Panel Highlight: Truth, Justice, and the American Way
This year has been a challenging one for most of us who follow politics. From the Women’s March to the March for Science to the numerous Black Lives Matter Marches, activism and getting involved in political action has been increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives.
How we understand politics is also pervasive throughout pop culture and the media we consume, and this is reflected in several of the panels that will be presented at GeekGirlCon ‘17. Even if you’ve never written political slogans on a square of cardboard, nor marched in the street, there’s a place for you to start learning about how your can take what you’re passionate about and transform it into effective activism.
One major theme that has become apparent since the election is the role of women and the politics of gender. In The Handmaid’s Tale, B*tch Planet and the Politics of Women’s Bodies, Mickey Schuyl, Berlynn Wohl and Pleiades McRae will discuss the relevance of The Handmaid’s Tale and B*tch Planet given the current political climate and ongoing attempts to legislate women’s bodies. The panel will discuss the books as analogs for what is going on in both the US and the world right now.
If that sounds like it’d be (righteously) frustrating, check out The Leslie Knope Guide to Political Activism as a means to turn that frustration into action. Sure, Parks and Recreation is a beloved comedy, but according to moderator Carolyn Noe and panelists Fox Smith and Melissa Roe, it’s also a great model for political activism. Using their favorite characters, they will examine actions you can take, and highlight ways to balance friends, waffles, and work.
Finally, former GeekGirlCon Board President Jennifer K. Stuller will moderate a discussion on What Rebellions are Built On: Popular Culture, Radical Hope, and the Politically Engaged Geek. Stories have always been political, therefore fandom has too, and as America faces the drawing up of Death Star plans (or border walls, refugee bans, and faith-based registries) themes of hope and resistance in nerd enthusiasms such as Star Wars and Harry Potter serve not just as moral guides, but as the basis for effective plans of action. Hear from geeks making activism their superpower by hacking popular culture through memes, cosplay, and performance to challenge stereotypes and raise consciousness around identity politics. Learn how nerd enthusiasms are wielded like the Force, and harnessed for social justice, civic activism, and participatory politics – including in anti-bullying initiatives, advocacy, and for charity, and find out how you can be a geektivist too!
Those are just a few of the panels we’ll have waiting for you at GeekGirlCon this year. So, get your passes (don’t forget instore passes are still at early bird prices), charge up your megaphone, and get ready to take action!