I’ve had a busy
few months year, editing Mother of Invention (it’s with the printer now!), writing, and taking on the gothest side gig ever: doing admin and proofreading gravestones for a monumental stonemason.
I just got back from the US, where among other things, I pre-launched Mother of Invention at WisCon (my livetweets are here; I had a fantastic time on the two panels I was on, plus the others I attended and elsewhere). While I was there, Strange Horizons interviewed me about my writing and editing work, and it was great fun to chat to them about what keeps me writing.
Next on the horizon is Continuum. I’m programmed as follows:
- At 5pm on Friday, I’m running a panel on Assumed Knowledge in Fandom, about gatekeeping and unintentional barriers that stop people from enjoying geeky pastimes.
- At 2pm on Sunday, it’s the Mother of Invention pre-launch party (come along for excitement, cupcakes, and other goodies)!
- At 11am on Monday, I’m giving a ‘Deep Dive’ presentation on convict women (yes, the picture is a teaser from my slideshow!). Here’s my abstract:
Abandoned wenches and rebellious hussies: convict women in Van Diemen’s Land
In the Australian education system and more broadly, the history of male convicts dominates the discourse around transportation of criminals to Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries. Little is generally known of the thousands of women who were transported to Australia during the era. In this presentation, I will attempt to shed some light onto their lives, focusing on the female factories and the assignment system in use in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). I will outline the crimes for which women were transported, what their sea voyages and arrivals were like, before examining the work women did in and out of the factories. Some were horribly mistreated; rape was common, whereas survival sex work led all female convicts to be perceived as prostitutes. Pregnancies were punished with internment in the factories, the resulting children were placed in orphanages at young ages. Some women kept their heads down and gained a ticket of leave as soon as possible; others were recalcitrant and seemed to prefer life inside the factory to outside (and each other to men). I will also aim to contextualise these histories within the history of prison reformation, different attitudes to morality among different social classes, and colonisation.