Thursday, May 9, 2013

...what we do and think, learning together....

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Why study SF Feminisms? 

=What values do you bring to feminisms?
=How does this course help you realize those values?



=> put an arrow next to your best statement of the argument of the course.
* put a star next to the part of the paper you like the best.



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...the silly, the wise, the imaginative, and acts of creativity come together....



1) What was fun?

2) What was new?

3) What offered a sense of accomplishment?

4) What was useful?

5) When did it come together for you?

6) Why does it matter?



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What does a learning analysis do?

=It offers a flexible framework for reflecting on the class.
=It pushes you to put things together that otherwise you might not have seen connections among.
=It creates a sense of class closure, while opening up ways of thinking into your future.
=It is an opportunity to be proud of how you have put the learning of the course together for yourself.
=It helps you make sense of it all, in terms of your own values and concerns.
=What else have you found in the experience?


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Is reading new? how?


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We've talked about media ecologies in this class. You might like to know that such approaches coming out of new media and sf and design fiction and cultural production and more, are changing how we think and analyze texts of many kinds. 

Here is a new sort of book, and it is about shifting around what we mean by reading and how we want to do it nowadays. It is on an open source publishing platform called Scalar. See what you think! [Click here to get to the website.] 


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Thursday, 25 April – re-imagining the colonial 
• finish up Hopkinson: II, V, Final Thoughts

FREEWRITE:
=Your version of the argument of the class RIGHT NOW!

NOTES ON:
=How So Long Been Dreaming fits into your sense of the argument of the class....
=Which story in So Long Been Dreaming does that in detail.... Say how!

WHAT SHOULD WHILEAWAY FLYER LOOK LIKE?
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Our Whileaway flyer...


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===GETTING CLOSE TO THE END NOW! 
Tuesday, 30 April – studio time during regular class time, with Irene
Thursday, 2 May – more studio time 

SATURDAY, 4 MAY -- WHILEAWAY! AT THE WMST MULTIMEDIA STUDIO! 
want to set things up before hand, or talk to Melissa about it? email katking for contact email. 

Tuesday, 7 May – secret feminist cabal 
• finish up Merrick: 7,4,5

Thursday, 9 May – LAST DAY – LEARNING ANALYSIS DUE! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

what does Tiptree Revealed mean for SF Feminisms?

What happens when Tiptree is revealed? What does this mean for Alice, and what does it mean for SF Feminisms? 

===



===
What is distributed being here? 

Tiptree photos and excerpts from Philips website. 

DISTRIBUTED HUMAN BEINGS (Star 1995: 18-19):

"Analytically, it is extremely useful to think of human beings as locations in space-time. We are relatively localized for many bodily functions and for some kinds of tasks we are highly distributed--remembering for example. So much of our memory is in other people, libraries, and our homes. But we are used to rather carelessly localizing what we mean by a person as bounded by one's skin.... The skin may be a boundary, but it can also be seen as a borderland, a living entity, and as part of the system of person-environment.... Parts of our selves extend beyond the skin in every imaginable way, convenient as it is to bound ourselves that way in conversational shorthand. Our memories are in families and libraries as well as inside our skins; our perceptions are extended and fragmented by technologies of every sort."



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We "distribute our being" among various media, participating in overlapping ecologies.

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What are some of these forms of participation? some are friendship centered, some are centered around common interests, some burrow into the satisfactions of accumulating expertise.

SEE Ito, M. et al. (2010). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out. Cambridge: MIT. Free pdf download. 

In this MacArthur funded set of studies on learning with digital media, these are called "genres of participation":

= "hanging out" supports "shared practices that grow out of friendships in given local social worlds." (Ito 16)

= "messing around" as an interest driven set of activities, creates and supports "specialized activities, interests, or niche and marginalized identities" ... "geeks, freaks, musicians, artists, and dorks" ....  "who might not be represented in their local communities" .... (Ito 16)

= "geeking out" may require "more far flung networks of affiliation and expertise." (Ito 16)

"more friendship-driven modes of 'hanging out' with friends while gaming can transition to more interest-driven genres of what we call recreational gaming. Similarly... the more friendship-driven practices of creating profiles on social network sites or taking photos with friends can lead to 'messing around' in the more interest-driven modes of digital media production." (Ito 17)

"a genre of participation of 'messing around' with new media ...can in some cases mediate between genres of 'geeking out' and 'hanging out.'" (Ito 17)

"When we consider learning as an act of social participation, our analytic focus shifts from the individual to the broader social and cultural ecology that a person inhabits." (Ito 18)

SEE "BECOMING A FAN" from the Digital Youth Project.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Now it changes! HOW TO GET IT ALL IN!

