Friday, May 15th - Sunday, May 17th, 2015
Piscataway, NJ

2012 Symposium Programming

Friday, 6:00 PM
Great Activists of the 19th Century
Steampunk Emma Goldman
A group of knowledgeable,enthusiastic steampunks will discuss their favorite radicals and revolutionaries of the 19th century.  Moderated by everyone’s favorite anarchist, Steampunk Emma Goldman, this panel will introduce you to at least one new inspirational, amazing activist you’ve never heard of, guaranteed.  We’ve got anarchists, feminists, abolitionists, union organizers, communists, you name it.  Explore the radical side of a time period people for some reason think of as stuffy and traditional.

Friday, 7:00 PM
LEARN TO NAVIGATE THE LUMINIFEROUS AETHER THAT IS THE LAW: A Crash Course in Protecting And Selling Your SteamPunk Comic Book or Novel
Thomas Cowell
You’ve written a SteamPunk novel or comic book and are now ready to meet with publishers. Can you protect your comic book ideas from being purloined by publishing’s ne’er do wells? What is “work for hire” and how can it hurt or help you in seizing the Promethean spark that is your creation? And when you do entice a publisher with your mad genius, how do you avoid the multitude of unseen legal traps waiting to ensnare the unsuspecting creator who is negotiating a publishing agreement for the first time? Join entertainment attorney Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. in a one-hour quest to demystify those shadowy areas of the law that most impact creators. Arm yourself with legal grappling hooks before entering the rough and tumble world of publishing!

Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. is an entertainment attorney and author of the best-selling legal guide: “The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers.” In addition to his private practice, where he represents comic book creators and filmmakers, he also teaches film, media, and intellectual property law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Mr. Crowell has been a legal lecturer at New York ComicCon since 2008 . For more information, see: WWW.THOMASCROWELL.COM.

Friday, 8:00 PM
Victorian Women of Science
Robin Renner, Adam Renner
Women did more than needlepoint during the Victorian era. We’ll meet ten groundbreaking women who worked at a time when higher education of women was a controversial idea. Discover Victorian women inventors and scientists, some of their ideas and inventions, and what life was like for a women scientists of the time.

Robin Renner is a student of history, an educator, and all round polymath. Her many careers have included education, computers, architecture, and public speaking.

Adam Renner is a scientist, sculptor, and Renaissance man with a special interest in human behavior and world culture.

Friday, 9:00 PM
How Watches Work
Rob Anders
A basic overview of mechanical pocket and wristwatch components and operation. Learn what all those gears and springs do. Includes how and why it works including the historical importance of portable timekeeping. Presentation includes many beautiful photos of watch mechanisms from the 15th century onward.

Friday, 10:00 PM
Intro to the Red Fork Empire
The Red Fork Empire
ANSWER THE CALL of the Emperor to help fight the DULL so that the children of tomorrow will not be threatened by this menace. HEAR how you can join the RFE and help the effort to spread creativity and imagination throughout the Multi-verse. LEARN about the magnificent brilliance of the Emperor, who he is, and the fantastic citizens who share his cause.

Friday, 11:00 PM
Phil Powell
Steampunk: Full of genius, engineering men and beautiful, aesthetic women.. but alas! I believe there are genius, engineering women abound, thus, the counterbalance must be found: beautiful, aesthetic MEN! Welcome to the stylistically amazing world of Dandyism whose roots stem back to before the Victorian Era but was an integral part of it.  How else would we know of Oscar Wilde or Marcel Proust or Charles Baudelaire? Come and learn about our Dandy ways, how we fit into the world of Steampunk quite elegantly, and, who knows, perhaps you too will dress up your engineer in a fine puff tie!

Phil Powell is a Dandy from the Washington, DC area, founder of Those Who Mourn (Gothic/Victorian events) as well as a proud member of SASI (Society for the Advancement of the Steamtopian Ideal).  When not venting frustration at the lack of properly elegant men’s fashion accessories in today’s clothing stores, or exercising his biogenetic need for alcohol at local establishments, he is happy to provide fashion tips and pointers for others willing to Dandify.

