Nisi Shawl’s story collection Filter House co-won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, given annually to works of speculative fiction which explore and expand our understanding of gender roles. She edits reviews for the literary quarterly Cascadia Subduction Zone. In 2014 Shawl coedited Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler. Her Belgian Congo steampunk novel Everfair is forthcoming from Tor in 2016.
She serves on the boards of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and the Carl Brandon Society, a nonprofit dedicated to improving minority representation in fantastic fiction.
Author and Editor
Areas of Expertise: Diversity of Representation in Writing and Editing in Speculative Genres (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Magic Realism, etc.), Octavia E. Butler, Practice of West African Religious Traditions in North America
Syreeta McFadden writes a monthly column for the Guardian US and does freelance writing work. Her work is largely focused on gender, politics, race, culture and the arts, as well as the exploration of overlapping cultural narratives between communities. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, NPR, and others.
McFadden co-curates Poets in Unexpected Places (PUP), a collective of New York-based writers and language arts educators that stages surprise poetry performances in hopes of promoting community and dialogue in public. Previous PUP collaborations include the Juilliard School and Urban Word NYC. She is also the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, which features work from emerging writers in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, as well as photo essays and interviews.
She has appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More, WNYC’s On the Media, and Sirius XM Radio’s Make It Plain. A former urban planner, she holds degrees from Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, and is an adjunct professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Columnist for the Guardian US and Freelance Writer
Areas of Expertise: Visual Art (Photography/Technology), Literature (Poetry), Study of Feminism/Intersectionality
Laila Lalami is a Moroccan-American novelist and essayist. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, the Guardian, The New York Times, and in many anthologies. Lalami’s 2014 book, The Moor’s Account, was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Her work has been translated into ten languages.
Ellen Oh is co-founder and President of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) a grassroots organization that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. A former attorney and college instructor, Ellen is also the author of the YA fantasy trilogy, The Prophecy Series, by HarperTeen, and the middle grade book The Spirit Hunters, to be released in 2017. She was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Notable People of 2014.
Author and President of We Need Diverse Books campaign
Areas of Expertise: Children’s Fiction, Social Activism through Literature
Daniel José Older is the author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series and the young adult novel Shadowshaper. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna.
Older co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. His short stories and essays have appeared in the Guardian, NPR, Tor.com, Salon and BuzzFeed. Aside from writing, Older teaches workshops on storytelling.
Author of Young Adult Literature
Areas of expertise: Fantasy and Young Adult literature, Race and Power in Publishing
Parminder Bakshi-Hamm is an English and cultural studies professor at Internationale Berufsakademie in Cologne, Germany. She is an expert on migration and labor market issues, as well as gender and culture themes.
Dr. Bakshi-Hamm has over 20 years of teaching, research, and consulting experience. She has largely focused on migrant communities in Europe, highly qualified migrants, social mobility, local governance, and organizational change. She has worked on several comparative projects, some of which were funded by the EU. She is a founding member of a European wide network on migrant/minority women scientists. She has also worked as a consultant to government and private sector organizations in UK and Germany. Since 2009, she has been working as a referee for the European Commission.
Her work on women scientists of migrant backgrounds at German universities helped initiate a debate on the topic in Germany. Bakshi-Hamm’s current research is on barriers for black academics in the German university system.
She was born in India and settled in Germany in 1996 after completing her PhD in the U.K.
Areas of Expertise: Migrant labor, women in science, minority-owned businesses, literature and culture Studies, higher education
Hua Hsu is an assistant professor of English and director of American Studies at Vassar College and a well-known culture critic. He began writing about film, music and sports as a graduate student at Harvard and has covered a wide range of cultural issues for Artforum, the Atlantic, New York magazine, the New York Times and Slate.
Hsu is an executive board member of the Asian American Writers Workshop. As of 2014, he is completing his first book, “A Floating Chinaman,” which looks at “the competing visions for a U.S.-China future that circulated in the popular novels and reportage of the interwar years–as well as the bizarre interpersonal rivalries these competing accounts inspired.”
Assistant Professor of English at Vassar College
Areas of Expertise: Culture Criticism, Sports, Music, Film, American Intellectual History, Transpacific Literary History, Cultural Studies