We are on the final surge for the class! Two big events to come, and you need to prepare for both simultaneously!



=One is Whileaway, on Sat 4 May from 1-3 pm! The class week before, T 30 April and Th 2 May will be drop in workshop studio time with Irene to finish up how you will do your installation of your project for Whileaway. But you should have it done by then, and use that time to figure out how to present it at the con!

=The other, which you need to start thinking about now too, is the Learning Analysis! That is due on the last day of class, and the Thursday after Whileaway. So there isn't enough time to begin it after Whileaway ends. You have to begin it now in order to get all three of your drafts in! Workshop time the week before Whileaway with Irene can also be used to talk about and work on the Learning Analysis too!

WHAT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MAKING A POSTER? LOOK HERE!

===WHAT WE JUST DID! REVIEW FOR KATIE WHEN SHE IS BACK ON TUESDAY! 

Thursday, 11 April – KATIE AT UVA – When it Changed 
• read a Bateson metalogue (link online) & When it Changed (link online) & if not already, Merrick 3
Katie will be out of town at a Bateson event and you all will run the class yourselves with the help of Irene our TA! 

===WHAT COMES NEXT! FINISHING UP THE BOOKS, PREPARING FOR WHILEAWAY!
Tuesday, 16 April – First Contacts 
• read 1/3 Phillips: 16-29

Thursday, 18 April – Crossing over always 
• finish up Butler: Amnesty & Crossover

Tuesday, 23 April – the plan is… ? 
• finish up Phillips: 30-40

Thursday, 25 April – re-imagining the colonial 
• finish up Hopkinson: II, V, Final Thoughts

Tuesday, 30 April – studio time during regular class time, with Irene
Thursday, 2 May – more studio time 

SATURDAY, 4 MAY -- WHILEAWAY! AT THE WMST MULTIMEDIA STUDIO! 
want to set things up before hand, or talk to Melissa about it? email katking for contact email. 

Tuesday, 7 May – secret feminist cabal 
• finish up Merrick: 7,4,5

Thursday, 9 May – LAST DAY – LEARNING ANALYSIS DUE! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NOW WE KNOW WHAT IT'S GOOD FOR! MARRY THE PLANET!

===

===
"Michael Leunig is an Australian cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet. His commentary on political, cultural and emotional life spans more than forty years and has often explored the idea of an innocent and sacred personal world. The fragile ecosystem of human nature and its relationship to the wider natural world is a related and recurrent theme": http://www.leunig.com.au/

===

===
"Elizabeth Stephens is a performance artist, activist and educator whose art-work, performance art and writing have explored themes of queerness, feminism and environmentalism for over 25 years. Her current passion is SexEcology: the art of exploring the Earth as a lover. Stephens is creating this new field of research in collaboration with her partner Annie Sprinkle. Together they form the Love Art Laboratory where they are attempting to make the environmental movement a little more sexy, fun and diverse.  Stephens is a professor of art at University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently pursuing a PhD in Performance Studies at UC Davis": http://art.ucsc.edu/faculty/elizabeth-stephens The Love Art Laboratory site is here: http://anniesprinkle.org/projects/current-projects/love-art-laboratory/

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Tuesday, 9 April – Who sees which kinds of stories and why?
• read Merrick 1, 2 (& 3 if you can)

Thursday, 11 April – KATIE AT UVA – When it Changed – Irene will facilitate
• read a Bateson metalogue (link online here: Why a Swan?) & When it Changed (link online here in pdf) & if not already, Merrick 3
Katie will be out of town at a Bateson event and you all will run the class yourselves with the help of Irene our TA!


REMEMBER!!!  ALSO work on Whileaway!
Tuesday, 30 April –  NO CLASS: WHILEAWAY PLANNING
Thursday, 2 May – NO CLASS: WHILEAWAY PLANNING
SATURDAY, 4 MAY -- WHIILEAWAY MEETS AT MULTIMEDIA STUDIO FROM 1-3PM! INVITE FRIENDS, AND THINK HOW TO ADD TO THE FESTIVITIES! TALK WITH MELISSA TOO! 

===
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS! 
The Female Man: sex/gender? nature/nurture? how are these implicated?
Why and how has the Female Man been used for the last two decades in feminist theory?
How might we still use it, or how would we need to alter our appeal to it?
The Merrick book will help us think about these questions?

===
some resources to use to consider this question along with Merrick: CHECK OUT LINKS!


=What is epigenetics and how would knowledge of it have altered how Russ worked out her novel The Female Man
=Or would it have made any difference at all? how might that work? 


•IS NATURE ACTUALLY "VERSUS" NURTURE? WHY SHOULD WE REDO THAT?
=Evelyn Fox Keeler: who is she? how does she play a role in feminist theories of science?
=Her recent award winning book: 2010 The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture. Duke
=what can you grasp from descriptions of the book?
=How does it shift feminist science interests in making nature and nurture mutually exclusive, opposites, or some kind of scale or proportion? What would Merrick say about it all do you think?

===FROM MERRICK CHAPTER ONE: 
Merrick: 1: "In other words, the secret feminist cabal is a joke. But a very serious joke. It is this particular understanding that makes the phrase so appropriate for my purposes. For, despite the seriousness of the issues at stake in this history, one of the most appealing yet overlooked aspects of sf feminisms is the humor and wit of its writers, critics, and fans. Science fiction may be a place where feminists go to dream of utopia or plot revolution, but it is also a source of pleasure -- of individual reading pleasure, of emotional connection with like-minded folk -- and at times a place to make life-long friends and allies." 

Merrick: 10: "My reading of Joanna Russ's The Female Man in the 1990s, for example, provided a very different sense of the feminism of that time than did my readings of feminist history and theory, and brought the movement alive to me in a way no other text had done." 

===FROM MERRICK CHAPTER TWO:
Merrick: 35: "Whilst some sources estimate that ment meade up to 90 percent of the audience or magazines such as Astounding SF, the continual (re)construction of sf as a masculine domain has concealed women's interaction with sf, as readers, as authors, and as subjects represented through female characters." 

Merrick: 61-2: "Certainly // the letters in Vertex suggest that [Philip K.] Dick's and [Jeffrey] Anderson's perceptions of Russ's 'anger,' 'militancy,' and charges of 'sexism' are derived from more than just this one article; perhaps influenced by personal interactions with Russ, her reviews of their work, or awareness of her fictional texts, such as 'When it Changed' or The Female Man."

===FROM MERRICK CHAPTER THREE:
Merrick: 70: "As Haraway's quote suggest, imagination is a powerful element in collective political identity. In relation to sf there are resonances here with L. Timmel Duchamp's insight that entry into sf feminisms involves an imagining into community, even if only as an isolated reader in conversation with texts alone."

THINK WORLDING! THINK OF YOUR OWN ENTRY INTO SF FEMINISMS! THINK WHAT THE CON WHILEAWAY COULD BE FOR YOU, OUR CLASS, OUR FRIENDS!

===
Click this pic to find a talk Katie gave on Star Trek Media Art in 2000. See what you think thirteen years later....


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

yours, mine, ours? what is a femaleman across time, generations, and politics?


Tuesday, 2 April – Marked and Unmarked: female man
• read at least 1 /2 of The Female Man (published in 70s, but probably written in 60s, and with references to life in the 50s too)



REMEMBER THIS STUDY COVERS USAGE IN THE 1980s: 
From Gastil 1990: 640 (link here): "An interesting question that this study raises is which alternative pronouns function most effectively as generics. If he must go, which pronouns might replace it? Recall that for the college student population studied herein, they appears the most generic of the three pronouns listed above. Using they as a generic, however, does not solve the problem of males producing very few female images under any pronoun condition. Future research might compare the effects of he/she and they with more promising alternatives. Reversing he/she, writing it as she/he, might cause males to imagine more women. (A preliminary investigation, using a method similar to this study's sug- gests that she/he does evoke significantly more images of women than he, he/she, and they for both female and male European-American, Midwestern undergraduates.) One might use she to refer to some individuals and he in refer- ence to others. Or one might simply use she as a generic, counterbalancing the persistence of male bias. Even Strunk and White (1979), read literally, endorse this final suggestion: "If you think she is a handy substitute for he, try it and see what happens" (p. 61)."

===

===
Quakers use female man: KK paper here.

===
THINK AHEAD!! MAKE YOUR PLANS NOW!

Thursday, 4 April – (fe)MALE 
• finish up The Female Man
Tuesday, 9 April – Who sees which kinds of stories and why?
• read Merrick 1, 2 (& 3 if you can)
Thursday, 11 April – KATIE AT UVA – When it Changed – Irene will facilitate
• read a Bateson metalogue (link online here: Why a Swan?) & When it Changed (link online here in pdf) & if not already, Merrick 3
Katie will be out of town at a Bateson event and you all will run the class yourselves with the help of Irene our TA!
• work on Whileaway!
Tuesday, 30 April –  NO CLASS: WHILEAWAY PLANNING
Thursday, 2 May – NO CLASS: WHILEAWAY PLANNING
SATURDAY, 4 MAY -- WHIILEAWAY MEETS AT MULTIMEDIA STUDIO FROM 1-3PM! INVITE FRIENDS, AND THINK HOW TO ADD TO THE FESTIVITIES! TALK WITH MELISSA TOO! 

===
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS! 
The Female Man: sex/gender? nature/nurture? how are these implicated?
Why and how has the Female Man been used for the last two decades in feminist theory?
How might we still use it, or how would we need to alter our appeal to it?
The Merrick book will help us think about these questions?

===
some resources to use to consider this question along with Merrick: CHECK OUT LINKS!

•EPIGENETICS: the epigenetic spin on nature vs. nurture from Science

=What is epigenetics and how would knowledge of it have altered how Russ worked out her novel The Female Man
=Or would it have made any difference at all? how might that work? 


•IS NATURE ACTUALLY "VERSUS" NURTURE? WHY SHOULD WE REDO THAT?
=Evelyn Fox Keeler: who is she? how does she play a role in feminist theories of science?
=Her recent award winning book: 2010 The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture. Duke
=what can you grasp from descriptions of the book?
=How does it shift feminist science interests in making nature and nurture mutually exclusive, opposites, or some kind of scale or proportion? What would Merrick say about it all do you think?

===

Saturday, March 9, 2013

What's coming up! Think FemCriticon!

===



The theme is "Media Ecologies." Our class' expertise is in "Design Fiction." 
Explore what these mean as you consider what to do. 
=Johnson is your best resource for our approach to media ecologies, so be sure you are caught up with having read the whole book. Merrick is also all about media ecologies with a feminist SF focus.
=When you think of design fiction, think of all the ways we have been approaching and thinking and talking about our readings, and the interactions among the extraterrestrial relativities of multiple ways of exploring "sf." Look at the website carefully, as well as Helmreich's essay. Both are your best resource for understanding the multiple realities of designing fictions. Fictions = makings.
=How does the NearFuture Laboratory share thinking? How would you do this same kind of analysis yourself? (Some clues are in the Media tab of the website too.)

===


Tuesday, 12 March – Cyborg Complexity 
• read 1/3 Merrick: Pref, Ack, 6, 7, 8
• getting going on femcriticon!

Thursday, 14 March – Positive Obsessions! 
• Butler stories and essays: Postive & Furor + Kin & Speech
• getting going on femcriticon!

If it is not a dystopia or utopia, what is it instead??? 

The generic masculine and sexist language: a study on imaging men: Gastil 1990: here

Tuesday, 19 March – SPRING BREAK 
Thursday, 21 March – SPRING BREAK

Tuesday, 26 March – FEMCRITICON
Thursday, 28 March – FEMCRITICON

Tuesday, 2 April – Marked and Unmarked: female man
• read at least 1 /2 of The Female Man (published in 70s, but probably written in 60s, and with references to life in the 50s too)

REMEMBER THIS STUDY COVERS USAGE IN THE 1980s: 
From Gastil 1990: 640: "An interesting question that this study raises is which alternative pronouns function most effectively as generics. If he must go, which pronouns might replace it? Recall that for the college student population studied herein, they appears the most generic of the three pronouns listed above. Using they as a generic, however, does not solve the problem of males producing very few female images under any pronoun condition. Future research might compare the effects of he/she and they with more promising alternatives. Reversing he/she, writing it as she/he, might cause males to imagine more women. (A preliminary investigation, using a method similar to this study's sug- gests that she/he does evoke significantly more images of women than he, he/she, and they for both female and male European-American, Midwestern undergraduates.) One might use she to refer to some individuals and he in refer- ence to others. Or one might simply use she as a generic, counterbalancing the persistence of male bias. Even Strunk and White (1979), read literally, endorse this final suggestion: "If you think she is a handy substitute for he, try it and see what happens" (p. 61)."

