Over the first weekend in October, three intrepid TLF women set out on separate journeys for New Orleans for the annual Popular Culture Association of the South conference. On the way, they encountered challenges and hurdles in the form of storms, giant metal beasts which blocked their ability to fly, and luggage-chewing serpents hiding in dark holes in the depths of Midway Airport.
In short, they encountered the hell that is airline travel.
But everyone arrived safely (if not on time), and in due course were able to awaken bright and early, if not exactly refreshed, for the first panel of the day. Personally, I rather like going first, even if it usually means a smaller crowd. Get it over with, not have to think about whether someone else has already said what you’re planning to say, all that.
Even though, sadly, Raizel couldn’t join us, Keidra read her paper, so we had a good line-up: Viv talking about racebending in tv and film, Raizel addressing fan-fiction and copyright, Keidra on K-Pop and the use of YouTube, and me talking about the mess that is gender in gaming.
The TLF panel was well-received – we had a pretty good size crowd (distributed fairly evenly in gender terms) who were overall quite friendly, given the somewhat controversial nature of some of the papers (particularly in terms of race/film and gender/games) – at least on the internet. As it turns out, academics in a room are much more polite than trolls on the internet (no, this was not at all a surprise), and we had some good conversations at the conference, even if a few were a bit more argumentative than others.
I went to some fun panels on comics (75 years of Batman!), a fantastic panel on zombies in videogames (really good stuff there), and met people talking about some really interesting things in pop culture (such as a panel on brony culture). Viv hit up a Sherlock panel and another on Facebook and social media, Keidra went to a Punk roundtable, and both went to a panel entitled “A-twitter” on the use of Twitter. There was a lot we didn’t see, some good conversations post-panel and in the hall, and some fun books purchased.
In other words, a good conference. I think there are likely to be more conferences of the academic type in the future, but probably not for a little while. After all, PCAS only meets once a year.
At any rate, I’ve included for your reading pleasure my paper: Playing in the Shadow of Privilege pdf<Fair warning – it’s not pretty, it starts with a trigger warning, and the story which opens it has just gotten even crazier (google OperationDiggingDiGRA if you really want to know).