It’s that time of year again: Wizard World Chicago is August 21-24 in Rosemont and I will be on two panels this year!
Yellow Fever, Yellow Peril, and the Yellow Ranger: Asian Americans in Geek Culture & History
Saturday, August 23, 1:30-2:15pm, Room 6
“From otaku fan culture to the myth of the “model minority,” there’s a rising interest, enthusiasm, and host of assumptions around Asian Americans in geek culture today. But how have Asian Americans been represented in popular culture and what effect does this have on creators and fans? How does one’s ethnic identity affect the art we create and the way we consume it? Join Dawn Xiana Moon (producer/director Raks Geek, web developer, singer-song writer), Michi Trota (managing editor Uncanny Magazine, Chicago Nerd Social Club board member), Wesley and Brad Sun from Sun Bros Studios (comic book creators, Chinatown Monkey Fist, and Kat Tanaka Okopnik (geek culture and social justice writer), for an interactive discussion and Q&A of Asian Americans in geek culture and history! Sponsored by the Chicago Nerd Social Club”
I’m excited for the opportunity to talk about what it’s like to be an Asian American geek, and how well (or not) we’ve been represented in geek culture. I was invited to join this panel by Wesley Sun, who’s assembled a pretty kick-ass set of panelists:
Dawn Xiana Moon: producer and director of Raks Geek, the geek bellydance and fire company. As a singer-songwriter, Dawn has performed in 10 states and released two solo albums; her latest CD, Spaces Between, fuses elements from traditional Chinese music with jazz and alt folk pop. She has served as a section editor for RELEVANT Magazine, performs as a soloist with Read My Hips tribal bellydance, and is currently the Senior Front End Developer at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Kat Tanaka Okopnik (moderator): Kat has been known to say, “Yeah, it’s escapism, but it really sucks when my escape pod gets hijacked by the forces of Planet Problematic.” She started writing about Japanese American history at age 13 and has gone on to write about geek culture, food, parenting, social justice, and stepping outside the confines of narrow social expectations. If you ask her nicely or pay her enough, she might design a custom marshmallow flavor,* weld your metalwork, or create fantastic jewelry…but she won’t translate your anime.
The Sun Bros: Wesley Sun and Brad Sun grew up in Orlando, FL reading comic books and playing Sega Genesis. Wesley went on to become a hospital chaplain and now teaches at the University of Chicago. He knows kung fu. Brad studied art and worked as a gallery preparator before joining his brother in Chicago to create SunBros Studios. When he isn’t working furiously at his drawing table, he enjoys playing video games and punk rock guitar. The Sun Bros released “Chinatown” (2012), “Apocalypse Man” (2013), and Monkey Fist (2014) through tremendously successful Kickstarter campaigns.
(*I’ve had Kat’s marshmallows. They’re positively delightful and worth every cent.)
Glass Ceilings, Missing Stairs and Gate-Keepers: Geeks Still Deal With Sexism (Part Deux!)
Saturday, August 23, 2014, 4:30-5:15pm, Room 6
“We’ve established that yes, women can be geeks, so what gives? Con harassment is still a problem, we still haven’t gotten a Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel movie and geeky women continue to face barriers in geek spaces. Find out why talking about sexism and fighting for geeky gender equality is still needed and what we can do to create more inclusive geek spaces. A Q&A session will follow discussion with the panelists. Panel sponsored in part by the Chicago Nerd Social Club.”
Yes, we’re back! We’re thrilled that Wizard World Chicago has given us the opportunity to continue the conversation that we began at C2E2, about how we can address sexism in geek culture. The same line up of panelists are returning for Round 2 and we’ve got more questions and new topics to talk about, because we barely scratched the surface the last time!
Returning with me to the panel are:
SoosheBot (moderator): science writer/media communicator
Carlye Frank: writer, comic artist, feminist activist
Laura Koroski: Challenge by Geek blogger, cosplayer
Kate Lansky: writer, gamer, comics fanatic
Dawn Xiana Moon: Raks Geek producer/director
Erin Tipton: lighting designer, nerdy knitter
Hope to see you at Wizard World Chicago in a few short weeks!