===

===

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Get a life!


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How does the slogan "I don't read Science Fiction, I live it" work? What does it actually mean today? What associations does it make possible? How does it work with ideas of design fiction and media ecologies? What role can this slogan play in your work for FemCritiCon? 


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William Shatner takes a look at Trekkies in ‘Get a Life!’ 
The iconic actor behind James T. Kirk boldly explores the obsession many fans have with his landmark sci-fi TV series
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2012, 6:00 AM
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/william-shatner-takes-trekkies-life-article-1.1122367#ixzz2MrqcNFXt


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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weather?


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Whether we meet or not Tuesday or Thursday will depend on the state of the campus. Info will be located here: http://www.umd.edu/emergencypreparedness/weather_emer/  

But even if we do not meet YOU NEED TO KEEP UP, DO THE READING, KNOW THE WEBSITE BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS! 

If we are all snowed in, READ READ READ! 

If the campus is open, we will meet in class (if there are any circumstances that alter this I will email you on our listserv). 

THE WEBSITE HAS WORK ON IT FOR YOU TO DO!

And personally I hope the worst bypasses us. 

See you!

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Normal?


DEBRIEF FROM COMPLEXITY CONFERENCE! 
=What connections did you make between our class and what you experienced there? 

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Tuesday, 5 March – What is a normal life anyway? 
• read 1/3 of Phillips: 1-15
• getting going on femcriticon!

Thursday, 7 March – Whose bodies are these? 
• STORIES: Hopkinson: Part I
• getting going on femcriticon!

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Click pic for info on the Award

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You should begin the biography of James Tiptree Jr by Phillips and start thinking about colonialisms, feminisms, and their twentieth century histories as offered through the life of Alice Sheldon. Colonialisms and feminisms are intwined with science fiction throughout the twentieth century and the materials we read today are both a reaction to this and a continuation of it in complicated ways. James Tiptree as a figure helps us understand this. And it is a fascinating biography just in itself! So just keep reading if you find yourself caught up in the story!

For Tuesday read Chs 1-15 (these are very very short chapters). 

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Thursday, 7 March – Whose bodies are these? 
• add then Hopkinson: section I: the body -- put the bio & stories together: how can you use Johnson's terms (below) to do so? 

• 2011 Tiptree Award went to Andrea Hairston for Redwood and Wildfire; she was one of the guests of honor last year at WisCon  -- her story in Hopkinson I: Body: "Griots of the Galaxy"  

decolonizing mind


===MEDIA===

=> For So Long Been Dreaming, Part I: Body: Lai's "Rachel" -- cf. with Liu's "The Paper Menagerie".

Thursday, February 21, 2013

how's this for immersion?

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FOR THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, 26 February – Enfolding systems & complexity sciences
• LOGBOOK 1 DUE
• Complexity handouts (handed out, emailed, and PDF1PDF2.) 
• make sure you are caught up on everything we have read so far

Thursday, 28 February – Complexities – GO TO CONFERENCE TODAY & TOMORROW!

• There is no class time today, in order to free up a bit of time for conference attendance which is required! You should be at the Complexity Conference as much as possible: whenever you are not working for wages or in another class!
• read ahead, think about femcriticon!


===


===
The Measurement That Would Reveal The Universe As A Computer Simulation:
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/429561/the-measurement-that-would-reveal-the-universe-as-a-computer-simulation/

Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation
http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.1847

Physicists May Have Evidence Universe Is A Computer Simulation
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/11/physicists-may-have-evide_n_1957777.html

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2012 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced [click pic for link]
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announces the nominees for the 2012 Nebula Awards (presented 2013), nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.


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Sunday, February 17, 2013

exoplanets and on being science communications


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===
This could be a poster for FemCritiCon!

===
inhabiting ourselves as portals to the universe?

ON EXOPLANETS AND LOVE: NATALIE BATALHA ON SCIENCE THAT CONNECTS US TO ONE ANOTHER
February 12, 2013

"A mission scientist with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, Natalie Batalha hunts for exoplanets — Earth-sized planets beyond our solar system that might harbor life. She speaks about unexpected connections between things like love and dark energy, science and gratitude, and how "exploring the heavens" brings the beauty of the cosmos and the exuberance of scientific discovery closer to us all."


