Kate Elliott and Jaymee Goh are teachers for the WRITING THE OTHER class Building Inclusive Worlds

The online four week WRITING THE OTHER class on Building Inclusive Worlds features several extraordinary instructors including Kat Elliott and Jaymee Goh. The $500 class runs October 2 – November 1, 2020.

Worldbuilding for speculative fiction or SSFnal games can be a daunting task; even moreso for writers who want to create or explore inclusive cultures filled with diverse characters but without unconsciously replicating colonialist structures and viewpoints. This class offers writers a deep dive into key aspects of building inclusive worlds — Creating Cultures, Ideology, Religion, Cosmology, Sociobiology, Research, and more — with a plethora of outstanding builders of speculative worlds: Steven Barnes, P. Djèlí Clark, Jaymee Goh, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Nilah Magruder, Pam Punzalan, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Nisi Shawl.

This four-week class includes video lectures and interviews plus extensive discussion and Q&A on each topic. Students will leave the class with a deep worldbuilding toolset and resources for further study.


Oct 3: How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy Cultures Without Using Analogs with Kate Elliott
Analog cultures — human cultures whose history and culture is a thinly disguised version of an historical Earth culture or non-human races in speculative fiction who have a small set of distinguishing cultural characteristics that seem analogous to a known human culture — litter the fantasy and science fiction landscape. When authors do this well it can provide powerful analogies and metaphors in their work. When they do it badly, allowing unconscious or conscious biases to lead to cultures mired in offensive stereotypes, it harms both readers and authors alike. This lecture analyzes how analog cultures have been used in SFF, and offers strategies for how to create cultures that aren’t badly or offensively done.

Oct 16: Historical Research Sans Colonialist Frameworks with Jaymee Goh, PhD
This lecture will offer tips and tricks on the practicalities and pitfalls of doing historical research. We will go over the definitions of concepts like colonialism, Orientalism, and whiteness, grounded in academic research. We will also discuss types of texts, and the best approaches to dealing with them. The aim of this lecture is to provide a clear definition of the unconscious biases and problems that come up, both in the researcher and in the research.

Oct 31 – Nov 1: Final Q&A with Steven Barnes, P. Djèlí Clark, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Nilah Magruder, Pam Punzalan, Rebecca Roanhorse, Nisi Shawl plus Max Gladstone, Kate Elliott, and Lauren Jankowski.

Visit WRITING THE OTHER for full schedule and details.