Friday July 14
1:00 PM BH Body Modification and Post-Humanism: Beyond Body Horror.
John Benson, F. Brett Cox (leader), Jim Kelly, Sarah Lynn Weintraub, T. X. Watson.
Body horror seems to be falling by the wayside as body modification, cyborgs, and post-humans have become increasingly common in fantasy and SF. Are we getting more comfortable with our bodies, or more interested in treating them like machines to be tinkered with? How are advances in surgery, tattoos, contraception, cosmetics, and other present-day forms of body modification influencing this trend? What cultural anxieties are writers reflecting with these metaphors?
2:00 PM 6 Problematizing Taxonomizing: Maybe the Most Readercon Panel Ever.
John Benson, John Clute, Samuel R. Delany, Kathryn Morrow (leader), T. X. Watson.
Countless Readercon panels have been devoted to questions of taxonomy, so let's ask the next questions about taxonomy itself. What is the importance of categories? What is the language of categorization? It is important to define terms, but when do the terms themselves become an obfuscation rather than a clarification? How do taxonomies, and perhaps even the notion of taxonomy, perpetuate problematic power structures? Will we end up coming up with a taxonomy of taxonomies? Will our heads explode?
Saturday July 15
2:00 PM 5 The Life Cycle of Political SF.
Dennis Danvers, Alex Jablokow, Barbara Krasnoff (moderator), Sabrina Vourvoulias, T. X. Watson.
SF writers have often written deeply political books and stories; some stand the test of time, while others become dated very quickly. John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, Octavia Butler's Kindred, Joanna Russ's The Female Man, and Ursula K. Le Guin's "The New Atlantis," to name just a few, directly addressed major issues of their day and are still relevant now—but differently. What affects how political SF ages and is read decades after its publication? What are today’s explicitly political books, and how do we expect them to resonate decades in the future?
3:00 PM B Reading: T. X. Watson.
*T. X. Watson reads "The Boston Hearth Project," which will be in the upcoming Sunvault anthology of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation.