Thursday, 10 July 2014

LonCon Panel 3: The Knowable Other

My third panel at LonCon is called The Knowable Other, and is on Saturday, starting at 19:00, and ending at 20:00.

The blurb for the panel is as follows:

"SF has a long history of (mis)representing identities that depart from the dominant paradigm (e.g. queer and/or non-white characters) as distant and unknowable non-humans. In some recent TV shows, however, we see characters positioned as other yet in some way still rooted in human-ness; the AIs of Almost Human or the undead of The Returned, for instance. How do the stories told about such "knowable others" differ from the use of "conventional" aliens? Do they offer advantages or opportunities for exploring marginalized identities, or is it an inherently conservative gesture that forecloses the possibility of genuine alterity* -- or even an avoidance of writing about actual human diversity?"

I have to admit that when I read the above blurb I was stumped by at least one word that I had to go look up to see what it means.  I've suggested that perhaps a blurb written in plain English would be less opaque, though I'm told this is supposed to be an academic stream panel, so who knows.  "Not I," she said. 

Unfortunately, I can't list the other people who are doing this with me at the moment, because the original moderator and one of the other panelists pulled out, and I've not heard from the other person who I sent an email too.  I understand that this problem is being resolved, and as soon as I know who I'm on this panel with, I shall let you all know the details.

Still, I can see why I was chosen to be on this panel, and look forward to talking about the representation of alien minds in both fiction and film.

NB: alterity is a philosophical term meaning "otherness", strictly being in the sense of the other of two (Latin alter).  I would have just said otherness, and not limited myself by implying a binary, but heh that's the way I roll.

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