Why I Try Not to Talk About Things I Know Nothing About

Update:  SF Signal has officially removed the post and issued an apology on their website.  To be honest, I think they handled it well.  They responded quickly to criticism, removed the post, and apologized basically in the same evening, which is not something you could say about other places in our community.  John DeNardo has accepted full responsibility, and Sarah Chorn, who runs the column, has said her apologies and apparently gone dark for a bit.  I know both a little bit (not as much as I would like, but we do live in different dimensions, so...), so I feel confident in saying their responses are sincere and that they both feel pretty awful about it all.  I hope that is the end of it and that we can use this moment to move things in a more constructive direction.


In 2014, I was on a panel about postcolonialism and science fiction at LonCon3.  It was a tough panel for me because as much as I should know what I'm talking about when it comes to the field I've spent the last 8 years studying, I've always had a bit of that impostor syndrome.  And that feeling is always enhanced by the fact that I know I come from the very group which made a field like postcolonialism necessary.  My ancestors probably enslaved people, stole land from others, destroyed entire cultures, colonized entire regions of the world and stole as many resources as they could.  What right do I have studying and writing about these things in the academic context? A lot of that was in the back of my mind when I walked over to the panel location with my fellow panelists, and it stayed there even as I gave my thoughts on questions from the moderator and the audience.  What am I doing here? Read More