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New England's largest and most diverse science fiction and fantasy convention


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One of the foundations of Arisia programming are panels. These led discussions cover a wide spectrum of topics including everything including Anime, Art, Comics, Costuming, Fan Culture, Fan Interest, Fandom 2.0, Gaming, Health, Literature, Media, Music, Science, Victorian/Steampunk, and Writing. (Wow, say that all in one breath.)

A "panel" is usually a small group of people discussing a topic in front of an audience of fans. Often there is input from the audience in the form of questions, brainstorming or other forms of audience participation. Although panels are our main mode of discussion, don't feel bound to that format. Fan-led discussion groups, workshops, lectures, presentations etc. are welcome.

Please view our schedule!

Here are some highlights from our panels for this year


The Business of Art

There's more than talent to making a living as an artist. Health insurance, taxes, marketing, organization, selling yourself, portfolios--where do you find the time to do all that, and still make art?


Comic Book Creation from the Creators' Perspective.

Ever wonder how the words and pictures go together? Want to know how to pitch a project to a potential partner? Or are you more interested in the nuts and bolts of doing it all yourself? Every story has a history. Stop by and peer in behind the scenes!


Making Book: The Art of Book Creation

An adult-oriented workshop in which participants create small books in various easy formats. Materials included. Space is limited to ten participants.

Fan Culture

Heinlein in the Bedroom

Talk to any five geeks about sexuality, and one is bound to mention how Heinlein affected their thoughts, especially in terms of polyamory, gender, and sexual orientation. To some, he was a prophet--opening new doors and wonderful new ways of experiencing sexuality. To others, his works are damaging, painting a sexist image of sexual freedom and causing more problems than solving them. Does it change our view if we examine his work through our modern lens, or that of the time in which he wrote?


Future's Here, It's Just Not Evenly Distributed

Many SF books presuppose dramatic technologically-led transformation for the human race. But even in a high-tech society, not everyone adopts technology at the same rate. Will developing countries leapfrog the industrialized world and go right to the newer tech, as several did with cell phones? What will happen to the late adopters when the singularity comes? What about the Amish?


Costuming on the Cheap

Description: How to look like a million bucks, without actually spending that much. Where to find inexpensive fabrics, ready-made, and accessories, and how to re-make them into one-of-a-kind creations in these tough economic times. Also, how to make costumes if you can't afford a sewing machine.


Acting, Improvisation, and Role-playing

Role-playing and acting share a number of characteristics. Both involve wearing a character, understanding their motivations and drives, and reacting to situations. But in role-playing there's no director, usually no script, the players write their own characters, and there's no audience. What can role-players learn from the acting community to have a richer and more rewarding gaming experience? What lessons can actors learn from role-playing?


Things Everyone Loves (But I Don't)"

Ah, "Star Wars," "E.T.," "Lord of the Rings," "Blade Runner," "Star Trek" -- all so beloved how can anyone not like them? This is a panel for people haven't hopped on the bandwagon for these or other popular films. Find out why and discover why you're not alone.


The Funniest Song Sing-a-long

A hour filled with the funniest filk and geeky songs we could find. Lyrics will be projected and a leader will play accompaniment so everyone can join in!


Ask a Geek

Is there something you'd like to know about Biology, Martial Arts, Medicine, Psychology,
War, or Weapons? Come to Ask A Geek, where the geeks take questions
from the audience. 100% accuracy is NOT guaranteed!


Alchemy 101

In the Victorian time period occultism was all the rage. This presentation will trace the origins and historical development of alchemy. Learn about what alchemists today do.

Interested in becoming a program participant?
Read more about the process here.
Got a great idea for a panel?
Generally our suggestion is to please consider sending panel ideas to our Brainstorm listserv. However, the deadline for getting ideas to the Arisia Brainstorm email list has passed as of July 15th, 2010. For those who haven't joined the list yet and wish to, sign up at:

However, emails to proposals AT and program AT will still be received and items will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Programming staff for possible inclusion in the schedule.

You can see what events and panels we had for Arisia '10.

Programming Panel selection is now open to participants

The Arisia 2011 Programming Panel selection is now open to participants. You will be receiving an email shortly with further details if this has not happened already. The deadline for panel sign-up is October 2nd, 2010. For those who have contacted us recently requesting to be a participant we will contact each of you individually with an answer by the end of this week. If you have questions or concerns please email [email protected].

-Michael J. Sprague
Division Head of Programming
Arisia 2011