Misconceptions about Human Origins and Evolution

Evolution is the foundational concept of biology. Unfortunately, in the popular imagination and in public discourse (including within science fiction and fantasy media), misconceptions abound regarding what evolution is, how it works, and its implications for human origins, diversity, and identity. In this panel, three biological anthropologists will identify and discuss common misconceptions about human… Continue reading Misconceptions about Human Origins and Evolution

The Tiffany Problem in Historical Fantasy

The name Tiffany sounds modern, but is actually old. Sometimes historical accuracy can look like an anachronism to modern readers. How should writers address this? When should you change things to seem more plausible, and when should you stand your ground?

The Culture of the Unconquered

Black Panther, in comics and film, provides a view of an African country that has never been conquered or colonized. This panel will discuss what it means for a civilization to develop entirely on its own without the interference of “white gaze.” What other authors have imagined the culture of the unconquered?

Nobody Looks Like Themselves Anymore

What are the cultural and social boons and banes that might come from a growing technological ability to change your physical appearance? What are the implications for identity? For fashion? How might governments, science fictional or otherwise, react to developments in body alterations and/or consciousness if less tied to a single physical form?  Will we… Continue reading Nobody Looks Like Themselves Anymore

History of the Fabric Arts

From horse-drawn felts to drop spindles, bone needles to stone loom weights, our experts consider how historical fabric art processes developed across various regions and what impact fabric technology had in the lives and products of historical peoples. Join art historians and fabric arts specialists as they talk about their favorite historical examples and coolest… Continue reading History of the Fabric Arts

Worldbuilding Spacefaring Civilizations

How can you, as a writer, effectively build a spacefaring civilization into your work? What parts of space empires can be directly extrapolated from world history, and what elements will you need that are unique to interstellar commerce, diplomacy, warfare, and lifestyles?

Urban Planning in the Space Age

In the colonies of the future, who will be responsible for planning what the city looks like and how it develops? Is this a job for engineers, for the civil service, or someone else? What factors should be considered?

Post-Pandemic Aesthetics

The 1918 flu pandemic had huge impacts on culture over the subsequent decades, including significant changes to architecture and personal fashion. What kinds of long-term changes to our public aesthetic will we see in reaction to COVID-19? Will restaurants and other public spaces need to change their room layouts and building designs? Will branded, designer… Continue reading Post-Pandemic Aesthetics

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