Midwest BSFA members and supporters will participate in a panel called Steampunk Aesthetics Through A Black Lens on Saturday, July 25, at 1 p.m. EST as part of the virtual convention Michigan Magick and Machine (July 24-26)! Black people and other POC interested in steampunk are doing so within a Eurocentric framework that doesn’t really take us into account. Panelists will explore their character back stories and how they navigate the space while still managing to have fun.
Ofeibea Loveless is Her Royal Airship Ashanti‘s mechanic/engineer. A surly woman with quiet, calculating demeanor, Ofeibea keeps the ship in tip top shape. Damage her baby and be prepared to pay the consequences! Ofeibea is the daughter of one of the Mino, the Kingdom of Dahomey’s all-female military regiment, and a member of Freedonia’s military science division. She is the co-founder of the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance.
Southern bred, Northern exposed, East Coast educated, West Coast assimilated, Sistah Geek is a well-traveled woman of the African diaspora. She lives her life under the philosophy of B.L.U.E. (Believe. Love. Uplift. Educate). In 2013, inspired by the amazing real-life stories of Harriet Tubman and Bass Reeves, she introduced her steampunk persona, U.S. Marshall Rita Tubbs. Although retired from cosplay competitions since 2018, Sistah Geek still enjoys the occasional opportunities to showcase some of the costumes she and her design team (known as Daughters of the Dragon) have created over the years.
Lord Chaos is a tinkerer turned adventurer/bounty hunter, a profession he chose when he discovered that he could see the world and make lots of money by becoming one. He earned the nickname “chaos” by the unpredictable, unorthodox, yet innovative ways in which he’d accomplish the tasks at hand. Saving the lives of several foreign monarchs during a mission earned him the title of “lord.”
Cassandra L. Jones, Moderator
Cassandra L. Jones is an assistant professor of Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her work on black women and girls in science fiction has appeared in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies and in the edited collection The Child in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema. She’s currently working on a book titled Memory and Liberation in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction for The Ohio State University Press.
Suggested registration price is $20 and all proceeds go to Pagans in Need, a food pantry with five chapters in Southeast Michigan, and the National Bailout Fund Network’s Rapid Response Fund. Follow Michigan Magick and Machine on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MichiganMagickMachine) for more details.