Strategic Planning Update #11

Sep. 19th, 2014 04:49 pm
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Posted by Janita Burgess


Spotlight on Strategic Planning

Greetings from the Strategic Planning committee!

The Strategic Planning committee is beginning to move into a new and exciting phase of our process. As we gear up to attend the Board retreat in early October, we are concentrating on finishing off our information-gathering process so that we can bring as much data to the Board as possible. To that end, we have been busily finishing up our interviews and surveys of the remaining OTW committees and workgroups. We’re also taking the month of September to touch base with committees we surveyed more than six months ago. Being prepared for the Board retreat is our main priority at the moment, but we are also continuing to work on reports and hope to have fresh reports for OTW supporters to read soon after the retreat!

During the retreat, we will be working with the Board, as well as representatives from the Legal and Volunteers & Recruiting Committees, to develop an organization-wide strategic plan. We've noticed some questions from staff and volunteers about how this strategic plan will incorporate input from all corners of the organization, especially those not present at the retreat. A major part of our role as the Strategic Planning Committee is to consolidate the ideas, opinions, and suggestions we've gathered from all OTW staff and volunteers during our surveying and interviewing process into what will make up the key objectives of the final strategic plan. We also plan to incorporate the results of the OTW Community Survey, as a reflection of the larger OTW membership and userbase. To that end, in the upcoming weeks before the retreat, we especially welcome any additional thoughts.

Our role does not include coming up with recommendations that are not rooted in the responses that we have received. Our information-gathering process was specifically designed so that the questions would engage each committee or workgroup in thinking strategically about the future and what goals and priorities they would like to set for the next 3-5 years. Our purpose at the Board retreat is to communicate those goals and priorities to the Board and to fit them together into a larger organizational view. We also intend to present a concrete proposal to the Board to bring the strategic plan to the OTW for a period of internal comment and review and to incorporate feedback before final approval.

After the retreat, we plan to focus on completing all individual committee and workgroup reports, then move to writing up the details of the OTW strategic plan, based on the decisions made by Board at the retreat. The difference between the committee/workgroup reports and the OTW strategic plan is the former presented the background history, current challenges, and future goals of specific teams within the OTW, while the latter will present the collective goals -- and suggestions for how to implement those goals -- from an organization-wide perspective.

In August, we also launched our Non-Profit 101 series, holding chat sessions open to all OTW staff and volunteers intended to discuss and educate one another about non-profit organizations and best practices. We’ve had two sessions so far, “What is a Non-Profit” and “Boards and Bylaws”, and both were met with a gratifying amount of interest. We’re looking forward to holding more sessions in the coming months.

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OTW Fannews: Personal Connections

Sep. 18th, 2014 04:53 pm
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Posted by Jennifer Rose Hale


Room with lots of Elvis paraphernalia. Text reads Personal Connections

  • NPR profiled the legacy of Elvis fan, Paul MacLeod. His tribute to Elvis's home, dubbed Graceland 2, has become his town's biggest visitor draw. "In 1990, he opened his house to visitors to show off his enormous hoard of Elvis memorabilia. But it soon became clear that the real attraction was MacLeod. YouTube videos give an idea why: MacLeod guided visitors through his house like a deranged carnival barker. He never stopped talking...MacLeod's devotion to 'the king' drove away his second wife and alienated his son. But it also transformed him from mere fan into what Elvis scholar Vernon Chadwick calls an outsider artist."
  • At Zap2It, Boob Tube Dude took note of the 10th anniversary of Lost. "The content of television shows, so this viewpoint goes, is designed to satisfy the cravings of its fans and reward them for viewing loyalty. This viewpoint gets things backwards, however. Television shows are created from a central point of view, and the best ones follow their own muse. The fact that anyone relates to that point of view is something of a miracle, especially in a day and age in which entertainment options are more diffuse and appeal to more distinct demographics than ever. But make no mistake: The idea that any show is creating something specifically for you is an illusion...In the best cases, it creates a symbiosis between audience and show that makes it feel as if the former were made for the latter."
  • New York's Daily News cited a study of Fifty Shades of Grey readers to suggest that their health problems might be interconnected with their choice of books -- at least if they were young. "Amy Bonomi, chairwoman of human development at Michigan State, led the study of 655 women ages 18 to 24. Despite the book's popularity with older women, Bonomi told the News that she studied younger women because their brains are at a critical developmental stage and they are exploring their sexuality more. 'Studies like this have been done before,' she said, noting analyses linking violent television to violent behavior and magazines to body image. '(But) nobody's really done it for fiction.'"

