In addition to the panels mentioned last month, there are several other class-related panels you may be interested in if you’re attending WisCon 36 this year in Madison, Wisconsin:
The Feeding and Proper Care of Your Underclass: How a Society Maintains Poverty
We all say that we want to abolish poverty. But we all know that our society works very hard to maintain its poverty class. Let’s talk about some of the practices that are inherent to Western society that keep the poverty class poor and hopeless. And since this is WisCon, let’s talk about the books/stories that examine this issue.
M: Beth Plutchak. L J Geoffrion, Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowrey, Karon Crow Rilling
Class Culture and Values in SF&F
Class isn’t just how much money you have or what work you do; it also involves cultural beliefs, values, and attitudes that are expressed in how you talk, what you do in your free time, and all sorts of less tangible elements. (See Barbara Jensen’s book Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America, due out in mid-May.) The SF&F writing and fannish communities are mainly middle-class folks, which makes the class values of SF&F works mostly middle class, too. What works and creators explore classes outside the mainstream, white, European, middle-class value systems? What class markers tend to show up most, or least, often? Do these works show the non-middle classes positively? negatively? realistically?
M: Debbie Notkin. Eleanor A. Arnason, Alyc Helms, Danielle Henderson, Rose Lemberg
How to Make WisCon Affordable
WisCon is an empowering event, and more people should get to participate. But journeying to Madison, finding a place to stay, and affording membership are all difficult, much less being able to buy a dessert ticket. How have we been able to make it affordable for ourselves? In what ways could WisCon become more accessible for poor people?
M: Benjamin Billman. L J Geoffrion, Jesse the K, Rachel Kronick, Laurenn McCubbin
Gender and Class in Gaming
This panel uses Dragon Age II, Mass Effect and classic tabletop games as a starting point to discuss class and gender issues that have been raised by players. We’ll discuss the ways in which class and gender are used in past and current games. How are gender and class issues used in the plot of the game? Does this detract or add to the gaming experience? Is it possible to be a feminist gamer?
M: Tanya D.. Lisa C. Freitag, Alyc Helms, Jessamyn, Heather Porter
Do let us know if any online commentary — live-blogging, panel write-ups — about these panels. See you at WisCon!