On Centering and Afrofuturism

Troy L. Wiggins

This is really raw and off the dome. I’m going to act like the new kid at the open mic night and ask y’all to bear with me.

I couldn’t wade into that Afrofuturism discussion started by Nnedi Okorafor yesterday because my day was just full of all sorts of meatspace responsibilities that I couldn’t ignore. Also, part of my silence was just being fucking livid at the expressed ideas, and any of my reactions coming from that mindstate would be unfair to the discourse, especially when I’m talking to other Black people. There are certain folks you give respect, even if they are acting with disregard for your feelings. There’s a time to act from anger, and there’s a time to consider your reaction and then try and come correct. If that makes me wrong in this instance, so be it.

I got time today, though.

Any talk on…

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The Techniques of Erasure

Stitch's Media Mix

Word Cloud - Techniques of Erasure

This is part one of a hybrid essay-rant series focusing on fandom (the collective community) and its intense race/racism problems. If you’re new to my blog and to this project, start here with the introduction post. Make sure to click the links and read the content because they’ll add further nuance to the essay here.

In addition to talking about race and racism, this post also mentions incest (with regard to how fandom interprets familial relationships to suit their shipping needs).

One thing that becomes overwhelmingly clear when it comes to the treatment of characters of color is the lengths that fandom is willing to go to in order to get them out of the way of their favorite white character ships. There are so many techniques that we could tackle, many of them framed subtly enough that it’s difficult to combat them, but for the purposes of this…

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Changing the Media

Sarah Kendzior

Yesterday I did an “Ask Me Anything” with the site Wiselike and got a lot of interesting questions. One of them, on problems with the US media, was widely circulated yesterday but requires a log-in today, so I’m reposting it here:

If you could change how media is done in the States, what would you change?

Hi Sarah thanks for doing this AMA and I noticed that you write about media. I wanted to know what you thought about how media coverage is done because whatever media is covering- those are the issues people care about.

Oh man. Thanks for the question. This answer may go on for awhile. To start:

1) Publish less and pay writers more. We are drowning in a sea of crap. That is nothing new. The media was a sea of crap in the 1990s, but what is unique about our era is that…

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Dancing With Our Hands

In 2014, I wrote quite a bit. Nothing too professional, just snippets here and there, mostly on my Tumblr and my other WordPress, about my life, my opinions on academia, and rantings about things that dissatisfied me within activism and academics. I first got the idea for a more serious academic blog in about November, but held off on it due to fears of plagiarism.

Now that I’m all but finished with my applications to grad school, have some free time, and want to have an easy way to reserve good ideas that pop in my head, I’ve decided to finally get this academic blog underway.

On this blog, you can expect to find:

– Posts about the experience of being an upcoming (hopefully!) grad student in Canada

– Opinions about popular, current discourses in Feminism/Gender Studies

– Drafts for ideas which will, with a little luck and a lot of…

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Gender, Orphan Black & The Meta Of Meta

shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows

Recently, my husband and I burned through S1 of Orphan Black, which, as promised by virtually the entire internet, was awesome. But in all the praise I’d seen for it, a line from one review in particular stuck in my mind. The reviewer noted that, although the protagonist, Sarah, is an unlikeable character, her grifter skills make her perfectly suited to unravelling the mystery in which she finds herself. And as this was a positive review, I kept that quote in mind when we started watching, sort of by way of prewarning myself: you maybe won’t like Sarah, but that’s OK.

But here’s the thing: I fucking loved Sarah. I mean, I get what the reviewer was trying to say, in that she’s not always a sympathetic character, but that’s not the same as her actually being unlikeable. And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why…

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The Sexualization of Willow Smith

The Belle Jar

We need to talk for a hot second about the sexualization of young girls.

Specifically, we need to talk about the sexualization of Willow Smith by the media.

In case you’ve somehow missed the whole hullaballoo, the picture below of thirteen year old Willow and twenty year old actor Moises Arias was recently posted on Instagram, and the internet subsequently exploded.


Everyone immediately leapt to the conclusion that the photograph was somehow sexual. Hollywood Life referred to it as “compromising.” Complex Magazine said that it was “creepy.” Folks on twitter said that it was “disgusting on so many levels,” and promised that the picture would “seriously gross you out.” Even Sesali Bowen, coming to Willow’s defence in an article on Feministing, wrote, “The photo itself is sexy. I can’t deny that.” The general consensus seemed to be that, whether you thought (or cared) that the photograph…

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Growing Octavia’s Brood: The Science Fiction Social Justice Created

The Nerds of Color

During an interview in the 1980s, Black female science fiction writer Octavia Butler was asked her how it felt to be THE Black female science fiction writer. And Octavia replied she never wanted that title. She said she wanted to be one of hundreds of Black female sci-fi writers. She said she wanted thousands of folks writing sci-fi and writing themselves into the future.

My co-editor Adrienne Maree Brown and I didn’t even know explicitly we were answering the call Octavia laid down when we started working together on Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements, an anthology of radical (or what we call visionary) science fiction by organizers, activists and those immersed in social change. We just knew we felt the power, the potential and the necessity of visionary science fiction.

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