What sorts of personal connections have you seen in your fandoms? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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September 18th, 2014next

September 18th, 2014: Hey, remember when I wrote a choose-your-own-path version of Hamlet called To Be or Not To Be? SURE YOU DO. (YOU CAN BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW, BY THE WAY). Well that book was launched through Kickstarter and one of the rewards was me painting a painting for you (I am a terrible but enthusiastic painter) and a very classy gent named Boyd Multerer backed at that level! It took me a while to paint it (and even longer to mail it, I'M SORRY BOYD) but it arrived yesterday and now I can share it with you! The request was "T-Rex playing Xbox" so now T-Rex playing the Xbox One is CANONICAL. Thank you Boyd!

– Ryan

friggin' water-type Pokémon

Sep. 17th, 2014 09:58 pm
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September 16th, 2014next

September 16th, 2014: Hey baby is whole body slightly below room temperature because from here you look pret-ty cool

– Ryan

OTW Fannews: Founded on Fanworks

Sep. 17th, 2014 04:46 pm
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Posted by Kiri Van Santen


image by Robyn of James Madison, fourth president of the US

  • Jennifer Parsons wrote at Tech Dirt about fanfic written by one of the U.S. founding fathers. "Why fanfic? What made Madison decide to use existing characters to make his point rather than inventing his own characters like John Arbuthnot did for his own political allegory?...The easiest way to tackle these questions is to tell you an allegorical story. There once was a comic artist, 'Jim M.,' who wanted to comment upon the important issue of CIA torture. To make his point, he drew a three panel comic strip. In the first panel, Captain America is taking down a fanatical Nazi commander who tortured prisoners of war for the good of the Fatherland...In the second panel, Jim M. draws Captain America standing next to President Obama, who is casually observing that although the CIA did 'torture some folks,' the lapse can be excused because the torturers were patriots who loved their country. In the third panel we see Captain America's shadowed face as he walks away from a burning American flag."
  • Although some are very pleased with the offerings on Kindle Worlds, various sites posted a story by Jeff John Robertson at GigaOm about Kindle Worlds' success in light of a presentation by OTW legal staffer, Rebecca Tushnet. "For Amazon and its partners, it will be difficult to overcome such perceptions since the underlying problem is not just about licensing terms, but something more fundamental: the impossibility of having it both ways, of fostering maximum creativity while wielding maximum legal control. As Tushnet notes, Kindle Worlds is hardly the first time that a licensed model of creativity has come up short: the music industry’s imposition of sampling licenses smothered hip-hop in the 1990’s, while commercial controls eroded the popularity of the early fan fiction universe, Darkover."
  • The Fandom Post reported on Dynamite Entertainment being one of the latest companies to go DRM-free. "There will be a slow, focused roll-out over time that will grow the available titles to reflect the vast majority of Dynamite’s library. Throughout its first month of operation, Dynamite will donate ten percent of all sales to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers."

How far back have you seen fanworks go? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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Posted by Kendra James

Elmo has skin! A relatively obvious fact that still manages to blow my mind. But even more revolutionary is the rest of Elmo and Lupita Nyong’o’s conversation where she educate the eternal two year old monster on skin, what it does, and how it comes in many “beautiful shades and colours.”

The repetition of the world “beautiful” as Elmo describes both Lupita’s brown skin and his own red skin (under the red fur, of course) is a wonderful and simple way to introduce Sesame’s young audience to the idea that every ticklish skin tone they might possess is gorgeous no matter what.

The post Elmo and Lupita Nyong’o Talk Beautiful Skin appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

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Posted by Claudia Rebaza


Banner by Alice of a book/eReader with an OTW bookmark and a USB plug going into the spine.

TWC has released No. 17, a general (unthemed) issue comprising seven full-length critical essays, six Symposium essays, two interviews, and three book reviews. The works loosely gather into themes of form and content—the title of Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson's editorial. The issue showcases a variety of investigations into a myriad of platforms. The issue features several essays that switch the focus from content to form and illustrate the importance of a range of different fan engagements. Fan fiction, fan films, fannish infrastructure, fan subs, and fan archives are all addressed in this issue.

Several peer-reviewed essays look at the way fan fiction engages with its source texts as well as its surrounding fannish cultures.

* Ann McClellan's "Redefining Genderswap Fan Fiction: A Sherlock Case Study" uses a transgender theory framework to look at genderswap fiction and the way it addresses issues of gender and identity.

* Vera Cuntz-Leng's "Twinship, Incest, and Twincest in the Harry Potter Universe" looks at an individual fandom and its fan creations to investigate how the doubling motif gets repeated.

* John Wei looks at Chinese Iron Man fan fiction in "Iron Man in Chinese Boys' Love Fandom: A Story Untold."

* Douglas Schules's "How to Do Things with Fan Subs: Media Engagement as Subcultural Capital in Anime Fan Subbing" reads the practice of fan subbing as part of a complex system of subcultural capital.

* Shannon Fay Johnson looks at fannish infrastructures in "Fan Fiction Metadata Creation and Utilization within Fan Fiction Archives: Three Primary Models."

* Joshua Wille's "Fan Edits and the Legacy of The Phantom Edit" looks at fan remixes of one particular film—and one influential fan edit—to illustrate the artistic and creative importance of digital remixing.

* Burcu S. Bakioglu's "Bull in a China Shop: Alternate Reality Games and Transgressive Fan Play in Social Media" analyzes how the video blogs of Lonelygirl15 constructed a narrative to invite maximum fan engagement.

Two interviews appear in this issue. In their conversation with Sleepy Hollow's actor Orlando Jones, Lucy Bennett and Bertha Chin discuss his past year of "Exploring Fandom, Social Media, and Producer/Fan Interactions." TWC's book review editor, Louisa Stein, hosts a roundtable of various media scholars (including TWC coeditor Kristina Busse) reviewing Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green (NYU Press, 2013). Parts of this roundtable were originally published in Cinema Journal; TWC prints the extended, unabridged version.

The three book reviews demonstrate the increased importance of fan studies. Anne Gilbert reviews Fanged Fan Fiction: Variations on Twilight, True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries, by Maria Lindgren Leavenworth and Malin Isaksson (McFarland, 2013); Nicolle Lamerichs discusses Manga's Cultural Crossroads, edited by Jaqueline Berndt and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (Routledge, 2013); and Lucy Bennett assesses Popular Music Fandom: Identities, Roles, and Practices, edited by Mark Duffett (Routledge, 2014).

The next two issues of TWC, Nos. 18 and 19, will appear in the first half of 2015 as guest-edited special issues: Paul Booth and Lucy Bennett coedit a special issue on performance and performativity, and Anne Kustritz's special issue focuses on European fandom. Both these issues are closed to submissions.

A future issue, guest edited by Ika Wills, on the Classical Canon and/as Transformational Work remains open for submissions. TWC No. 20 will be an open, unthemed issue, and we welcome general submissions. (Close date for the CFP is March 1, 2015).We particularly encourage fans to submit Symposium essays. We encourage all potential authors to read the submission guidelines. The close date for receipt of copy for No. 20 is March 15, 2015.

Transformative Works and Cultures is part of the Organization for Transformative Works, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We exist entirely on the generosity of our donors. If you would like our work to continue, please consider donating today.
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Guess who got a Netflix account within a few hours of it being available in Germany?

Maybe I need to spend my holiday on the couch instead of in the US :-)
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Posted by Kendra James


(Editor’s note: In light of recent events we’ve opted to repost this article as a an unfortunate refresher re: domestic violence and the NFL.)

By Guest Contributor David J. Leonard, cross-posted from The Feminist Wire

In the aftermath of the tragic murder of Kasandra Michelle Perkins, and the subsequent suicide of Jovan Belcher, much of the media and social media chatter have focused on Belcher.  Indeed, Kasandra Michelle Perkins has been an afterthought in public conversations focused on questions regarding the Chiefs’ ability to play, concussions, masculinity, guns, and the culture of football in the aftermath of this tragedy. Over at the always brilliant Crunk Feminist Collective website, one member described the situation in sobering terms:

Headlines and news stories have focused on the tragedy from the lens of the perpetrator (including speculation of potential brain trauma, his involvement, as an undergraduate, in a Male Athletes Against Violence initiative, and his standing as an allstar athlete), in some ways dismissing or overshadowing the lens of the victim, who in headlines is simply referred to as “(his) girlfriend.”

Mike Lupica, at the NY Daily News, offered a similar criticism about our focus and misplaced priorities:

That is why the real tragedy here — the real victim — is a young woman named Kasandra Michelle Perkins, whom Belcher shot and killed before he ever parked his car at the Chiefs’ practice facility and put that gun to his head.

She was 22 and the mother of Belcher’s child, a child who is 3 months old, a child who will grow up in a world without parents. At about 10 minutes to 8, according to Kansas City police, Jovan Belcher put a gun on the mother of his child in a house on the 5400 block of Chrysler Ave. in Kansas City and started shooting and kept shooting. You want to mourn somebody? Start with her.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

While disheartening and indefensible, I get the turn towards concussionsguns, and the masculinity of sporting cultures.  The murder-suicide shines a spotlight on a number of issues that many have been grappling with for many years.  It encapsulates people’s discomfort about a culture that condones on-the-field violence that may contribute to so much pain off-the-field.  It highlights society’s moral failures whereupon profits are put in front of people.  There will be a time for these conversations, but for now the spotlight needs to be on Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

Upon hearing about this tragic murder of Kasandra Michelle Perkins, I too turn my attention to these issues; I am guilty of this failure, having tweeted about concussions, suicide, and the culture of the NFL. These issues are real–but so is the tragic death of Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins cannot be a footnote.  She cannot be an afterthought.

While there are clearly issues specific to football—impact of concusions, the culture of hyper masculinity, mental health—we cannot lose focus on Kasandra Michelle Perkins.  Her life is no less precious just because she didn’t play linebacker; her life is no less important because she didn’t have teammates (although her family and friends are her teammates) grieving.  Her story is no less important because we live in a culture that privileges football and celebrity over the daily tragedies of violence.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins: let’s remember her name.

Her murder is a startling and sobering reminder about the all-too common tragedy of domestic/intimate partner murders.  “Each year thousands of black women are shot, stabbed, stalked, and brutalized in crimes that never make it on the national radar.  Black women experience intimate partner violence at a rate of 35% higher than do white women,” writes Sikivu Hutchinson.  “Intimate partner violence is a leading cause of death for black women, yet they are seldom viewed as proper victims and are rarely cast as total innocents.”

The failure to value all lives equally, to scream to demand justice, embodies American racism and sexism.  Hutchinson makes this clear in another brilliant piece:

Plastered on websites like AOL, relentlessly rammed down our collective throats in titillating morsels with whiffs of sexuality and scandal, poster child Caylee Anderson and company are a metaphor for Middle America’s Little Red Riding Hood fetishization of white femininity. Tabloid narratives of imperiled white females highlight the suburban virtues of white Middle America and not so subtlety evoke the social pathologies of the so-called inner city. Indeed, the spectacles of grief, mourning, and community outrage trotted out on CNN and FOX not only program viewers to identify with the injustice that has been done to the victim and her family, but to her community. In the world of 24-7 media these victims become our girls, our daughters, while the “bitches” and “hos” of the inner city symbolize the disorder and ungovernableness of an urban America whose values must be kept at bay.

The media erasure–particularly of the lost lives of women of color–is a root problem. It points to a systemic failure. The consequences are grave and mortifying. The ubiquity here is haunting; the devastation is disheartening; and our collective silence, paralysis, and acceptance are shameful.

  • Close to 70% of women killed by a gun were murdered by the hand of an intimate partner
  • More than three women are murdered every day by a husband or domestic partner
  • 40-50% of female murder victims fall into the category of domestic/partner murder (this includes former partners)
  • Three times as many women are killed by husband or intimate acquaintance as are killed by strangers using guns, knives or other weapons combined

As noted on “What About Our Daughters,”

According to the CDC, black women have a maternal homicide risk about seven times that of white women. Black women ages 25-29 are about 11 times more likely as white women in that age group to be murdered while pregnant or in the year after childbirth.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins is not a statistic, but her murder is part of a larger story.  The same is true for Cicely Bolden.  She was murdered by the man she was dating; he killed her after he learned that she was HIV-positive. #Kasandra Michelle Perkins #Cicely Bolden. Let’s not forget Meghann Pope.  She and her baby (she was 4 months pregnant) died after her boyfriend ran her over with his truck.  # Arlet Hernandez Contreras#Ericka Peters; # Rasheedah Blunt# Jasmine Nichelle Moss#Dawn Viens; #Yeardley Love#Nancy Benoit#Cherica Adams;  #Aena Hong.

It is crucial to continue to say Kasandra Michelle Perkins’ name. To look at her face; to ingrain her image into our heads. We must continue to think about not the last minutes of her life, but the totality of her life.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

It is crucial to say all of these names.  It is crucial to hear the plea from Kasandra Michelle Perkins’ friend, who reminded us all, “I don’t want her to get overshadowed by who he was. I know he was a Chiefs player and a lot of people know him, but she deserves recognition, too.”

Each time we say her name we remember her life and her tragic murder.  Each time we say Kasandra Michelle Perkins, we remember her 4-month-old daughter who lost her mom and her dad on December 2, 2012.  Each time we say her name we push back at the privileging of celebrity-life  over her death.  Each time we say her name we are hopefully reminded of the ubiquity of domestic/partner murder.  Each time we say her name we refuse the silence and erasure of domestic violence and intimate partner murder, particularly when the victims are women of color.  Each time we say her name we refuse the racism and sexism that obscures the humanity of those lives lost.  We challenge the discomfort that compels silence and erasure.

I heed the words from the Crunk Feminist Collective:

I wrote this piece to adjust the focus away from the famous athlete who “snapped,” and to put it on the true innocent in the case. I wrote this piece as a clarion call to remember Kasandra by her name and not by her relationship. I wrote this piece so that we don’t forget that victims may fall into statistics but they have names! I wrote this piece as a reminder that Kasandra (and Cherica) existed before their relationships with men who did not value their lives. I wrote this piece as a reminder that when a tragedy like this happens, it is not the perpetrator’s name we should remember, but the victim’s.

Each time we say Kasandra Michelle Perkins we remember a life lost; we remember a 22-year woman brutally murdered in her home; we remember a mother who will never get to hold her daughter again. We remember Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

Say her name!

The post Kasandra Michelle Perkins: We Must Say Her Name appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

Work, tiny immune system!

Sep. 16th, 2014 07:06 am
yvi: a mouse on top of test tubes (Science - Mouse)
[personal profile] yvi
On the upside, I am now once again up to date on my vaccinations, getting vaccinated for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio yesterday.

On the downside, this was the second night in a row I barely slept. Dann arm was hurting too much.

OTW Fannews: Knowing the Audience

Sep. 15th, 2014 04:27 pm
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Posted by Janita Burgess


OTW Fannews Knowing the Audience

  • Lydia Laurenson wrote for The Atlantic about online anonymity, spurred by the change in Google+'s policy on real names. "I was finding myself on the Internet, but I was also learning skills that would be useful both as a professional and a human offline. My ability to be an effective creator was hugely shaped by writing popular fan fiction and running side-project businesses in virtual worlds. Researchers have also found pseudonymous games to be great environments for training leadership skills...Nowadays, we’re often told that The Future lies in entrepreneurship. I believe that elastic selfhood is crucial for people’s personal development, but it’s important for broader innovation, too. We need space to experiment and risk-tolerant environments where people can learn."
  • Many female fans have hidden their gender in online spaces for some of the reasons that Jen Mac Ramos describes as appearing in hockey fandom. "Plain and simple: being a hockey fan online isn't a safe space for women. In fact, it's downright frightening at times. It's no secret that hockey is notoriously a white bro sport, white as the ice they play on. The boys' club that watches and writes about it is what it is: a boys' club. It's men of all spades who get to dictate what the culture is like. While understandable on the ice (because, well, it is a boys' club in the locker room), why should it extend to how fandom should be? Why should it be around to isolate women?"
  • The media does little to value women as an audience. While suggesting that public conversations on diversity can make a difference, and reporting on problems with representation, the Hollywood Reporter nonetheless wrote about the success of female driven films as a failure of men to go to the movies.
  • At Black Girl Nerds, Jamie Broadnax questioned terms and whether or not they can encompass an entire audience of fans. "A nerd can look like anyone. They look like you or me. However, for women and people of color, are we nerds or anti-nerds? I’m not suggesting we reject the term nerd because I like being called a nerd and I have no qualms about adopting all of what is considered to be a part of nerd culture. However, as a blerd, if I choose to embrace my blerdniess as opposed to generic nerdiness than what does that mean exactly? The blerd community is a place of solidarity for nerds of color. It’s a safe place where we are free to embrace and express our unique sense of self. There is a no-judgment zone within the blerd community and we welcome blerds to cosplay as non-Black characters and for women to have a prolific voice in our community."

What parts of fandom have you been involved in? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.


Teaching Trayvon

Sep. 15th, 2014 02:00 pm
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Posted by Guest Contributor

By Guest Contributor Shadee Malaklou, cross-posted from JFCBlog

[Editor's Note: Graphic images at the end of this post, under the cut]

The Trayvon Martin syllabus: These reading and viewing assignments are designed to prompt politically vigilant conversations about historical and institutional constructs of black male criminality in the United States.

Specifically, they unpack Trayvon Martin’s gratuitous murder in February 2012 and the response his tragic death elicited from media and legal institutions–especially relevant in the wake of Michael Brown’s August 2014 lynching in Ferguson, Missouri. Written texts consist of insightful and timely essays published on blogs like Colorlines, The Feminist Wire and Black Girl Dangerous.

These essays teach tertiary students how to extrapolate anti-black racism from non-black experiences of ethnic difference without overwhelming them with jargon-heavy texts written for a well-versed academic audience.

PART 1: Anti-Black Racism + Trayvon Martin’s murder

Reading Assignments:

  1. “’Neighborhood Watch’ Groups Like Zimmerman’s and in Much of the Deep South Are Hardly Different Than Slave Patrols of Old” by Thom Hartmann for AlterNet
  2. “Putting Casual Racism on Trial” by Aura Bogado for Colorlines
  3. “Questlove: Trayvon Martin and I Ain’t Shit” by Ahmir Questlove Thompson for NY Magazine
  4. “The Zimmerman Jury Told Young Black Men What We Already Knew” by Cord Jefferson for Gawker
  5. “The US v. Trayvon martin: How the System Worked” by Robin D.G. Kelley for Counterpunch
  6. “Trayvon Martin and the Irony of American Justice” by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic
  7. “No Justice for Trayvon: White Women in the Jury Box” by Monica J. Casper for The Feminist Wire
  8. “What Should Trayvon Martin Have Done?” by Amy Davidson for The New Yorker 
  9. “Study: Both Public, Police View Black Kids As Older, Less Innocent Than Whites” by Michael Arceneaux for News One
  10. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “America Is Not For Black People” by Greg Howard for The Concourse
  11. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Why I fear for my sons” by Kimberly Norwood for CNN
  12. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Things to stop being distracted by when a black person gets murdered by police” by Mia McKenzie for Black Girl Dangerous 
  13. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “The Price of Blackness” by Lanre Akinsiku for Gawker
  14. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “The ugly history of racist policing in America” by Dara Lind for Vox

Viewing Assignments:

  1. “The Murder of Emmet Till” (2003)
  2. “Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops” by Rafael Casal for Upworthy
  3. “Meet The 17-Year-Old Who Blew The Lid Off Racial Profiling With His iPod” by Alvin Melathe for Upworthy
  4. “The news reminds me that bodies like mine are beaten” by national poetry champion, Amber Rose Johnson on the Melissa Harris-Perry show 
  5. “Defying standards of black respectability” by Melissa Harris-Perry for MSNBC

PART 2: The failure of racial colorblindness + George Zimmerman’s trial

Reading Assignments:

  1. “The Good, Racist People” by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The New York Times
  2. “Poll: Majority of Whites See America as Colorblind, Nearly 80% of African-Americans do not” by Noah Rothman for Mediaite
  3. “White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman” by Aura Bogado for The Nation
  4. “The Curious Case of George Zimmerman’s Race” by Julianne Hing for Colorlines
  5. “We are NOT all Trayvon: Challenging Anti-Black Racism in POC Communities” by Asam Ahmad for Black Girl Dangerous
  6. “Racism is to white people as wind is to the sky” by Sunny Drake
  7. “White supremacy, meet black rage” by Brittney Cooper for Salon
  8. “What is ‘Black Privilege’?” by Omar Ricks and Gregory Caldwell
  9. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops” by Erwin Chemerinksy for The New York Times
  10. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “I’m black, my brother’s white…and he’s a cop who shot a black man on duty” by Zach Stafford for The Guardian 
  11. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Two Americas: Ferguson, Missouri Versus the Bundy Ranch, Nevada” by Bob Cesca for The Daily Banter
  12. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “White supremacy is the real culprit in Ferguson. The excuses just prove it” by Nyle Fort for The Guardian
  13. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Telling white people the criminal justice system is racist makes them like it more” by Dara Lind for Vox

