us! We can put out a call to see if anyone has it and wants to bring it.
GMs and Gaming Volunteers
We need people who want to run games! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to run an RPG or help out in the board gaming space.
If you would like to run a tabletop RPG or LARP, let us know what it is, how long it takes, how many players you need, and what you might need to make it happen. In the past, successful RPGs fit well within popular WisCon themes (e.g., feminism, identity politics, and social and cultural theory) and have rules that are familiar or easy to pick up by new players.
If you would like to volunteer in the board game arena, let us know if there’s a game you’d like to play/help teach and when you have time to assist (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday evening). In the past, popular board games are those that that take two hours or less and have simpler mechanics or rules.
We will open up advanced signup closer to convention time. Watch this space for more information, or email us at email@example.com and we’ll send you a note when we open things up. If you want to play, but don’t really care what game, we’ll have pick-up board games and walk-ins will be welcome throughout the convention as space is available in both areas.
We look forward to playing with you!
The deadline to nominate guests of honor for WisCon 39 is tomorrow, March 22nd. If you’d like to nominate someone, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use “WisCon 39 GOH Nominations” as your subject line. Write a brief statement about how the person’s work and/or activism complement WisCon’s Statement of Principles. We especially welcome nominations for people of color.
Want to nominate a Guest of Honor for #WisCon 39? Email email@example.com the name of the person you want to nominate, as well as a statement about their work and/or activism complementing our Statement of Principles by March 22nd. We really do look at those statements! Please use “WisCon 39 GoH nominations” and the name of the person you’re nominating in the subject line of your email, 😉
Here’s a message from our parties coordinator:
Hey folks! There are only two weeks left before we close the request page for parties. We still have space for more parties, so if you’ve been thinking about proposing a fun party idea now’s the time! Head on over to the party page: http://wiscon.net/programming/parties/
If you have thoughts about things that went well at WisCon 37 or things that went not-so-well, we’d love to hear from you. We have a general survey as well as a survey about programming.
Lastly, if you have programming ideas for WisCon 38/SFRA, you can submit them now.
ETA: If you’re coming here in May 2014, this is an outdated post! The post with links to surveys after WisCon 38 are here.
Did you attend WisCon 36? Please take a few moments to fill out the WisCon 36 survey and let us know what you liked and what we could change to make WisCon a better experience:
The WisCon concom is about to begin the process of nominating and voting on guests of honor for WisCon 36 in 2012. As always, we will accept nominations from anyone in the WisCon community. The deadline for nominations is March 21, 2011; send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations MUST be accompanied by a SHORT statement describing the nominee’s qualifications and how the nominee’s work or activism complements WisCon’s statement of principles (see the statement below.)
As in previous years, only WisCon concom members will be involved in the voting process. WisCon concom members are those who are currently working to plan WisCon 35.
The concom will hold a first-round election in order to reduce the number of nominations to a list of 6 nominees. These nominees will then be discussed by the concom. If there are nominees with whom no concom members are familiar, we will endeavor to find and talk with people in the community who are familiar with the nominees. In the unlikely event that the concom decides that a nominee’s work does not complement WisCon’s statement of principles, their name will be dropped from the top-6-list.
The concom will vote on the top 6 nominees. Winners will be contacted and invited to WisCon 36. Their names will be announced at WisCon 35.
If you have concerns, comments or suggestions about this process, we would like to hear from you!
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
This statement of Wiscon’s mission and principles reflects our goals and ideals, and is intended to help guide our actions, even while recognizing that we will inevitably make mistakes and not always live up to those ideals. It is worth noting that this version of the statement was written towards the end of 2010, a year in which the WisCon committee has faced many challenges to both our principles and our process.
WisCon has been a feminist science fiction convention since its founding in 1977. The focus of the convention has been the intersection between feminism and science fiction. This focus distinguishes WisCon from many other science fiction conventions, and has been a major reason why WisCon has grown, developed, and flourished for so long, while some other conventions have had trouble staying vibrant.
Our focus includes science fiction, fantasy, and speculative literature of all sorts. Science fiction itself has been critiqued as a colonialist and imperialist genre, and in many ways this is true. But many of those influenced by it are dedicated to changing the genre to more accurately reflect the field’s vital role in our society: envisioning positive futures for all people. WisCon’s focus on science fiction has played an important role in the exploration of feminist futures: futures where people of all colors, and backgrounds flourish, where women’s rights and women’s contributions are valued, where gender is not limited to one of two options, where no one is erased out of convenience, hidden discrimination, or outright bigotry.
Feminism, at its root, is the belief that women and men are equal, and the rejection of sexist beliefs and practices. We, as feminists, have come to realize that all forms of oppression are interrelated. Our practice of feminism is based on a belief in the social, political, and economic equality of all. Feminism is part of a larger constellation of movements seeking social, political and economic equality for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, class, sex, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, ability, status, or belief.
Feminism is vital to WisCon’s identity. Feminism itself has grown and changed over the decades, and WisCon has worked to reflect those changes. Since its inception, WisCon has worked to create a space for feminism and its consideration within the science fiction community.
At base, we recognize that a commitment to feminism means a commitment to social justice of all sorts–we might not be able to focus equally on every issue, but still we cannot pick and choose which people deserve justice and which issues we are more comfortable with. We are called to be true to our principles, even (and especially) when they are unpopular.
WisCon’s commitment to feminism is also reflected in our processes. Meetings, decision-making processes, program development, and guest of honor choice all reflect a commitment to feminist ideals of equality, respect for everyone’s right to be heard, and the obligation to hold each other accountable for what we say. WisCon’s commitment to feminist process means that we reject hierarchies of oppression, recognizing that “the need…to nurture each other is not pathological but redemptive.” (paraphrased from Audre Lorde’s essay, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, ” which can be found in her collection Sister/Outsider.)
For 35 years, WisCon has aimed high. By our long existence and commitment to our goals, we have changed the face of science fiction and we will continue to do so. When we make mistakes, we keep working to improve. WisCon’s commitment to feminist science fiction and feminist process is a commitment to ensuring that our future is not just for not just white, well-off, able-bodied, straight men, but rather includes everyone.