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Cory Silverberg

Sex & Gender at SXSW 2010

By September 4, 2009

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This is going to be the first year in four years I have to miss the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas. For the uninitiated SXSW is really three festivals back to back (interactive, film, and music), itís the most fun I've had with my laptop (in public) and consistently an eye opening and creativity boosting experience. I highly recommend it if youíve got the time, energy, and money.

They recently launched their ďpanel pickerĒ where you can peruse the proposals and vote for what youíd like to see in the final program. Even if you donít think you can make it to the festival, checking out the panels and panelists is a great way to find people doing work youíre interested in (and an easy way to connect to them by voting and leaving comments). Thereís lots of great stuff, but here are the sex and gender related panels that Iím voting for and saddest about having to miss.

Melissa Gira Grant is organizing a panel called Professionally Naked: What Women Gain From Exposing Ourselves Online with Audacia Ray, Sarah Dopp, and Meaghan OíConnell. Iíve heard both Melissa and Audacia speak before (several times) and theyíre not to be missed; funny, smart, and genuinely interested in having conversations with others (as opposed to just hearing themselves speak). Do everyone at SXSW a favor and vote for this one, and if youíre going to be there, donít miss it (even if it doesnít seem relevant to you I promise youíll get something from it).

There are a few panels that propose dealing with issues of identity, marginalization, and power in various forms, this one organized by Liz Burr called Online Gatekeeping: Who Died and Made You King? looks particularly good to me.

Thereís a proposal for a panel on ďdigital dating abuseĒ proposed by the ad agency that created thatsnotcool.com. The project was a good one but not without itís problems. This is a great conversation to have, and if they have panelists who can talk critically about the project itís one Iíd love to here.

It seems like every year thereís promise of Heather Corinna at SXSW. This yearís promise is for a panel called Sex Education in a Web 3.0 World. If they were smart theyíd give her the whole hour to herself!

Iím usually wary of panels proposed by folks inside the adult industry, but thatís just because Iíve had to sit through so many masturbatory panels that I wish were literal instead of figurative. But the panel An Avatarís Eye View of Sex in Games proposed by Kathee Brewer from YNOT is another Iím sorry to miss.

Check out the 2010 SXSW Interactive Panel Picker

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Comments
September 4, 2009 at 11:20 am
(1) Anthony Kennerson says:

Cory….haven’t you heard about the proposal by none other than Nina Hartley to have her own panel on Internet porn and its effects on social networking?

Her proposal page can be found here.

Anthony

September 4, 2009 at 6:26 pm
(2) Kathee Brewer says:

Cory, thanks for mentioning one of my panels! (The other, “Intersection of Hollywood and Porn,” is here.) You’re very sweet. :-)

I have to admit I’m excited about the possibility of working with SXSW, which is crazy fun, as you said. I’m sorry you’ll miss the 2010 incarnation. :-(

Kathee

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