Viewing Assignments:

  1. “A Perspective On George Zimmerman That Every Person Should Hear” by Deepa Kunapuli for Upworthy

PART 3: Spectacle of the Other + Scenes of Subjection

Reading Assignments:

  1. “Rachel Jeantel: Black Girl Misunderstood” by Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq. for Afro State of Mind
  2. “Playing Dead: The Trayvoning Meme and the Mocking of Black Death” by Lisa Guerrero and David J. Leonard for New Black Man
  3. “Google Play’s ‘Angry Trayvon’ Game Ignites Fury on Twitter” by Jamilah King for Colorlines
  4. “‘Sharkeisha’ Video: The Real Tragedy Is How Many Enjoyed Watching” by Demetria L. Lucas for The Root
  5. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Police let their dog urinate on Michael Brown memorial, then drove over it” by Hunter for Daily Kos
  6. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Mike Brown’s shooting and Jim Crow lynchings have too much in common. It’s time for America to own up” by Isabel Wilkerson for The Guardian

[Top image by David Shankbone, via Flickr Creative Commons]

The post Teaching Trayvon appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

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September 15th, 2014next

September 15th, 2014: Let's say Jay and Kay are... cross-temporal siblings? Yeah, that actually sounds really great!

– Ryan

OTW Fannews: Wearing the Mask

Sep. 14th, 2014 04:02 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Jennifer Rose Hale


Vintage photograph of people, primarily children, in costume
  • A feature on LonCon in The Guardian discussed various fanworks including filk and cosplay. "While most attendees save dressing up until Saturday night's masquerade, Jonathan Hall, 21, who studies physics at Oxford, spent Friday of the convention fully clad in a homemade Thor costume. For him, while comics breaking out in the mainstream was 'only a good thing,' he said the big comic book and fantasy films made by Hollywood had a lot of catching up to do in terms of representing minority groups in the way the fiction and fan fiction did. 'I'm quite into queer fandom,' Hall added. 'I watched Doctor Who and Torchwood when it came back on television and being 14 at the time and starting to realise I was bisexual, having Captain Jack as a figure on television who become a role model in many ways was a huge help to me. So I think representation is really important and in many ways these big budget movies don't do it as well as books have been doing for a while.'"
  • SyFy interviewed designers who took part in San Diego Comic Con's Her Universe Fashion Show. Asked about whether geek couture is becoming a movement in fashion, one designer replied "Geek culture right now is coming into a really strong time because people are being themselves, they are embracing what they like and embracing who they are...and saying if you don't like it, that's ok because I like myself." (No transcript available).
  • While some fans are creating cosplay for animals, The Inlander profiled cosplay as animals in a piece on Spokane’s First Night. "Escapism is nothing new to the human experience. Ask the guy who drops his paycheck on Zags season tickets, or the people waiting in line for a movie on a Friday night. Ask comic book fans, artists, musicians, gamers, woodworkers, distance runners, Civil War re-enactors, avid fans of Game of Thrones. Odds are they'll all tell you they're just looking for a vacation from the norm, a few minutes when they can forget the bills to pay, the obligations to meet, the 9-to-5, the problems they don't want to address. 'When we fantasize, we experience the same emotions we would feel if we were in reality. Think of the fear you feel with a nightmare. Happy fantasies make us feel good,' says Norman Holland, author of Literature and the Brain and a researcher of psychoanalytic psychology...'Fantasies — escapism — give our emotions a workout. That's why the imaginative arts are good for you.'"

Have you taken part in cosplay or attended cosplay events? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

kareila: (Default)
[personal profile] kareila posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
A few months ago, I started scheduling regular dev chat meetings in an effort to increase awareness of our development efforts and discuss how to deal with common issues we all face in the course of development.

I think a lot of good has come from these chats. However, over the last six weeks or so, participation has fallen way off, and I'm no longer convinced they can continue to serve a useful purpose in their current form.

If it's a scheduling issue, I'm happy to move it around to get more attendance. I've asked before for alternative times and gotten no responses. I had hoped that by scheduling it to occur at the same time every couple of weeks, that would allow people to plan ahead to arrange their availability to attend. If it would work better to poll everyone for a preferred time for each meeting, I can try that for a while.