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"13.7 billion years scaled into one year helps makes sense of the universe's massive scale in this video + chart."


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Friday, February 15, 2013

alien/not?

NOTICE: Femcriticon is in about a month! Time to begin planning! class buddies help each other come up with ideas and edit each other's work; and you can pick a partner for collaboration if you like too! 

LOTTERY TODAY! WILL YOU DO A POSTER OR A PAPER FOR THIS FIRST CON? IT WILL BE DECIDED BY LOTTERY TODAY! 


The theme is "Media Ecologies." Our class' expertise is in "Design Fiction." 
Explore what these mean as you consider what to do. 
=Johnson is your best resource for our approach to media ecologies, so be sure you are caught up with having read the whole book. Merrick is also all about media ecologies with a feminist SF focus.
=When you think of design fiction, think of all the ways we have been approaching and thinking and talking about our readings, and the interactions among the extraterrestrial relativities of multiple ways of exploring "sf." Look at the website carefully, as well as Helmreich's essay. Both are your best resource for understanding the multiple realities of designing fictions. Fictions = makings.
=How does the NearFuture Laboratory share thinking? How would you do this same kind of analysis yourself? (Some clues are in the Media tab of the website too.)


===
The essays for this week are longer and quite challenging: try reading them like poetry. Or like software documentation.... In a back and forth bits of reading, wondering, connecting with this week's stories, and with everything we have read and talked about up to now....

Tuesday, 19 February – encountering natures as alien/not 
• ESSAY: Hustak & Myers (2012) Involutionary Momentum: Affective Ecologies and the Sciences of Plant/Insect Encounters. differences 23/3: 74-118. [has been emailed; also PDF]
• THIS WEEK’S STORIES: Hopkinson: Part IV: Encounters with the Alien 

Thursday, 21 February – XenEstrogen 
• ESSAY: Hayward (forthcoming), Transxenoestrogenesis. manuscript for Transgender Studies Quarterly 1:1. [email only. check your mailbox.] 
• THIS WEEK’S STORIES: Hopkinson: Part IV: Encounters with the Alien 

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Monday, February 11, 2013

trans realities


Tuesday, 12 February – trans knowledges 
• MAKE APT TO TALK TO KK: off hrs W13 4-6; W20 2:30-4; W27 2:30-5
• ESSAY: Kier (2010) Interdependent Ecological Transsex. Women and Performance 20: 299-319. (On website, link to PDF.)
• [trans CFP example scholarship]
• THIS WEEK’S STORIES: Butler: Bloodchild&, Evening&, Martha&

Thursday, 14 February – exterrestrial relativisms 
• ESSAY: Helmreich (2012) Extraterrestrial Relativism. Anthropological Quarterly, Special Collection: Extreme: Humans at Home in the Cosmos 85: 1125–1140. (On website, link to PDF.)
• THIS WEEK’S STORIES: Butler: Bloodchild&, Evening&, Martha&

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BE SURE YOU KNOW THIS WEBSITE INSIDE AND OUT!
Check all links including all the pics that are links! 
Pay attention to the processes of attention, interaction, and even work this is. And note, when pleasurable, that as well! Think of it as a game, and where do you level up then?

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COME TO CLASS HAVING CONSIDERED WHAT YOU WANT TO DO ABOUT CONS! 
We will make some decisions.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Second Life hooks into our distributed being....

From Katie's Pinterest Board Complexity Tales:
===
Source: nwn.blogs.com via Katie on Pinterest

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Woman with Parkinson's Reports Significant Physical Recovery After Using Second Life - Academics Researching

This is Fran, an 85 year old woman who plays Second Life as an avatar named Fran Seranade, and while that’s interesting in itself, many other senior citizens like her are known to be active in SL. Here is the truly extraordinary thing: For over 7 years, Fran has been afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system afflicting millions around the world, including actor Michael J. Fox and sports legend Muhammed Ali. In Fran’s case, Parkinson’s has made it difficult for her to stand from a sitting position, and maintain her balance while upright. But now Fran reports she’s gained significant recovery of physical movement -- as a direct consequence of her activity in Second Life.

