Lila Futuransky (heyiya) wrote in wiscon,

oral histories of feminist sf fandom

I'm posting this on behalf of a friend, Roxanne Samer, who I've been telling all about WisCon. She's been working with queer histories for a while, but has relatively recently discovered (and fallen in love with) the world of fsf. I can vouch for her sincerity and respect for the community. Please pass it on to anyone you think might be interested in sharing their stories with a young feminist sf scholar who would love to hear them!


Dear Wiscon 2011 Attendees and Feminist Sci-Fi Authors/Fans/Critics,

I am a first year PhD student at the University of Southern California, and I recently began a research project on the history of feminist science fiction. I am excited to be attending Wiscon this summer for the first time! In addition to more generally acquainting myself with community, I am interested in taking this opportunity to conduct interviews with those with first-hand experience of this history. I am fascinated by the works of science fiction produced in the seventies by those such as James Tiptree Jr., Joanna Russ, Octavia Butler, Ursula Le Guin and Suzy McKee Charnas; however, I am even more interested in their relationship to the period and politics from which they arose. I am curious as to the sort of work reading, analyzing and discussing these novels and short stories did as well as what sort of public was constituted through such work.

While I have already read many of the publications from this period in which such formal conversations took place, this summer I would like to begin research into the more private and personal discourse on the subject, which is where you all come in! If you were writing or reading such texts in the late seventies or early eighties and would like to share your experiences with me, it would be more than greatly appreciated! How did you discover feminist science fiction? Where were you reading these novels and short stories? Did you keep them to yourself or were you sharing them with others? How did you engage with them personally? What sort of conversations did reading them collectively generate? In looking to texts depicting women-only worlds, such as Russ’ The Female Man and Tiptree’s “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?,” I am more specifically curious as to how women-loving women read and engaged with such texts. What significance, if any, did such texts hold for the lesbians reading them at this time? Were they read as “queer”? Were they discussed as such? What sort of possibilities did they offer?

If you are interested in participating in such an interview or cannot attend Wiscon but would like to be involved with the project in any case, please email me ASAP at, so that we can set something up. Thank you so much for your help.
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