Panel Highlight: Diversity in Media
For me, a very important part of pre-con preparation is an intense highlighter-and-spreadsheet-infused session of planning exactly which (and how many) events I will attend over the course of the weekend. My excitement doesn’t really set in fully until this point. But once I’ve given myself permission to spend an evening poring over panel descriptions and desperately fantasizing about somehow acquiring a Time-Turner, there’s no going back.
So far we’ve covered the science-y panels, the fandom-focused panels, the GeekGirlCon After Dark panels, and the cosplay panels. One type of panel I am particularly excited for, however, is that which works to start discussions about two of my most favorite things: diversity and media.
To start, JC Lau, Kristine Hassell, Meris Mullaley, and Sonja Marcus will address the state of contemporary representation of Asians in our stories. Their panel Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Representation of Asians in Film, TV, Gaming will consider the question of whether or not the presence of Asian characters in and of itself constitutes sufficient representation. They will discuss the progress we’ve seen in terms of the representation of Asians in media and also what steps still need to be taken in order to improve the authenticity of that representation. Finally, they will lead a crowd-sourced brainstorming session to explore potential solutions.
Next we have Fangirling Over 30, which will discuss fangirl protocol for geeks who are no longer teenagers or twenty-somethings. Sergeant T, Pleiades McRae, Mickey Schulz, and Berlynn Wohl argue that we will never simply grow out of our fangirl tendencies and that we shouldn’t have to. But what does fangirling look like at thirty years old? At fifty? Attendees of all ages can find answers to these questions and more at this panel.
The last panel I want to draw your attention to is brought to us by Tristan J. Tarwater, Olivia Hernández, Jorge Albor, and Sylvia Monreal. Their panel ¿Cómo Se Dice ‘Nerd’?, will explore what exactly it means to be a Latinx nerd. These four Lantinx creators will consider which geeky stories and spaces feel inclusive to the Latinx community and which feel exclusive. They will also ask how geeky interests can function as tools to combat colorism, colonialism, and culture clashes. During the panel, attendees are encouraged to submit questions by Tweeting @comosedicenerd using the hashtag #GGC16.
If you’re not totally stoked for GeekGirlCon ‘16 at this point, I suggest you go check out the dozens of other panels, events, and activities we have in store for you. I also suggest you download this year’s schedule with Guidebook. Once you’ve sifted through this year’s programming and made your selections, you can use the app’s “My Schedule” feature to organize your personal plan to tackle the con.
Happy planning! (And highlighting!) (And spreadsheeting!)