Presenting at Geek Girl Con ’12 and SLSA 12

I have received acceptances to two upcoming conferences, one popular culture and one academic: Geek Girl Con 2012 (in Seattle) and the Society for Science, Literature, and Arts Annual Meeting (in Milwaukee, MI).

12geekgirlconlogoThanks to my friend and colleague Stevi Costa, who organized both last year’s and this year’s Geek Girl Con panels, I will be presenting alongside some fellow English department grads on Young Adult fiction and feminism, specifically talking about Harry Potter, queer theory, and Hermione:

Sunday, August 12
12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
YA Literature and Feminism – RM205

Young Adult literature is a largely female-driven domain. It is written by women and marketed primarily toward young woman. But how feminist can we consider YA literature to be? Do popular works within this genre promote contemporary feminist ideals or work against them? This panel presents academic work dealing with popular YA literature series such as The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Twilight, Modelland, and others through a critical feminist lens.

Presented by Ed Chang, Taylor Boulware, Leanne Day, Stevi Costa

12slsa_nonhumanAs for SLSA, which will be September 27-30, 2012 in Milwaukee, MI, this will be my third time attending and presenting (it is one of my favorite conferences and groups of academics and smart folks).  This year’s theme is  “Non/Human.”  It will also will be my second year in a row as part of the Critical Game Studies stream (last year’s SLSA was in Kitchener, Ontario).  Thanks to organiziers Patrick Jagoda and Stephanie Boluk for such a great opportunity and for putting together an amazing line-up of people, including my sister Alenda Chang and one of my best friends, Timothy Welsh. The schedule is still being finalized, but my paper will be about:

Gaming the Posthuman

In 2010, Alex Peake of Primer Labs, maker of Code Hero, gave a talk at the Humanity+ Conference at the Beckman Institute in Pasadena, California arguing that the future of artificial intelligence, intelligence augmentation, and human and machine integration is through games.  He says, “AI will be pivotal to making intelligence amplification games better and better” and that eventually “once we begin relying on AI mentors for our children and we get those mentors increasing in sophistication at an exponential rate, we’re dipping our toe into symbiosis between humans and the AI that shape them.” Using this provocation, my paper addresses the intersection of video games, gamification, and the posthuman offering an analysis and critique of gamification’s taking up of the liberatory and possessive individualist narratives of transhumanism.

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