Here are some of the ideas people have offered up so far:
On an earlier post brainstorming post, rachelmanija posted
shveta_thakrar and I want to do a panel on Indian (from India, not Native American) myth and folklore. Does anyone have an interest and/or expertise in the subject, and might be interested in doing it with us?
Please reply directly at that post if you're interested. She's also offered up:
These are up for grabs, inspired by the very high level of enthusiasm for Malinda's queer fairies panel last year:
1. Lesbian vampires. This is an entire sub-genre, greatly suitable for the "monster" theme.
2. GLBTQ monsters. How has the theme of monstrousness been paired with non-straight sexual identity and orientation? How has the identity itself been portrayed as monstrous? How have some stories portrayed a LBGTQ character who is literally a monster or is perceived as a monster, WITHOUT making their orientation seem connected to the monstrousness?
I've been toying with an idea about women in fantasy adventure video games (limited to PC games, probably, because I know more about those). I don't have a thesis at this point. I think there are directions to go in terms of visual representations, storylines/story structures, and what challenges come up for the characters, especially when you consider game producers and assumed players. I'm half on board (and half not) with the "dead genre" heralds, so I don't know if it's relevant to current fantasy--and I don't know if this is interesting to anyone else, so feel free to pick up a thread and run with it.
I'd also love to sit in on a roundtable devoted to defining fantasy from a reader's perspective. There are a lot of academic definitions, and it would be good for a moderator to check out a few, but I think that there's an element of "I know it when I see it." So, how does the changing landscape of fantasy and intersitial works affect what fantasy fans accept as in-genre? How does a growing reader awareness of "your myth is my religion" come into play in defining genre? How about culture? This is probably a roundtable for a moderator who's been privy to other definition of fantasy discussions, and who wouldn't mind another.
[info]janni was talking about The Monster at the End of This Book last year, and I'd still like to see that! I'd also like to see a presentation on fantasy in picture books/other books for young readers, especially if it has a side of what the monsters we show to children are.
I'd like to see a "Monsters That Bite" roundtable or panel on monsters that haven't worked for readers, and why they found the monsters unsatisfying.
I think people have addressed family and monsters a bit in the past, but Evil Stepmonsters is a title I officially give up for adoption.
Ooh. A shortlist of recentish titles to prompt further thought, if anyone else is interested in computer games: The Longest Journey, Bayonetta, Mirror's Edge, Syberia, several of the Final Fantasy titles, Harvest Moon, God of War (heh), the Ace Attorney games (Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth), possibly Chibi-Robo ...and, more at literal "representation," every game (including some with chewy, well-rounded narrative arcs) that has let the player choose a male avatar or a female one, then depicted the male wearing combat-suitable armor and the female wearing a bikini.
I had an interesting discussion with someone the other day about whether portrayals of women in fiction need to be positive and/or responsible in order to be feminist. (The book in question was Dia Reeves's Bleeding Violet.) I don't have the women's studies chops to present this, but I'd love to see someone else do so. :)
I'd also really love to see someone take on the concept of the monstrous feminine. I know just enough to be dangerous, but it's so applicable to this year's theme!
I do not have the background for this line of thought, but it might be interesting if there's something about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and how that has influenced the works that came after her.
It also might be interesting to have a discussion about some of people's favorite monster stories - vampires, werewolves would be fine but perhaps looking for the monsters that are not so obvious.
I'd like to see a good, juicy discussion on Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. In particular, debating whether Rochester or Bertha is the real 'monster', if indeed there is one in the books.
(Editor's note: this probably needs a closer tie to fantasy, if anyone can suggest something.)
How about a discussion on the various stories of Beauty and the Beast? It seems to be one of the frequently re-told fairy tales -- what's the allure of this fairy tale as compared to others?
Also, what elements of a story make it "Beauty and the Beast like" -- for instance, my sister thinks that Anne Bishop's Sebastian is a Beauty and the Beast story, but it's told from the guy's point of view and has no physical change in its conclusion.
(Editor's note: I hope that you'll consider proposing a roundtable discussion on that, or that someone will!)
I'd be interested to see a presentation on how female characters often associated with or labeled as monsters have been portrayed in artwork, cover art, etc. I was looking at different pictures of Furies last fall as I was working on NaNoWriMo and it was really interesting to see how they looked at different points of history. I'm sure there are several characters or character types that also have an interesting visual evolution!
I kind of want someone to talk about lamias, who are in some significant respects the opposite of the pre-twentieth-century vampire (male). Or do both, with Le Fanu's Carmilla.... Or, you know, *the* Lamia. Or Melusine....
Want to grab one of these ideas? Let us know, and we'll cross it out (with no guarantee that someone else won't propose it--just as a note that someone is working on it).
Have an idea to share? Looking for collaborators? Please leave a comment!
If you're looking for more programming help, check out the programming tag and the Sirens forums, another good place to leave an ad for co-presenters.