April 28, 2008
Console-ing Passions 2008

In the previous three posts, I included the text of a short thought piece or provocation for my workshop at this past weekend's Console-ing Passions conference in Santa Barbara. I'll blame my lack of updates since last Thursday on an intriguing conference and unfortunately one for me that happened as much around the conference as necessarily at it.

To start with, Console-ing Passions was held at UC-Santa Barbara's campus, while the conference hotel was on the ocean--a great detail, but one that made getting back and forth very difficult, especially if you didn't want to pay about $50 for a one-way cab fare. I didn't have the foresight to rent a car, so I ended up bumming rides, since I had a penchant for missing the once-a-day shuttle to and from the conference.

What's worse, some of the most relevant TV studies presentations to my work was scheduled directly against our workshop. However, I've been lucky enough to have some others share their work with me directly, and I'm going to be including updates on that work in a series of forthcoming posts. And, other than those couple of scheduling issues, the conference was great. Any of the shortcomings of a conference not put on by a slick "conference operation" were also empowered by the energy the organizers infused into the event.

For those not familiar with Console-ing Passions, the group was formed in 1989 "by a group of feminist media scholars and artists looking to create a space to present work and foster scholarship in issues of television, culture, and identity, with an emphasis on gender and sexuality," according to This year's conference was my first, and I was honored to be invited to participate in a workshop designed to look at the implications of the "Gender and Fan Studies/Gender and Fan Culture/Fan Debate" that several folks affiliated with the Consortium took part in on C3 Principal Investigator Henry Jenkins' blog and LiveJournal last year.

Since my view of the conference is rather eclectic, I thought I'd provide links to some other perspectives on the conference, such as this post, which includes notes on Melissa Click's panel. Click participated in the fan studies discussion our workshop focused on. Also, see here.

At the conference, I had the pleasure of meeting Alexis Lothian at our workshop, someone who I also came to know through her involvement in the ongoing discussion about gender and fan studies. I unfortunately was unable to attend Alexis' panel, but I was delighted to find that she has shared her work online. Her presentation was entitled Televisual Transformation and its Discontents: Slash Fan Fiction, 'Queer Female Space,' and Race".

Look forward to hearing from others who were at the conference, and I'll be sharing notes from Console-ing Passions here in several upcoming posts.