Friday, 12:00 AM
Demonology and Ghosts
Kevin Meares
A brief overview of the history of the heyday of the Spiritualism Movement in in the United States.  It will begin with Kate and Margaret Fox in 1848 who truly began the movement and trace its highlights up till the end in the 1930s with the debate between Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Kevin Meares is an experienced demonologist and paranormal investigator.  He currently authors an column on paranormal topics at–Demons-Examiner

Saturday, 10:00 AM
Steam Around the World: Steampunk Beyond Victoriana
Jaymee Goh
Beyond Victoriana, what steampunk possibilities exist?
Come join us as we take you on a trip around the world to see how steampunk manifests in the minds of those who don’t think within an Eurocentric context, whether they blend Western influences, or use recognizably steampunk elements within a distinct flavor outside of
Europe. We will also approach the ethical challenges that come up when engaging in multicultural steampunk and discuss matters of race, privilege, and cultural appropriation.

Jaymee Goh is the steampunk postcolonialist of Silver Goggles. She
examines race, representation, diversity and other such exciting
adventures as one might find in our genial genre.

Saturday, 11:15 AM
Green Steam
David Lee-Hatton Cross
While recycling may seem a relatively new concept, it has in fact been around for thousands of years. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution of the “Victorian era” that it became cheaper to discard and purchase new. As Hatton Cross Steampunk creates fun personas and contraptions from this era, we also attempt to create a “green movement” as well. In this presentation David encourages the steampunk enthusiast to re-use items that may be considered ordinary junk. He explores creative uses of everyday items, flea market finds and all around junk to create Steampunk works of art. David will display several of his creations and explain some of the obvious and not-so-obvious items that create the “Contraptions of False Perception”. This presentation is ideal for the steampunk enthusiast that is on a tight budget; those that are searching for inspiration and ideas; or those artists that wish to utilize more “found items” in their art. David will also discuss easy ways to incorporate low voltage electronics to enhance your projects and whole-heartily invites you to be a part of this “Green Steam” movement.

David Lee is the principal artist at Hatton Cross Steampunk. His steampunk art has been featured in Dr. Grymm’s “Steampunk Bizarre Exhibit” in the Mark Twain Museum, CT. He’s been a guest artist and panel presenter at conventions such as Upstate Steampunk Extravaganza, Marscon, AnachroCon, RavenCon, ConTemporal and the Steampunk World’s Fair. His “Gentleman’s Flying Apparatus” aka “The Morgan Aeronautical Destroyer of Satan’s Arrogance” has been nominated for “Best non-goggle accessory” in the Steampunk Chronicle’s Readers Choice Awards. He is a contributing “DIY” author for the Steampunk Chronicle as well as Gothla Magazine. He recently signed with publisher Hypatia Press and expects to release a steampunk novel, entitled “The Great Loons Disease of 1865″ in summer of 2012. With all that Hatton Cross has going on; they continue to push the envelope with some very ambitious projects to include a drivable steampunk tank, a steampunk Séance Machine and presentation/show as well as numerous DIY projects for the Steampunk Chronicle.
David’s personal motto is “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!” and applies this to his steampunk creations.

Saturday, 12:00 PM
The Other 98%: The Origin of Steampunk in 19th Century World’s Fairs
Louise Krasniewicz
International expositions of the 19th and early 20th centuries promoted the progress of industrialized Western civilizations over earlier, primitive peoples. This evolutionary view of racial and cultural superiority juxtaposed displays of gigantic machines, brilliant technological devices, civilized art, and heaps of mining swag with displays of the 98% of humanity that lived traditional lives. Through Native Villages, Wild West shows, exhibits of colonized people and places, and raunchy Midways with exotic “savages,” these wildly popular fairs exposed millions to the possibilities of other ways of living even as they tried to force a view of the inevitability of enlightened civilization. Like its Steampunk offspring years later, the World’s Fairs were complex spectacles of the mechanical and the natural, the possible and impossible, the past and the future, and the bizarre and the beautiful, all in a contemplation of the wonders of the worlds created by humans.

Louise Krasniewicz is an anthropologist who studies the wonders of the creative human world including movies and animations, storytelling, folklore, digital media, fan culture (including Steampunk), comic books, communities, and magic. Dr. Krasniewicz is the author of several books about pop culture icons (including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Walt Disney, and Johnny Depp) and is currently working on a Steampunk graphic novel about ass-kicking suffragists and abolitionists in the 19th century.She is also a costumer, an award-winning miniaturist, and an all-around creator of cool stuff.

Saturday, 1:00 PM
Dieselpunk: Bringing Yesterday into Tomorrow
Tome Wilson
Tome Wilson (creator and curator of the online magazine Dieselpunks) will be bringing his cutting edge Roaring Twenties style to the SPWF with real world examples of dieselpunk art, fashion, motorcycles, architecture, and technology.  This presentation will include a quick and dirty “Dieselpunk 101″ course along with multimedia pieces from today’s hottest retrofuturist designers and artists.

