WisCon is pleased to announce that Andrea Hairston and Debbie Notkin will be the guests of honor for WisCon36.
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 email@example.com.
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.
eCube #8 is now online, with news about programming signup, readings signups, the Carl Brandon Awards, WisCon36 guest of honor nominations, the SignOut, the first timers’ dinner, news about past Tiptree winners attending Wiscon, and the Tiptree Book Club.
And yes, it’s that time you’ve been waiting for…WisCon 35 programming participant sign-up is open through March 18! Come peruse the possibilities: read all about it on the programming page.
Readings signup is now open through March 10! Full instructions are available on the readings page.
Please use this blog to make suggestions and to discuss the ConCom’s statement concerning Elizabeth Moon in eCube #3.
Now online – the final edition of A Momentary Taste of WisCon, WisCon’s daily newsletter, with news about the Tiptree Auction, a note from Jeanne Gomoll, and the last installment of the GOH Q & A with Nnedi and Mary Anne.
Now online – the Sunday edition of A Momentary Taste of WisCon, WisCon’s daily newsletter, with more GOH Q & As with Nnedi and Mary Anne, programming updates, lost and found and photo booth updates, and other news from WisCon34.
Welcoming people of color to WisCon is a central value of the entire WisCon convention committee, and has been so for over a decade.
We are aware that our efforts in this area have been incomplete and sometimes unsuccessful and we are committed to doing better.
To that end, we continue to welcome suggestions for how to improve. The more constructive and specific those suggestions are, the more likely it is that the all-volunteer WisCon committee will be able to implement them. WisCon’s history shows that change happens best when spearheaded by a champion or a group of champions who bring additional energy along with their ideas. However, we care enough about this issue that many current committee members are ready to commit additional time and energy to improving our track record.
To that end, we are proud that WisCon 33 will host the first Cultural Appropriation 101 class that we’re aware of in the science fiction world, as suggested and created by the Carl Brandon Society. The class will take place on Friday afternoon and (again at the request of the Carl Brandon Society) will be clearly delineated as “highly recommended” for anyone who wishes to attend any programming on these topics. In addition, moderators of panels related to this topic will be provided with class materials well before the convention.
We are currently about 2 months away from the convention. We’re looking for additional ideas that we can implement in that time frame, as well as ideas for WisCons to come. Because WisCon is a physical space with many tendrils extending into the virtual world, one of the things we can best provide is space for face-to-face networking and problem-solving. To that end, we’re planning to set aside a room during the convention for discussion of moving-forward strategies and potential improvements. We will work closely with people of color to ensure that this does not become a space in which the offenses recycle.
We’ve extended our guest of honor nomination process for an additional 3 weeks specifically to encourage nominations of potential GoHs of color. To nominate a GoH for next year, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, March 22 describing why you think they would be a good guests of honor.
One WisCon member, Kate Nepveu, is organizing scholarships to bring people of color to WisCon: more info on this at her LJ community, Fight Derailing .
These issues are not just important for people of color; they are important for all of us. The more we can do to improve in this area, the better WisCon will be. We ask for your help and guidance in achieving this goal: contact email@example.com with your ideas.
Registration for WisCon33 is now open. You can register online via our registration form, or download the print registration form and return it with your payment to the registration desk or by mail to the address on the form.
Full registration details can be found on the WisCon registration page.