More Here....
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Scifi Feminisms TA Flyer.pdf by Katie King


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Friday, February 8, 2013

Changing sex, a desire to love

trans gendering ideas? how do they fit into our sf worldings? Here is the latest essay by Eva Hayward: 

"Changing sex, a desire to love: Following your desire is a brave way of recognizing that something is happening to you, something remarkable. Perhaps it will break open your world, or perhaps it will simply open your heart. Things will change."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

double consciousness & play

===
Tuesday, 5 February: MEET AT WOODS! – Everything Bad is Good for You
• Johnson, Part One: Games, Television, Internet, Film
• Johnson vocabulary & tools for cognition (handed out)
• find & read something “sf” connected to these ideas from either Butler or Hopkinson; be ready to discuss what you picked and why
• boxes of SF: pick 5 and tell us why; send KK email listing which ones 

Today we will meet at Woods Hall to comb through sfs, boxes of books and stuff, friends of the class, con creativities, and share experiences, hopes, assumptions, and passions!

Thursday, 7 February – double consciousness & play
• Johnson, Part Two: cognitive complexity and attentions good & bad
• find & read another story connected to these ideas from either Butler or Hopkinson; be ready to discuss what you picked and why



===


===

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ47SGM7gDA&feature=player_embedded
"Astronaut [Mae Jemison] who rode Endeavor into space in 1992 making her the first African-American female in space. Founded the Jemison Research Group which runs an international science camp for kids." (See also: NASA on Nichelle Nichols visit to Goddard; Jemison on 100-yr Starship Project; Jemison on TED about teaching art & science together.)

Double takes and double consciousness are at the heart of the theories of play and fantasy that Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman find useful for game design, and for new education projects.

They challenge what they call “the immersive fallacy” – the idea that games get better and better as they become whatever that thing “more real” is. Anthropologist Gregory Bateson is their touchstone for “metacommunicative media”: “play is a process of metacommunication, a double-consciousness in which the player is well aware of the artificiality of the play situation.” (Salen & Zimmerman 2004: 451)

As animals and children learn to play they come to know that there are some ways a play self can and must be separated from an everyday self, and they learn to perform this separation in interactive cognitive and social communication forms of “not”: they amuse themselves by performing the communication “this is not it.” The puppy nips, but not hard enough to injure. (Violence? Not.) The teen kisses in spin the bottle, but not necessarily the person they like the most. (Sex? Not.) Yet at the same time there are also other ways in which these selves simply are not separated, in certain physiological processes and psychological equivalences. The nip actually hurts a bit, the kissing blush and stammer. A double consciousness of being in both these states at the same time is possible, as Bateson puts it in formal terms, because play creates its own commentary in itself about itself as an intense and pleasurable interactive dynamism — communicatively social, as well as neurological and hormonal. Such metacommunications — or communications about communication — are performed by embodied selves at multiple “levels” of organic and social system, some sequentially, some simultaneously. (Bateson 1972, 1980)

Notice that metacommunication and metacommunicative media are at stake in double binds: good signaling skills make nonabusive play on the edge of double binds possible: “My body is reacting as if I am in danger, but really I’m in front of a computer screen.” (Reality? Not.) But Bateson was well aware that not every edge of play is so easily resolved: that transcontextual confusions and gifts arise from situations in which “tangles” remain – in which finding out which bits are active, which bits are context, which bits can be made explicit, which rules are perceptible, which distributed embodiments, cognitions, and infrastructures are in play, matters. And the skills for all this, transcontextual movement without falling apart – what restructuring academies, nations, and industries call “innovation” – are at the very heart of all those things that the word “gaming” now covers – from gambling to economic game theory, from game art and design to games as learning, from role-playing to systems theory – many of these playing with our distributed being, individual and collective, neurological and hormonal, industrial and creative. This is one context for considering sf feminisms today.

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Tiltfactor game lab: http://www.tiltfactor.org/

Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal: http://janemcgonigal.com/

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Offering a new course, even a new kind of course, I have wanted to get to know you all a bit better before finalizing our syllabus. But you should have that version this coming week. As soon as it is ready, I will email you a copy, offer a link here to a pdf version, and include it in this website as well. Notice changes in office hours, social hours, and conversations with Irene on the right hand panel of this website too!

Until then, for this coming week you should be reading Johnson's book (which is a very quick read and short), and reading some stories in either the Butler or Hopkinson collections (also full of very short and stunning stories). 

• So, for Tuesday, Johnson Part I and pick a story from either collection that you think works in some way as an example of the kind of thing Johnson is addressing. 

• For Thursday, Johnson Part II and another story similarly. 

ENJOY! 


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