Saturday, 2:00 PM
Creating Steampunk: Tips and Tricks
Daniel Stuart
This presentation will discuss simple tips and tools that the do-it-yourselfer can use
to create nice looking Steampunkery. Most of the supplies for the techniques shown
can be easily obtained at a local hardware store. Daniel will also be talking about
on-line resources that can be used to find those hard to get items. Daniel will share
a large variety of tips and tricks for fastening, coloring, finishing, making new things
look old, and old things look new. Come learn in minutes what it took him years to
figure out!

Daniel Stuart is a self-taught metal sculptor that has been manipulating steel for over 15 years. His work is represented in galleries around the country as well as one of the largest
juried art shows in the in the country, the American Craft Council show in Baltimore,
Maryland. In 2011, Daniel purchased a building at the Maryland Renaissance
Festival where he sells his work to the public for nine consecutive weekends every
fall. Please visit for more information about Daniel, his
artwork, and the Steamquake dig site!

Saturday, 3:00 PM
Steampunk Weapons from Beginner to Intermediate
Kevin Houghton and Thomas Willeford
Ever wonder how some people make those gorgeous Steampunk weapons?
Think that you cannot do it yourself because it is too expensive or you don’t think you have the skills or tools? Steampunk Weapons from Beginner to Intermediate is a one hour panel discussion regarding creating and modification of weapons to the Steampunk esthetic. The panel will discuss beginner and intermediate level modifications, types of weapons, parts, tools, and techniques, from the basic repainting of available plastics weapons to the more complex modification of wood and steel firearms. Topics covered will include late 19th and early 20th century examples of real weapons to draw inspiration from. Where to find items for modifications, tools needed, and skills required. The different Steampunk firearm types from, gunpowder to electricity to steam powered. Examples, in various stages of build and creative levels will be shown.

Thomas Willeford is the Evil Genius behind Brute Force Studios purveyor of quality corsetry and steampunk accoutrements since 1995 and the author of Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker’s Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts (McGraw-Hill).

Kevin M. Houghton is a Steampunk author and costumer, who has applied several years of weapons and armor reconstruction for medieval living history groups towards the crafting of weapons and costume.

Saturday, 4:00 PM
Victorian Women Adventuresses
Robin Renner, Adam Renner
Victorian women travelers visited Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East. Discover the women who entered forbidden areas, took part in strange rituals and were generally fearless in the face of danger. We’ll tell of wild adventures and going native as well as explore Victorian travel necessities of the time

Robin Renner is a student of history, an educator, and all round polymath. Her many careers have included education, computers, architecture, and public speaking.

Adam Renner is a scientist, sculptor, and Renaissance man with a special interest in human behavior and world culture.

Saturday, 5:00 PM
Steam 101
Rob Anders
A basic overview of how steam engines operate, their parts and purpose, and how it all goes together to convert heat to power. Rail and stationary engines will be discussed.

Saturday, 6:00 PM
Comics in Steampunk
Red Fork Empire
A look into Steampunk in comic books – Hosted by Michelle Roberts (Queen of Sanctuary)

Saturday, 7:00 PM
How to Properly Court a Gentleman or a Lady
John Cholewa, Jim Prego, Elissa Shevinsky, Mae Sally-Rouge Pax, Jo Pax, Onezumi Hartstein
“My, that’s a dashing cummerbund!  Care for a spot of tea?”  Yes, we know why you’re here this weekend.  Come join us and learn how to do things right and fill your life with a torrid Victorian romance.  Or learn to evade the common lech.

Your Distinguished Panel:
Jim Prego: A doctor and a flirt. What could be better?
Elissa Shevinsky: Beguiling creator of online dating ventures.
Mae Sally-Rouge Pax: Savior of puppies, but remember:  Her eyes are up here.
Jo Pax: Your average, down to earth, geeky, Libran bassist.
Onezumi Hartstein: Webcomic artist, convention maker, geek perfection.  Sorry folks, she’s taken!
John Cholewa: Mostly harmless

Saturday, 9:00 PM
Envisioning a Better Steam Society: Social Issues and Steampunk
Jaymee Goh
For the third year in a row, your favourite roundtable discussion where participants discuss their thoughts about finding aesthetic inspiration in a historical era rife with sexism, racism and classist thinking! Can the steampunk subculture come to terms with its problematic past, or are we just repeating history, except with ray guns? Together with the audience, we hope to engage in an open dialogue about whether steampunkconfronts or condones the historical ideas behind its inspiration, how nineteenth century thinking is re-interpreted in the present day, and what makes steampunk actually “punk.”

