Hacking Popular Culture for Political Change

There has been an awakening in the Force. Can you feel it?

As America faces the drawing up of Death Star plans (or border walls, refugee bans, and faith-based registries) themes of hope and resistance in nerd enthusiasms such as Star Wars and Harry Potter serve not just as moral guides, but as inspiration in protest phenomena and action plans. In this lively and provocative multi-media presentation, Jennifer K. Stuller, pop culture historian, geek feminist, and co-founder of Seattle’s own GeekGirlCon, shares examples of how geek culture is being hacked, modded, and maniped by activists. From Leia Organa as unofficial icon of the historic Women’s March, to the guerilla and viral memetic reframing of Ghost in the Shell’s tone-deaf “I Am Major” marketing campaign, to more formal initiatives like the Harry Potter Alliance’s “Fandom Forward” toolkits, geek activists are for advocating civic engagement and providing guidance for participatory politics. Stuller demonstrates how the convergence of digital/social media with geek culture has powerful potential in the political zeitgeist. This is geektivism and it fuels rebellions built on hope. You’ll learn how you can harness your own fandoms for consciousness-raising, social justice, and political change to culture-jam across physical and digital spaces as a political guardian of our galaxy.

Seattle Mini Maker Faire
Date: Sunday, September 17
Time: 1:00pm – 1:45pm in JBL Theater (MoPOP Level 1, past Main Ticketing) *Time subject to change