FINALLY following up on this post
about the Popular Culture Association national conference coming up April 11-14, 2012, in Boston, which I ought to have done weeks ago even though it did take some time to get useful answers and a course of action for interested participants.
First of all, I owe the area master referred to in that post an apology: it turns out that his previous brush-off was a result of a misunderstanding more than a case of deliberate discrimination (the student who first contacted him inquired about organizing an area on "alternative sexualities" rather than saying outright kink/BDSM/fetish/whatever--a circumspect language choice I really don't understand, given the context and the fact that it would be quite obvious once submissions started coming in what we really meant, but she took the initiative to try to start things while I was off doing who knows what, so I shouldn't complain too much). In fact, after a discussion with Romance area chair Sarah Frantz, it appears that the area master does support the idea
of a Kink or BDSM Studies subject area but needs to see evidence of demand for and sustainability of the area before he'll create one officially. In order to demonstrate demand, and because it is a thing worth doing, we're working this year on setting up an informal "Kink Studies caucus" in anticipation of turning it into an official area at the national meeting in 2013, and there are a few ways that you can help out or be a part of this:
First, you can present on kink/BDSM/fetish or related topics at the conference; to do this, please go to the PCA website (links in the CFP below) and submit your proposal for an individual paper or a complete panel or roundtable session to either "Romance" or "Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Studies" (the areas co-sponsoring the project this year) or to "New/Special Topics in Popular Culture", or to ANY other area
that might suit your proposed topic before the deadline of December 15th
(will update if an extension is granted; if you're submitting to an area other than Romance or GLQS I'd recommend also contacting me or Sarah to let us know where you submitted and that you want to be part of the kink caucus so that we can keep you involved in planning stuff closer to the date). If you have an idea for a kink panel or a roundtable session with a specific focus but can't get enough presenters (usually 3-5) together on your own, bring the idea to Sarah first and we'll try to make it happen. Once again, although this is an academic conference, you do not need to be an academic or a person involved professionally or personally with kink (beyond an interest in talking about it; self-disclosure beyond that point is entirely optional) to present.
Second, if you happen to have a full-time academic position with a contract (not adjunct) OR a full-time non-academic position related to the area field or are heading towards having one with greater speed and stability than I am AND you want to be extra awesome, you could volunteer to chair the area when/if it becomes official--just get in touch with Sarah, who has fabulously offered to act as interim chair and to mentor someone to take over from her next year (you do have to attend the 2012 meeting to be eligible).
Third, you can present at the PCA on any topic in any area (link to list above, same deadline for all), not related or restricted to kink, or attend without presenting (I think this is allowed, but I'm not sure what the registration fee would be--there is a "guest" option on the chart but that might be for guests of specific presenters? If you want to go this route lemme know and I'll sort something out--it's a big fun nerdgasm of a conference) and demonstrate interest by coming out to kink area sessions.
Fourth, you can support the initiative by getting the word out to anyone you think might possibly be interested, by linking them back to this post or by passing on the content, including Sarah's call for papers, as far and wide as possible.
Fifth, if you live in or have connections in Boston, you can help hook presenters and supporters coming in from out of town up with places to stay, transportation, food, information, or other money-saving/fun-boosting whatnot. ( Call For Papers: BDSM/Kink Area of Special Interest, by Sarah Frantz, for open distribution )
I have also volunteered to coordinate the unofficial "area dinner or possibly lunch" for this group (and will be looking for suggestions of where to go and what to do in Boston once we have a clearer idea of numbers and scheduling restrictions), so if you'd like to come along for that, whether you're presenting in this area or not, it would be helpful for me to know and have some way to contact you to clear logistics.
Also possibly of interest to anyone reading this far:
Laura Antoniou, author of the Marketplace series among other accolades, is looking for submissions for a number of upcoming book anthologies including a new Leatherwomen collection, companion volumes celebrating butches and femmes respectively, and a collection of Marketplace fan fiction (!!!!!!); more information here
. Get your kink porn published!Girlzporn
(website currently down?), a new multi-media sex-positive porn and information site for women, girls, ladies, and other female-identified people ONLY (seriously, it's in the "don't look at this website unless" statement--entirely honour-system, so far, but still) is holding a written erotica contest with cash prizes and paying (not super well, but better than nothing) for other written content including blog posts, articles, and toy reviews. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this project--thus far it seems to skew uncomfortably towards heteronormativity and Cosmo-style pulp but there's a potential there to make something interesting, I think, if we can get some different voices in there.
. . . I guess I should probably figure out what I'm
presenting on this time, hey?
ETA: I'm now looking for co-presenters for a panel on either the experiences of people willing to self-identify as kinky with popular culture/media, or kink and/in fandom--if either of those themes sounds tempting, shoot me a message and let's brainstorm!