Conferences

I have spoken on a number of panels at Nine Worlds over the past few years and would love to expand out into other conferences and conventions. I am a trained public speaker with 7 years experience. If you’re interested in inviting me to speak at your event then please check out my portfolio below and get in touch via my contact form.


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Sexuality in Bioware

Spoke on a panel alongside academic Emily R. Marlow where we discussed how Bioware handles queer characters and queerness in their Mass Effect and Dragon Age games touching upon issues such as queer coding, the designation of desirable/undesirable bodies, trans representation, and what we would like to see from future Bioware games.

 

Let the Past Die: Sacrificing Sacred Cows in Star Wars The Last Jedi

Moderated a fantastic discussion exploring the accusations that TLJ deviated from established values and characteristics of ‘traditional’ Star Wars films, and how this deviation could be interpreted through symbolic sacrifices throughout the film.

 

Representation in Dating Sims: From Dream Daddy to Dragon Age

Can non-visual novel games like Dragon Age be regarded as ‘dating sims’? Are dating sims more inclusive than other types of games? Speaking alongside Emily R. Marlow and Angie Wenham, we analyzed a number of games including Dream Daddy, Pairanormal, Doki Doki Literature Club and Dragon Age to establish to what extent dating sims can be regarded as more inclusive, where we think they’re going wrong, and offering suggestions on how we think dating sims could become more inclusive and less problematic.

 

History’s Hidden Heroes III

Presented a 15-minute talk on ‘Transmasculine figures in wartime history’ which argued that trans people are frequently written out of history by mainstream historians, looked at examples of transmasculine figures such as Dr. James Miranda Barry and Albert D. Cashier, how we can interpret historical records to uncover trans people and experiences in history, and why we need more queer historians.

You can read a write up of the panel by historian and panel moderator E.K McAlpine here.

 

Women in Star Wars

Women in the Star Wars films are often reduced to figures of wives, mothers, and sisters rather than as integral characters in the Star Wars franchise. I put together and moderated this panel to provide a platform for and celebrate the existence of diverse female characters which included discussions of good representation, the domination of toxic masculinity in the Star Wars fan base, why lead female characters are so important, and why we need more intersectional diversity.


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Queer Coding in Disney

Over the past few years, ‘queer coding’ has become a hot topic of debate in pop culture circles, particularly when speaking about queer characters in Disney’s animated feature films. In 2017, I presented a solo talk on queer coding in Disney which took the audience of over 100 attendees on a journey right from the first instances of queer coding following the introduction of the Hays Code in Hollywood, to the “first gay Disney character” in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. As queer coding is often based in villainous stereotypes and the majority of discussions around queer coding in Disney focus on Disney villains, I explored protagonist characters who could be identified as queer by looking at male-male pairings, trans characters, the absence of queer women, and how live-action remakes contribute to the erasure of queer characters.

You can read a summary of the session in this article written by Bleeding Cool.

‘Cons-ROAR-vation: Animal Rights and Conservation in the Jurassic Park franchise’

Themes of animal rights and conservation are intrinsic to the entire Jurassic Park franchise, although it is a topic not often spoken or written about. In ‘cons-roar-vation’, I briefly explored how integral these messages were in the early Jurassic Park films before moving on to an in-depth discussion which contrasted 2015’s Jurassic World with the gut-punching documentary Blackfish (2013). In this comparative analysis, I looked at how animal rights took centre stage in Jurassic World by drawing parallels to Blackfish through elements of capitalist and commercialisation of dinosaurs/animals, intelligence and emotional capacities, keeping animals in captivity for entertainment, human-animal relations, and the role of science and technology in this relationship.