LGBTQAI+, Race & Culture and Geek Feminism as tracks are all a key element of what Nine Worlds is. We’re keeping them at the heart of the convention, unified under the Identity and Culture banner. Diversity and equality should run through all content at the con but this is a particular space for discussion on disability, LGBTQAI+ experience, non-white experiences and intersectional feminism, including experiences in fannish spaces and fan works. Identity and Culture will also include the extremely popular Bifröst.
This year's sessions
- Representation Matters (in casting)
Jade R, Maki Yamazaki, Frank Voss, Rowan Ellis, Mia Violet
It's not just a matter of what stories are being told, it’s about who is getting to tell them. A discussion looking at the casting of actors of colour/trans actors/disabled actors on stage and screen, why it is needed, what's being done and what more needs doing. Content note: This session will include critical discussion of racism, transphobia and ableism.
- Fix-It Fanon
St Julien 10am-11am
Creators worlds aren’t always perfect. Sometimes they haven’t left room for us if we have any variation from their white, straight, cis, non-disabled, young male leads. Sometimes their assertions that “of course” there are diverse groups in their world rings hollow when no mirrors reflect us. So we write ourselves in - AUs and addendums to make worlds we want to see ourselves in, have room for us. This is a space to talk about how we make those, and to express frustration that we still have to.
- Accessible LARP
LARP should be accessible to a broad range of people regardless for their health and physical limitations. Many people, including LARP organisers, don't have a full understanding of what accessibility entails; this session aims to broaden people's understanding of the topic to include different types of disability including, mental health disabilities, and to look at the different accommodations available to make our events more accessible.
- The Chinese Don’t Do Sci-Fi?!
Xueting Christine Ni
China and Chinese aesthetics have been borrowed by the West as a sci-fi setting and McGuffin for years. Native Chinese science fiction however, has remained relatively unregarded until very recently. Yet it has existed for over a century. In this talk Xueting will take you on a time-travelling journey through the history of Chinese sci-fi and speculative fiction from the turn of the twentieth century through to the present. Discover the influences of China’s unique history and culture on key themes and voices, from its first dawning, to contemporary works, whether translated into English or still only published in Chinese.
- Not Another Race Panel
Mouton Cadet 11:45am-12:45pm
Raquel Taylor, Frank Voss, Josie Wood, Nina Martin, Chella Ramanan
A POC only panel space that is avowedly not a Diversity Panel and not designed for educating white people. This space is for people of colour to talk about geeky issues ranging from gate keeping of spaces by white people to sharing opinions on who should be cast as our faves in upcoming movies and shows. This space is open to self identifying people of colour & mixed race people only.
- Queer Perspectives on Fanfiction
Mouton Cadet 1:30pm-2:30pm
- Was Magneto Right?
St Julien 1:30pm-2:30pm
A discussion of the politics of violence and resistance within X-men: featuring a special guest presentation from Quentin Quire. Content note: This session will include critical discussion of eugenics, prejudice and violence in the source media.
- POC Chillout Space
Hosted by Sophie Hambleton
Set up as a chill out space with tea and games available, a session facilitator will be around to make sure everything goes smoothly - come for conversations about any geeky topic you have your mind on, or just for a game of Firefly Fluxx. This space is open to self identifying people of colour & mixed race people only.
- Why isn’t Sci-Fi More Revolutionary?
Sci-fi is the literature of ideas, of social commentary, of dystopias and utopias, of strange new worlds, of robot uprisings. It's about worlds askew, for better or worse, faraway societies that force us to look hard at our own. So why is that science fiction—ostensibly built on breaking boundaries, questioning the status quo, and fashioning new worlds—has been just as or more likely to perpetuate and reinforce the tired, oppressive norms dominant in the 'real world'? Sci-fi has a long and public history of misogyny, racism, homophobia, and transphobia, of justifying colonialism and empire using the same arguments as historic despots. Using a wide variety of texts and media, from Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, and District 9 to Humans, Sense8, Firefly, and more, we'll look at the patterns, discuss racial, gender, and sexuality coding, and explore ways to reclaim sci-fi for the rebellious. Content note: This session will include critical discussion of transmisogyny, anti sexworker attitudes, sexual violence, anti blackness, orientalism, ableism and racism.
