WisCon 41 Guest of Honor — Amal El-Mohtar

Amal El-Mohtar
Amal El-Mohtar

Word is when we asked Amal to be one of our Guests of Honor, she read the email three times to make sure it was real.  When she accepted?  We pinched ourselves to make sure we were really awake.

This is definitely the best reality, because it’s finally time — We are so thrilled to welcome you to WisCon 41 as we honor Amal El-Mohtar and celebrate her work!

About Amal

Amal El-Mohtar has received the Locus Award, been a  is(!) a Nebula Award winner for her short fiction, and has won the Rhysling Award for poetry three times. She is the author of The Honey Month, a collection of poetry and prose written to the taste of twenty-eight different kinds of honey, and contributes criticism to NPR Books and the LA Times. Her fiction has most recently appeared in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Uncanny Magazine, and The Starlit Wood anthology from Saga Press. She divides her time and heart between Ottawa and Glasgow. Find her online at amalelmohtar.com, or on Twitter @tithenai.

Amal @ WisCon 41

Room of One’s Own Reception and Readings

  • Thursday, 6–7:30pm
  • Room Of Ones Own

Readings by the Guests of Honor at Room of One’s Own Bookstore.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

  • Friday, 4–5:29pm
  • Conference 2

Amal El-Mohtar has a history of collaborating with likeminded souls, from editing a poetry zine to performing with a troupe of writer/musicians to co-writing fiction and beyond. How is it possible to discover fellow travelers and co conspirators across space and time(zones)? What are the benefits of such long distance collaborations, and how do different kinds of collaborative projects come together?

Music & Miscellania

  • Friday, 9–10:29 pm
  • Michelangelo’s

Come and enjoy a musical extravaganza concocted by bewitching sensations Amal El-Mohtar and C.S.E. Cooney. Their repertoire includes singing, musical instruments of undisclosed types, moderate mayhem and poetry.

Direct Payment and the Creator/Fan Dynamic

  • Saturday, 10–11:29 am
  • Caucus

We’re interested in examining, through a feminist lens, the economics around SFF for writers and creators. With many emerging artists asking for support online through sites like Patreon, writers have more income avenues than ever. How does a direct connection between artist and supporter change the power dynamic? Does this give marginalized creators more direct access to the people they want to reach? Does the ability of working class folks to support the creators they admire change when writers seek funds individually? What do artists end up owing their patrons, supporters, Kickstarter backers, or universities that provide graduate student stipends?

Dance Apocalyptic: Dystopian Fiction and Media In a Dystopian Age

  • Saturday, 1–2:29 pm
  • Capitol A

What is the function of dystopian media in a dystopian world? When fans (and academics) talk about the functions and roles of dystopian stories, it is often assumed that they are worse than the world that the storytellers live in. What about worlds where this isn’t true, or might not be true for very long? Does how we react emotionally to these stories change? Has their function changed? What do we learn from these forms of media?

Guest of Honor Reading

  • Saturday, 2:30–3:59 pm
  • Assembly

Consuming Media

  • Saturday, 4–5:29 pm
  • Conference 2

“Geek” seems to be increasingly defined as a form of material “consumption”. We no longer “watch, read, play” but rather “consume”. How does materialism define geek culture, and how doesn’t it? Is it possible — or desirable — to separate geek culture from materialism?

Borders, Boundaries and Liminal Spaces

  • Sunday, 10–11:29 am
  • Capitol B

Politics has us talking about borders constantly. Not just geopolitical borders but also ones around gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and language. We examine and re-examine how they affect feminist discourse and intersectionality, as Gloria Anzaldua did in her semi-autobiographical book on Mexican and Latinx culture, Borderlands / La Frontera. How do our notions of gender, race, and orientation shift? What kinds of liminal spaces and identities exist for people who regularly cross borders (geographical and otherwise)?

Tastes of Honey with Amal El-Mohtar

  • Sunday, 1–2:29 pm
  • Room 627

In The Honey Month, WisCon Guest of Honor Amal El-Mohtar uses the taste of different varieties of honey as gateways into stories, poetry and more. This honey tasting will allow attendees to enjoy a variety of honeys and get a sense of some of the flavors which inspired The Honey Month.

> Attendance may be limited due to room size: Please check with  the Registration desk to see if there is a sign-up sheet.

Comics Are for Everybody (with Comic Matchmaking)

  • Sunday, 2:30–3:59 pm
  • Wisconsin

The lack of access to local comic shops and fandom culture of exclusion can make it hard for people to feel like there are comics out there “for them”. Comics Are for Everybody is all about proving that there is a comic for every taste.The panel will start by highlighting some lesser known comics and creators for the room, then to do some highly interactive matchmaking. Audience members will name a beloved genre/author/movie/etc. and the group will come up with suggestions for comic books they might not have read, the more under-the-radar the better. Web comics, self-published comics, and manga of course would be welcome (and encouraged).


  • Sunday, 4–5:29 pm
  • Wisconsin

The ninth installment of this popular and amazing panel! Writers of color working in F/SF face unique challenges, it’s true. But, at the end of the day, being a “person of color” is only one aspect of what makes up our identities as writers. While it’s very flattering to be asked to be on panels, most of these panels never crack the ceiling of Race 101. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice for multiple writers and fans of color to sit on a panel that isn’t about race at all? Here’s our chance to do just that. So, what are we gonna talk about, instead? Practically anything! Presented in game show format, SIX SEASON SERIES BASED ON THE THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL brings together writers and fans of color to get their geek on about any number of pop culture topics — none of them race related.

Guest of Honor Speeches (and Tiptree Ceremony)

  • Sunday, 8:30–10pm
  • Capitol/Wisconsin

This Guest of Honor event is the high point of WisCon programming; it’s the formal event at which we honor our guests and listen to what they have to say to us. In the past, we’ve heard rallying calls to political action, humorous anecdotes, scholarly treatises, exposes, autobiographies, earthshaking ideas, and passionate and lyrical speeches. For instance, Pat Murphy initiated the Tiptree Award as part of her 1991 Guest of Honor speech at WisCon 15.

The SignOut

  • Monday, 11:30 am – 1pm
  • Capitol/Wisconsin

Come and get things signed! Come and hang out and wind down before you leave.

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