NEW this year! For panels with the black LIMITED icon, attendee space is limited. Please add the panel to your My Sched to reserve a spot unless the panel’s description contains a link to a special ticket.
Back To Schedule
Sunday, May 27 • 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Changing The World Through (Fan-)Fiction

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Fiction exists to entertain its audience, but it is also fundamental to shaping the evolution of society itself. Much fiction is based around the concept of new ideas; movies like The Matrix had us consider whether our world was a simulation, and the contemporary Westworld has sparked many a discussion about consciousness and personhood.

Yet fiction gives us something even more compelling, and more powerful, than merely exploring new ideas; it gives us stories about how to live our lives. Popular fiction provides society with scripts on what to expect, how to act, what's important in life, how to form relationships, what to aspire to, and commentary and scaffolding on almost every other part of our lives.

Intertwined with this has been the long, long tradition of writing fan-fiction; using an existing story or world to expand, explore, or re-invent. Disney solidly highlighted the power of fan-fiction by creating animated films that re-interpret fairy tales that were already familiar to audiences. Modern fan-fiction—while sometimes occupying a niche role—has taken this even further; and is now a powerful vehicle for the exploration of new concepts and ways of living our lives.

The creation of fan content also provides an important entry-point for many people—especially young women—into technical skills including programming, front-end development, media editing, and content management. We'll examine how current attitudes towards fan-content can be improved to increase diversity in the tech industry, and society as a whole.

A reading list and further resources will be provided for those wishing to learn more.

avatar for Paul Fenwick

Paul Fenwick

Paul Fenwick is an internationally acclaimed public speaker, futurist, software developer, and science educator. Paul is well known for presenting on a diverse range of topics including privacy, neuroscience, machine ethics, space exploration, and mental health. His dynamic presentation... Read More →

avatar for Barbara Mabie-McClain

Barbara Mabie-McClain

Manager, Pop Culture Programs, The Museum of Science Fiction
Barbara, Is a Master Class costumer that has been sewing small things, crafting, and beading for over 20 years. In 2013 Barb discovered the convention scene while attending her first convention, PaxEast, and fell in love with costuming and cosplay since. She has her Cosmetology license... Read More →

Sunday May 27, 2018 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
 Annapolis 4