- Intersectionality 101
An interactive chat on intersectionality that let's participants ask difficult questions so that we can all learn and move forward together positively. Content note: This session will include critical discussion of violence against women and LGBTQIA+ people.
- LGBTQIA+ Cartoons
Hamish Steele, Nina Martin, Quen Took, Mel Trender
Animation is a technique that allows creators to tell stories and write characters not possible in live action. But when so many cartoons end with the Princess finding her Prince, we begin to wonder where are all the LGBTQAI+ toons in Toon Town? Looking at both films and television from the past and present, we will explore both good and bad examples, figure out the reasons for such minuscule representation and look to the future with both hope and trepidation. Content note: This session will include critical discussion of homophobic and transphobic humour.
- Disabilities in visual media
Jaime Magnano, Katy K
Disabled people get represented sometimes (and even more rarely as major characters in our own right). Whether it’s good, bad, or tragic, when we do see ourselves reflected, it’s still such a rarity that we’re bound to have feelings about it. This is a space for that conversation. Content note: This session will include critical discussion of ableism.
- Check Your Elven Privilege
Panic d’Vice, Quen Took
Biological anthropologist, comedian and Tolkien nerd Panic d’Vice takes a look at the privilege dynamics and mental health representation in the books, films, characters and legends of Middle Earth: uncovering the unsung history of orc-kind in the process, as well as the likeliness that the Great Goblin is Galadriel’s cousin. Content note: This session will include critical discussion of racism & ableism.
Avery Delany, Duckbunny
A queer and trans only discussion about issues around representation (& misrepresentation), ownership, authenticity, marginalisation and exploitation within fandom. This space is only open to self identifying LGBTQIA+ people. Content note: This session may include discussion of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia & cissexism.
- Con Self Care
Whether its your first con or your fiftieth, we all need to know the best ways to look after ourselves at big events. This is an informal skill sharing space for learning to look after ourselves better at conventions and more generally.
- Changing Face of Representation for Immigrants
Viktoriya, Jaime Magnano, John Tristan, Gillian Brown, Gigi Poolhaus
There is no single immigrant experience. But as globalisation becomes a fact of life and immigration remains high up on the political agenda, how do our favourite books, shows and films portray different immigrant experiences? Who gets it right - and who doesn't? What does 'getting it right' mean, anyway? If there's no single 'immigrant experience', what can a showrunner do to 'get it right'? Content note: This session will include critical discussion of racism and xenophobia.
- Furry 101
New pup, Greymuzzle, or just curious about what the fluff the furry fandom is all about? Come check out this talk from some crazy cat lady and make new furrends. A little bit of the history of furry, anthropormorphic animation, artwork, suiting and stuff. Best for over 18s as there may be talk on subjects of an adult nature.
- Queer Coding in Disney
Avery Delany, Rowan Ellis
Exploring the absence of overtly queer characters in Disney (as in one's which mention being queer or are explicitly referred to as). Despite this, it can be argued that numerous queer characters have been written into the Disney films and are given traits commonly associated with being queer. This session will be a audience participation centred session which encourages discussion around this phenomenon and suggestions for better representation within the Disney films. Content note: This session will include critical discussion of homophobic stereotyping in the source media.
- Exploring Chinese Science Fiction
Yen Ooi, Michael Rowley, Xueting Christine Ni
Chinese science fiction has recently been propelled into a celebrity status due to its popularity at the Hugo Awards. Why have we not come across Chinese science fiction before this, and is it any different from science fiction from the rest of the world? This session will seek to explore the developments of Chinese science fiction, while considering its influences on and from the genre internationally.
- Femme Circle
An all gendered femme & fem centered space for casual crafting (including nail art and makeup based craft), recc sharing and more. Please note, this space will not be scent free as there will be nail varnish being used.
