Journal Entry

Monday, May 5, 2008

Wiscon Schedule '08

Saturday
Parenting On Other Planets
10:00-11:15 A.M.
Senate A
"Let's talk about the ways SF/F portrays (or doesn't portray) parenting. Are feminist writers bringing parenting into SF/F, or is it invisible everywhere? What are your favorite stories? What utopian visions are you trying out in your own household? Which cliches make you grind your teeth (Bambi's mom, anyone)? "
Joell Smith-Borne(M), Janet Lafler, Benjamin Rosenbaum
Sunday
Reading: Love, Sex and Weirdness
10:00-11:15 A.M.
Michaelangelo's
Christopher Barzak, Haddayr Copley-Woods, M. Rickert, Benjamin Rosenbaum
Let's Build a World
1:00-2:15 P.M.
Capitol A
"We'll start with some categories (tech level, economic system, climate, races, etc.), get ideas about each of them from the audience, select the best ideas in each category, then watch the panelists writhe as they try to figure out how to make them work together. "
Naomi Kritzer, Benjamin Rosenbaum(M), Kristine Smith, doselle young
On The Lifespan Of Genres
4:00-5:15 P.M.
Assembly
"In the October '07 issue of Helix, John Barnes argued that genres have a natural three-generation cycle, which takes them from raw, radical innovation, through a development of techniques to virtuoso polishing; after that, a genre has done its 'cultural work' and it now is dead or 'undead': ""A genre is alive if new works can [still] change the genre fundamentally, and not if the reaction instead is to say, 'Well, that's not really in the genre.'"" Does it make sense to think of SF/F -- or at least some subdefinition of SF/F (the literature of the heroic drama of figuring out how the world works and applying that knowledge?) as nearing the end of its ""natural lifespan""? As having accomplished its cultural work? Or is Barnes's ""alive"" period really a kind of adolescence, and what SF is actually reaching is maturity? What does it really mean to say pottery, knitting, and opera are lifeless, and is the idea of valorizing genres which are still capable of drastic change, and which are at the center of cultural attention, suspect from a feminist perspective? Is SF being subsumed into the mainstream, so that its tropes and techniques will live on vividly beyond its official boundaries? Will it, like tragedy or the gothic, change from a genre into a mode? And if so, which parts of SF will survive beyond its walls -- the outward manifestations, the robots and time machines? Or the habit of rigorously imagining the possible?"
Eleanor Arnason, Helen Keeble, Darja Malcolm-Clarke, Gregory Rihn, Benjamin Rosenbaum (M)
Posted by benrosen at May 5, 2008 11:13 AM | Up to blog
Comments

Bambi is SF?

Posted by: Karen at May 5, 2008 01:09 PM

Of course, Bambi is considered classical Singularity fiction, the first work to introduce the "forestpunk" scenario for posthuman, ah, thingies.

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at May 5, 2008 01:11 PM

Pottery and knitting are genres?

peace
Matt

Posted by: Matt at May 9, 2008 04:24 PM

They are bigger than genres, I guess, in the sense Barnes meant (I think he called novels, poetry, etc. "great genres" and made it clear he was referring to smaller-scale phenomena).

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at May 9, 2008 04:27 PM

I can see the New Mexico-style black pottery as being a genre within pottery, but pottery and knitting both seem to me to be technologies...

peace
Matt

Posted by: Matt at May 9, 2008 09:33 PM

As opposed to, say, the movies?

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at May 9, 2008 09:55 PM

Is there any chance of a podcast/recording of these panels for those of us who couldn't make it to Wisconsin (but desperately wanted to)?

Posted by: Brent at May 22, 2008 07:28 AM
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