Shamrokon Starts Tomorrow

Shamrokon, this year’s Eurocon, begins August 22 in Dublin.

Going into the weekend, Shamrokon had 1,038 members from 34 countries – with the U.S. holding a very thin lead as the country with the most members, one that Ireland presumably will overtake after the doors open.

Shamrokon offers a full schedule of panel programming and an international slate of guests, including two people involved with Game of Thrones, actor Miltos Yerolemou (sword master Syrio Forel) and Emma Andrews (who does production work on drapes, banners, tents and all kinds of things).

Shamrokon also will host the Golden Blasters, the Annual Irish Genre Short Film Festival (that usually takes place at Octocon), and the European Science Fiction Society Awards ceremony.

The con committee has thought about how it will approach Diversity Issues as part of the program and made this decision —

Fandom is wonderfully diverse both in how humanity is portrayed in genre and the people who love it. We have made the decision to not separate out panels to focus on diversity issues, as we feel these issues are part of the general discourse and should be just part of the discussions.

And I am intrigued by its direction to program moderators —

Also we’d ask that Moderators please when selecting people to speak from the floor they describe what the person is wearing and where they are sitting, when calling on them to speak with out using gender as a descriptor as this can be problematic.

While I haven’t been trying to overcome that particular problem, I think my own practice as a panel moderator works, too: to use the person’s name if I know it, and otherwise, make eye contact, point at who I’m recognizing, and include the word “you” as I call on [him/her/whoever].

3 thoughts on “Shamrokon Starts Tomorrow

  1. Shamrokon is not the first con where the issue of how to call on audience members has been raised, although it may be the first to put this into its written policies. I remember hearing similar suggestions, probably at a Readercon in the past couple of years.
    As society evolves, it becomes more difficult to visually guess someone’s preferred pronouns and identity.

    Although not officially open yet, Shamrokon followed the practice of many large cons, and registered some people this afternoon. Someone pointed out at Loncon that although this probably won’t be the Eurocon with the largest number of American members, it will probably be the one with the most American members who know that they’re attending a Eurocon.

  2. I’ve come around to a friend’s theory that, when I’m a panelist or moderator, calling on audience members without using names when I know them can be more encouraging of participation from people in the audience whom I don’t know. If the first hands I call on are from people whose names I know, that gives (or can give) the impression that I call on my friends first, which can be bad for the panel/discussion/convention in general.

  3. I must not overlook that as a moderator I prioritize the panelists. But when calling on the audience my goal is to widely distribute the opportunities to ask questions or comments, which involves several subjective decisions, and certainly one of those is involving people I don’t know. However, I am operating in a community and I do know people — and the other side of the coin is that when I acknowledge that personal connection, I believe people grant me more latitude to guide the order in which audience members are recognized. (Setting apart one or two fellows I’ve know for years, but have only seen yield to Lynn Maudlin or Roby James. After seeing her in action at one Loscon, I wish Roby James could be cloned!)

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