- Writing Neurodiverse Characters
Charley Hasted, Quen Took, Rivers Solomon, Jade R
While we’ve seen increased autistic representation in genre fiction in the past decade, this has largely been in the form of (cis, straight, white) male characters. We’d like to examine what it means to write neurodiversity from the writer’s perspective. How do we present neurodiversity to readers in such a way that they’ll readily recognize what they’re reading? How do we present neurodiversity so that neurotypical readers will experience the text with empathy? If they can’t, is this a failing of the text, or a failing on the reader’s part? We’d like to examine these issues and many more. Content note: This session may include critical discussion of ableism.
- Neurodiversity and Fandom Culture
Michele Howe, Jade R, Lisa Burscheidt, Quen Took
From writing neurodiverse characters to being neurodiverse writers, fandom has become a space in which neurodiversity thrives. How do we create so that we can both see ourselves and present what we’d like the world to understand? How do we navigate the (often tricky, sometimes baffling) interpersonal relationships that invariably develop in such close-knit communities? From concord to conflict, how do we relate to each other? How do we relate to fictional characters in comparison to the ways in which neurotypical individuals do? Furthermore, how does this relational difference affect the ways in which we navigate our fandom experiences? Content note: This session will include mentions of ableism.
Tangerine is a film about two trans women, living and working in the sex industry in Los Angeles. When Sin-Dee finds out her boyfriend cheated on her while she was in prison, she’s out for revenge. Starring Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor.
This film is rated 15, and contains scenes of sex, drug use, violence & transphobic language.
- I am I am I am - a young people’s session
Younglings and guardians (of the galaxy), welcome to “I Am, I Am, I Am.” In this writing workshop, we’re going to be reflecting on who we are; the traits, dreams, identities, and unique qualities that make us into us! Under-18s only, with guardians of younger children welcome as observers.
- The Fandom Awakens
St Julien 9am-9:45am
Hannah Bunce, Charley Hasted
A general squee session for Star Wars: the Force Awakens fans to enthuse about the latest film, and to share excitement for the next one.
- The Limitations of A Strong Female Character
Viktoriya, Morag Hannah, Erin Hardee, Josie Wood, Rowan Ellis
One thing that Buffy Summers, Ellen Ripley, Lara Croft and Sarah Connor all have in common is that they have been described as Strong Female Characters. But does that simply mean an ability to kick someone in the head? And what are the limitations of having that as the defining characteristic of female protagonists? Content note: This session will include critical discussion of violence against women including sexual violence.
- LGBTQIA+ Representations in Saga
Mia Violet, Loretta Headey, Cali, Quen Took
A session exploring representations of LGBTQIA+ people in the comic book series Saga.
- Theatre as Transformative Works
Jade R, Emily January, Vanessa Thompsett, Lisa Burscheidt, Charlie Oughton
Theatre by its very nature is transformative, be it a story passed on from person to person or a bare stage being the ultimate blank slate on which anything can be built. Mythology, historical RPF, the bible, movies, meta on theatre itself have all crossed the boards in some form so: is theatre the ultimate playground?
- Respectability Politics in LGBTQIA+ Portrayals
Jaime Magnano, Avery Delany, Rowan Ellis, EK McAlpine, Mia Violet
Shadeism, transphobia, racism, anti-sexworker prejudice, classism, sex negative attitudes, ableism, stigma against HIV positive people & femmephobia are all rife within evaluations of how ‘good’ or ‘appropriate’ an LGBTQIA+ character is. Who gets to be a ‘good representation of an LGBTQIA+ character? And who gets to make that call? Are the people portrayed always the ones decrying a character as a stereotype? Content note: This session will include critical discussion of shadeism, racism, anti-sexworker prejudice, classism, sex negative attitudes, ableism, stigma against HIV positive people & femmephobia.
- Non-Anglophone Swap and Share
Obsessed with J-pop? Adore Bollywood? Come and share some of your favourite non-Anglophone fandoms and discover some new obsessions. This is Pimp My Fandom: the international edition!
- Batman vs Troubling Portrayals of Mental Illness
Writer-artist-biological-anthropologist-comedian-geek Panic explores depictions of Batman, his allies and especially his Rogue’s Gallery’s mental health throughout their 77 years in-print and on-screen; blending in-depth biological and comic-book history knowledge with their personal account how comics helped them deal with their own mental illnesses, and just how important representation is. Content note: This session will include critical discussion of ableism and suicide.