Tag Archives: academia

Updates: New Books & New Conferences

SteamingVictorianPBK-2

Click to order on Amazon.

Exciting news everyone, which as news tends to do, comes in threes.

First of all, Steaming into the Victorian Future is now available in trade paperback! Now instead of paying $100+ for this collection, you can get the trade paperback for less than $25. This is the very first academic collection of steampunk essays, and, for those interested in helping this scholarship grow, please purchase a copy of the book. I’m being honest here — we have been very grateful for the support our publisher as given the editors Julie Ann Taddeo and Cynthia Miller by creating this low-cost edition, but in order for steampunk academia to continue, we have to show support with our wallets as well. If you are interested in writing or teaching about steampunk for the classroom, consider adding this to your bookshelf.

Already, this book has earned some great press from the Academy and the SFF community.

Winner of the 2013 Peter C. Rollins Award in Popular Culture Studies

Steaming into a Victorian Future looks at the potential that steampunk has to be a contributor to social change through consideration of its past and present. This collection is vast in its scope, critically evaluating ‘texts’ from an array of genres from the past, present, and future of this literary movement and its surrounding subculture, and is as valuable as an introduction to steampunk and its possibilities as any of the fiction collections available.” (Monsters and the Monstrous academic journal)

“The English major in me just finished up dancing a little jig. I always enjoy reading essays on steampunk, but there are essays… and then there are essays. Oh, yeah. I enjoyed it. Every. Single. Page.

If any fellow steampunk fans out there want some solid validation of our favorite genre and its literary effects, this is your book.” (Wired.com)

In other news, Steampunk World is on its way to the presses soon, you can check out the Table of Contents posted on SF Signal.

IAFA

Finally, I’m excited to say that I’ll be attending the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, an annual academic conference about SFF in Orlando, Florida. I won’t be presenting, but there representing the Tor Books crew, since the theme this year is “Fantastic Empires” and Guests of Honor line up include Nnedi Okorafor, Ian McDonald, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay (Scholar), Jr., and Brian Aldiss (Emeritus).

A summary of what to expect at the conference:

From space operas to medieval tales to seminal works of fantasy, imaginative fiction abounds in fabulous empires. ICFA 35 will investigate the widest range of topics relating to empire, including discussions of particular texts, analyses of the hegemonic and counterhegemonic forces of empire, evaluations of individual resistances to imperialism (and of empires striking back), and assays into various other aspects of the theme. We welcome proposals for scholarly papers and panels that seek to examine, interrogate, and expand any research related to empire and the fantastic.

Authors, agents & academics interested in meeting at the conference, feel free to contact me! I’m really looking forward to this. ^^

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Politics in Steampunk – A Sampling (aka “Why it Matters”)

Roger Whitson_1

Interrupting this blog for a special bulletin — or, rather, a bit of an intellectual endeavor. I’ve been talking with Dr. Roger Whitson of Washington State University about steampunk — and he is currently working on an MLA Special Session proposal on the subject — and what came up in our discussion was the role of the social media and how it fosters and records the process of cultural change. Steampunk, which has been both upheld as a ideological movement and downplayed as an apolitical fashion trend, is only as politically substantial as people make it to be. But the use of the aethernetz, however, democratizes the power of social opinions and magnifies the power of these conversations.  More importantly, however, all of these conversations create a more transparent picture of what cultural politics are actually happening on the ground, and opens up more possibilities of challenging “entrenched institutions”, as Roger explained to me, “…it is a politics that is removed from the exclusive analysis of the academic, the editor, and the expert, and placed into the hands of everyday people using social media.”

How can we gauge the political potential of our imaginations in the steampunk community?

Thus, Roger asked me to submit a brief response — at most 250 words — in reply to his questions: “What role do feminism and queer politics have in steampunk? What role should they have?” in order to assist his article on steampunk fandom and the digital archive.

And of course, being a steampunk, I rebelled, and, instead, unleashed this question to my fellow readers. To show a sampling of what political awareness the community has (and the application of that awareness to steampunk) I posted the above blog to Beyond Victoriana’s tumblr and another one to its Facebook page.  After the jump, I do give my response, but it cannot be one made separate from the responses of many, many others.

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What Do You Do with an MA in Steampunk?

Note from Ay-leen: This guest post for STEAMED! was published yesturday and I thought I’d share it here.

After four years of college, with plenty of knowledge in what a well-known musical has termed a “useless” degree (though, technically, more than in English – I double-majored with Russian), I arrived at the classic Quarter-Life Crisis. I’d been in the Real World, yet was second-guessing myself. Was my career path where I wanted it to be? Was this where I envisioned myself when I left my alma mater? Compared to my peers, after the economy died, I was lucky: working in publishing at a secure job with solid prospects. But something since undergrad came into my life that had reminded me how much I missed academia. Steampunk.

