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19 May 2009 @ 01:42 pm
Seeking Additional Panelists for Sirens!  
The panels below seek additional panelists--people who can agree, disagree, and chatter away on the following topics. To join a panel, please read the summary and follow the instructions for responding. Some of the panels already have a panelist or two, so don't be afraid to jump in! We would love to have people bring varying perspectives to each of these.

Once you've made your response, you should assume that you'll spend about an hour between now and October thinking about or researching your topic, and about half an hour reading and responding to e-mails for panel coordination. It's a small time commitment when you average it over the next four months!

Buffy, Bella and Boys: Staking Your Life on Power and Identity
Joss Whedon specifically created Buffy, of vampire slayer fame, to subvert the archetype of the fun blonde girl who always dies in horror movies; what if, he asks, the monster followed the girl into an alley and she kicked its ass? Stephenie Meyer, in contrast, dreamed not her heroine, but her hero, impossibly dazzling in a meadow. One character is a superhero, a warrior-girl; the other a paint-by-numbers protagonist who takes nearly four books to find her power and in doing so, loses her humanity. Both fall for the bad guy: one for her enemy, the other for a superpredator. In a world of vampires, victims and vengeance, what do Buffy and Bella say about power and identity?
Want to be on this panel?
Send an e-mail to [programming AT sirensconference.org] with your name and a paragraph or two explaining your take on the topic.

Fantasy Women in Harry Potter
In the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling--prompted to use gender-neutral initials by her publisher--makes a point of balancing the male-female ratio among the teachers and students. Harry's friend Hermione is top of her class, the cleverest witch of her age; Professor McGonagall is trusted to step in as head of Hogwarts when Dumbledore is away; half of the school's founders were women. Yet, there's a glass ceiling leaving them the second-most important, the second-in-command. This panel will question portrayals of women in Harry Potter.
Want to be on this panel?
Send an e-mail to [programming AT sirensconference.org] with your name and a paragraph or two explaining your take on the topic.

The Mary Sue Critique: Characterization and Gender Bias in Fantasy Literature
“Mary Sue” is a label that has, over the years, become synonymous with original female characters that are intelligent, beautiful, talented, powerful, and well-liked--to the point of having no shortcomings, flaws or faults that make them relatable to fans. Formerly used as a criticism for fan fiction, the term has recently been liberally applied to females in original fantasy literature. While male characters of equal or greater standing seem to escape the same label time and again, it begs the question: Does this “Mary Sue” criticism of female fantasy characters come from a deep gender bias in the genre?
Want to be on this panel?
Send an e-mail to [amber.charleville AT gmail.com] with your name and a paragraph or two explaining your take on the topic.


Of course, if you have an idea for a paper, panel, workshop, or roundtable discussion, you can still submit it here until June 7. Have questions about programming? We welcome them at [programming AT sirensconference.org].