Jaymee Goh is the steampunk postcolonialist of Silver Goggles. She
examines race, representation, diversity and other such exciting
adventures as one might find in our genial genre.

Saturday, 10:00 PM
Victorian Sexuality
Kate Cross
The general opinion of Victorians is that they were a sexually repressed people, but that generalization is a huge fallacy. The Victorian period is one of appearing one way and acting another. Some folks tried to take a higher moral ground while others reveled in sexual experimentation and freedom. This workshop takes an intimate look into the sexual lives of the Victorians and how this naughty history has shaped our own world.

Kate Cross is a pseudonym for USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Smith, author of more than 20 books. Kate writes Steampunk romance for Penguin, Steampunk young adult books as Kady Cross, and urban fantasy for Orbit as Kate Locke.

Saturday, 11:00 PM
Comics in Steampunk II
Red Fork Empire
A more in depth look at steampunk in comic books and steampunk themed comics

Saturday 12:00 AM
Meet the Five Emperors
Red Fork Empire
Come and witness the spectacle that is a great conjunction of dimensions whose nexus will be the Emperor of the Red Fork Empire. Here the Lord Emperor will be interviewed and interview selected members of the audience in a few of his infinite incarnations. It is absolutely not required but highly encouraged that those with personas act as their personas during the great conjunction. (18+)

Sunday 10:00 AM
Steam 201
Rob Anders
Delving past the basics of steam engine operation, the applications of compounding, superheat, and a slight trip into the thermodynamic concepts will be explored. No math background required.

Sunday, 11:00 AM
From China to Turkey
Robin Renner, Adam Renner
The sun never set on the Victorian Empire but what was going on in other places? Visit the Ottoman Empire, China, Japan and Russia for a tour of customs, costumes, and people of the time. This quick tour will have you feeling you just came back from your own world tour!

Robin Renner is a student of history, an educator, and all round polymath. Her many careers have included education, computers, architecture, and public speaking.

Adam Renner is a scientist, sculptor, and Renaissance man with a special interest in human behavior and world culture.

Sunday, 12:00 PM
The Color Out of Space
Steve Mariconda
Discover how horror writer H. P. Lovecraft’s greatest story, “The
Colour out of Space” (1926), was based on actual events.  In this
“literary detective story” filled with original research and period
photos, you’ll learn how four towns in rural Massachusetts
vanished–and how Lovecraft cunningly mixed reality with fantasy to
create his unique brand of the weird tale.

Steve Mariconda has published over 100 essays and reviews about H. P.
Lovecraft and weird fiction, many of which have been collected in
reference collections and anthologies of literary criticism.  A
selection of his work on HPL is forthcoming from Hippocampus Press in

Sunday, 1:00 PM
Victorian Spacecraft
Zebulon Vitruvius Pike
The second presentation is on Victorian Spacecraft. Jules Verne’s moon gun.
H.G. Wells’ Cavorite sphere. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s space elevator. Erasmus
Darwin’s rocket. Thomas Edison’s aether propeller.
The science and science fiction of how the 19th Century got into space and
what it means to steampunks.

Zebulon Vitruvius Pike. Gentleman adventurer, mercenary explorer, dime novel hero, and veteran of the late unpleasantness.

Sunday, 2:00 PM
Steampunk Political Discussion
Steampunk Emma Goldman
Who better to talk politics than people who know the past and spend their time envisioning the future?  We’ll be discussing the place of politics in steampunk, and vice versa.  We’ll talk 19th century politics, contemporary politics, future politics, and retro-neo-futuristic politics.  Got thoughts on any of that?  Come share them!

Sunday, 3:00 PM
Mystery Airships of 1897
Zebulon Vttruvius Pike
On the dark an rainy night of November 17th, 1897, hundreds of witnesses reported a
dirigible in the skies above Sacramento. Thus began a series of thousands of sightings over the next six months from the Pacific to the Mississippi, From Milwaukee to Galziston. Hoax? Mass hysteria? Aliens? Or did a secret inventor beat von Zeppelin and the Wright Brothers into the skies?

Zebulon Vitruvius Pike. Gentleman adventurer, mercenary explorer, dime novel hero, and veteran of the late unpleasantness.