[Read "What Do You Do with an MA in Steampunk?" on STEAMED!]

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Steampunk Industrial Revolution, PortCon & Fashion Talks

A couple of cons coming up this month, and a special announcement:

In two weeks the revolution returns to Nashua, New Hampshire: the Steampunk Industrial Revolution will be telegraphed from June 8-10. From what I’ve heard, the theme is “Year of the Dragon” and the convention is preparing for an inter-dimensional beast to who visits this realm once every twelve years…with the smoldering threat coming from the heavens, can enough clockwork gadgets and a pirate ship bar be enough for this weekend? Yup, immersive storytelling strikes again at this con, and I’m looking forward to it.

The con schedule isn’t up yet, but I know that I’ll be doing my standard panels, plus a couple new in-character ones (you’ll have to come to see what they’re about…) — and hanging out with cool folks such as Guest of Honor Dr. Grymm,  The Wandering Legion of the Thomas Tew, Jake von Slatt, Mr. Saturday & Sixpence, Platform One, and many, many more musicians, entertainers and other ne’er-do-wells!

And as a reminder later that month, I will be in PortCon in Maine from June 21 – 24, where Lucretia Dearfour and I will be their Steampunk Guests of Honor.

I’ll be hanging around this weekend, presenting two new events:

Costume as Character, Character as Costume – Friday 11 AM – 12 PM in the Monhegan Room
Steampunk Meetup – Sunday 10 AM – 11 AM in the Monhegan Room

Plus, news from the ivory tower: I am very excited to announce that Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com!

Waaaaay back in 2009 (!), Jaymee Goh and I co-wrote an article about the imperialist — and postcolonial — leanings in steampunk fashion, our first academic venture together. Now, the anthology it is included in —  Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style from SUNY Press — can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com and will pub in September! Fashion Talks is all about the roles race, class, gender, and sexuality play in everyday style, and the other chapters range from Lolita and goth to hijabs and stripper shoes to emo and hipsters & more. If you are into fashion, pop culture, politics, and how all three collide, this book is for you. Read the description after the jump.

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Updates: Crafting a Life in the Arts, Academics, et al.

First of all, I want to congratulate our winner for the Frank Reade giveaway:

Eric J. of Massachusetts, USA

Thank you everyone for participating! I know in the coming months, I’ll have more in store, so watch this space for more steampunk goodies. ^-^

Also this spring, you may have noticed a derth of updates on this blog. This hasn’t been because steampunk & multiculturalism has fallen to the wayside — far from it! For those not in the know, I am currently finishing up my MA candidate work at New York University with a focus on steampunk performance. This means all of my spare time has been dedicated to the books and what our little community means to pop culture at large.

A bit of a late notice to announce here, but tomorrow, I’ll be at Mount Holyoke College, my alma matter, for their annual Crafting a Life in the Arts event about how to develop a creative career. So if you are in the Pioneer Valley area, don’t hesitate to drop a line.

Additionally, a brief reminder that I’ll also be presenting “Race Matters in Amestris: On the Treatment of Disenfranchised Minorities in Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist “ at the Pop Culture Association/ American Culture Association National Conference from April 11 – 14th. I’ll be up bright and early Thursday, April 12th, for the panel on “Race, Interculturality and Construction of Identity” from 8 – 9:30 in Salon C.

And a nod to my fellow panelists:

Mae Mendoza
“We need to find a safe place:” Constructions of Mexican(/American) Spaces and Technologies in Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles 

Blithe Devon
Dusty Clockworks: A Clockwork Orange and Firefly Through an Intercultural Lens

Leanne Foster
Cyborg Utopia: Rejecting the Myth of Control in Twenty-First Century Post-Determinism Science Fiction

It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to talk with fellow like-minded scholars and geeks. ^-^

Additionally, Beyond Victorana is now an academically-credited source! Christine Ferguson, a researcher from the University of Glasgow contacted me back in 2010 about an article she was working on about steampunk politics. Her piece “Surface Tensions: Steampunk, Subculture, and the Ideology of Style” has recently been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies and she refers to several pieces hosted here, calling us “a groundbreaking postcolonial steampunk blog.” Her assessments about ideologies of steam is an astute contribution and adds to work by previous academics and observers (and will able be a great help in my own research… hint hint for a bigger announcement later this year.)

Updates will continue to be sporadic for the next couple of months, but rest assured that what comes up will be worth it. ^-^

In addition, if you are interested in being a guest blogger, please don’t hesitate to contact me for details.

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New & Upcoming Conventions: TempleCon, PCA/ACA National, Octopodicon

Announcing some new and regular conventions I’ll be attending in the coming months, including some post-apoc fun in Rhode Island, my first-ever, red-blooded academic conference, and a future trip to Oklahoma this fall.

Click after the jump for more details!

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