In December I traveled to Eugene, Oregon to attend the 2016 Tiptree Symposium, a two-day academic conference on the work of Ursula K. Le Guin. I got to see some old friends, made some new ones, briefly met Le Guin herself, and heard many thoughtful panels and lectures. If that sounds like something you’re sad to have missed, you’re in luck: the University of Oregon has put videos of the presentations online.
I’m planning to rewatch several of these, starting with the incredible panel Alexis Lothian put together on “Speculative Gender and The Left Hand of Darkness,” featuring Aren Aizura, micha cárdenas, and Tuesday Smillie presenting three trans perspectives on the novel. I took five pages of notes on this panel alone, and came away feeling I hadn’t been able to jot down everything I wanted to think more about.
Since the video index page I linked above truncates the titles, here’s a full listing of the videos:
December 1, Sally Miller Gearhart Lesbian Lecture, Dr. Alexis Lothian, “Queer Longings in Straight Futures: Notes Toward a Prehistory for Lesbian Speculation”
December 2, Welcome and Panel 1: Ursula K. Le Guin and the Field of Feminist Science Fiction
December 2, Panel 2: UO Prof. Edmond Chang’s Feminist SF students on The Word for World is Forest
December 2, Keynote and Q & A: Karen Joy Fowler, “Ursula Le Guin and the Larger Reality”
December 3, Panel 3: “Speculative Gender and The Left Hand of Darkness”
December 3, Panel 4: “Le Guin’s Fiction as Inspiration for Activism”
December 3, Keynote: Brian Attebery, “The James Tiptree Jr. Book Club: A Mitochondrial Theory of Literature” (The text of this one was also published on Tor.com)