If it's not a scheduling issue, I'd like to know why more people aren't showing up to participate. It was made clear to me in the discussion here that there was definitely a perceived need for something like this three months ago. Has that need disappeared? Should we be trying to meet it in a different way?

Basically I want to do whatever I can to help facilitate communication in the development community, but I want to make sure my efforts are having the desired effect. Please comment if you have any thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

Welcome to OTW Elections Season!

Sep. 13th, 2014 04:16 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Kiri Van Santen


Banner by Diane of a 3 line checkbox with the choices 'OTW', 'Elections News' and a checkmark next to 'Make your voice heard'

We’re very excited to announce the beginning of elections season and would like to issue you a warm welcome! The members of the OTW are entrusted with electing 3 new Board members yearly. In order to become a member, you can simply donate $10 or more to the OTW. This post will provide you with a basic overview of what the elections process will look like this year.

What Potential Candidates Need to Know

The Board handles strategic planning and decision making for OTW’s mission, budget, projects, and priorities. They monitor progress toward strategic goals and maintain OTW’s long-term focus. The Board also takes responsibility for organizational actions and ensures the organization’s legal compliance.

Board terms are three years long. There are nine Board seats, three of which are up for election every year. If there are three candidates or less, all candidates will be elected automatically. If four or more candidates step forward, the election will be contested, and members will be able to vote on who will take the open positions. In case of a contested election this year, voting will be held November 14-16, 2014.

Eligibility and Candidacy

In order to be eligible to run for Board, a candidate must:

  • be a paid member of the OTW by 8 weeks prior to the election,
  • be at least 18 years old by the time of the election,
  • run under their legal name,
  • be a current staffer on a standing committee in the OTW,
  • not be a member of the Elections Committee during the year of candidacy (for 2014 elections, Jan 1, 2014 onward),
  • have served as a staffer for a total of 9 months (excluding hiatus) as of November 1 of that election year.

The Elections Committee is now accepting candidacy declarations for 2014. Candidates must be a paid member by September 19, 2014, and they must declare their candidacy by September 26, 2014.

Getting to Know the Candidates

Candidates will provide a short biography summarizing their background in both their fandom and professional lives, aiming to show voters why they are suitable candidates for the Board. Candidates will also present a manifesto in the form of answers to a standard set of questions provided with the intent of expanding on what their relevant skills and experience are, as well as their vision for the OTW.

We will also be hosting a number of open chats, of which every candidate is required to attend at least one. These will be a chance for everyone to ask questions that may not have been answered in the bios or manifestos, as well as follow-up questions. The chats also allow voters to see how the candidates interact, both with each other and with the public. Transcripts of the chats will be posted for the benefit of those who could not make it.

Additionally, there will be a Q&A period. This will provide an opportunity for voters to follow up on questions from the manifestos or ask new questions that were not previously discussed, as well as allow the candidates to express their opinions in a situation that is not as immediate and high pressure as chats. Questions will be sent in over a set period of time and reviewed by the Elections Committee for repeats and similarities. The questions will be split into small batches of 3-5 questions, and each candidate can request a batch when they are sure they have the time to return the batch within 24 hours. The candidates will be given a certain amount of time to complete all the batches of questions, the length of which depends on the total number of questions.

We will be posting more information regarding eligibility to vote and the deadlines for the election period in a few weeks. In the meantime, you can direct any questions you might have to the Elections Committee. We are looking forward to a great elections season, and we hope that you are, too!

News topic tags: 

Bullet points make a post

Sep. 13th, 2014 09:35 am
yvi: Kaylee and River playing (Firefly - Kaylee & River)
[personal profile] yvi
* You Need A Budget is great

* So is Assassin's Creed 2

* I think after years of coming back to the thought every few months, I will be getting an industrial piercing in my left ear. After the holiday, of course, but shortly after. I just love the look of it.

* So much left to do before the holiday, eeep. Only three more weeks left to do them

* Two weeks ago, the husband and I were at my nephew's birthday, last weekend we were at a wedding, this weekend we'll be visiting his parents and next weekend my father. And we also haven't seen his biological dad in a long time. Right now I just really crave a quiet weekend spent at home. That would also certainly be good for the state of the flat...


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