Puyallup: News

Writer, media critic to visit Puyallup Public Library to speak on importance of geek culture

Jennifer Stuller
Jennifer Stuller Courtesy

A Seattle writer, scholar and media critic is bringing her message of inclusive communities through geek culture to the Puyallup area.

Jennifer Stuller will present “Using Their Powers for Good: A Conversation about how Geektivists, Geek Grrls, and Gaymers are Creating More Inclusive Communities” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 3) at the Puyallup Public Library.

The free talk is just one of many Stuller has given over the years involving fandom, comics and television.

This year, Stuller attended San Diego Comic-Con as a guest speaker, where she moderated two panels and participated in a third. There were about 200,000 people and more than 800 events at Comic-Con this year, which took place July 20 to 24, Stuller said.

Stuller is also the co-founder of the annual GeekGirlCon in Seattle, a convention “that works to empower women and girls to pursue their passions.”

Stuller is particularly interested in geek feminism and the roles women and girls play in the world of geeks. So how has Stuller seen geeks creating more inclusive communities?

The “We Want Widow” campaign is one example.

In June 2015, men and women alike took to the streets dressed as Black Widow, the female Marvel superhero, to make the public aware of the lack of Black Widow merchandise in stores.

“Little girls want Black Widow action figures,” said Stuller. “There’s this idea that little boys won’t play with Black Widow action figures and that little girls won’t play with them at all.”

Stuller helped organize the Seattle event, but the campaign took place all over the country, and online, too. Participants posted pictures of their costumes online.

“Geeks in the 21st century are using social media as activists,” said Stuller, “through memes, through hashtags, through fanfiction and cosplaying. They are finding community, family and friends online.”

Stuller will be giving more examples of how geeks are changing the world — both in person and online — at her talk at the Puyallup Public Library, 324 S. Meridian.

Allison Needles: 253-256-7043, @herald_allison