Silver Goggles is many things. It is a review blog. It is a travel blog. It is a media blog. It is a con report blog. It is a documentation blog. It is an ideas blog.

It is mostly the pet steampunk project of one Jaymee Goh, or Jha as she is known in many places on the Internet. If you'd like to know more about me, click here.

I began this project with many academic ambitions of using postcolonial theory to create spaces in steampunk for people who don't look like they could fit into the Eurocentric milieu that is dominant in the subculture, the literature, the art and various media. I began this project because of my own misgivings about entering and participating in steampunk and wanted to introduce conversations about race, representation, racism, and how it intersects with our steampunk practices and works.

The project talking about how People of Colour, or non-white/white-passing people can use steampunk as a way to center themselves has culminated into my Master's Major Research Project, Chromatic Chronologies: Using The Steampunk Aesthetic For Postcolonial Purposes (pdf). I am currently working on a book riffing off this project.

Silver Goggles still talks about race, racism, issues of representation and how it intersects with steampunk community practice (less works, because I don't consume as much steampunk media as I used to). It is about thinking about the things we do in a more critical way. I draw a great deal from various academic theories (postcolonial, feminist, cultural studies) and one of my aims is to whittle the academese into everyday language that we can use to talk to each other to provoke interesting conversations. I sometimes repeat myself, but would prefer not to, so you should go through my archives when you have the time.

These are not new ideas, of course: these are conversations about race that have been created and continued since the concept of race was created to oppress various peoples. Silver Goggles is about finding that language to name that oppression, confronting it, not just in others but in ourselves, in order to dismantle it. I do it in steampunk specifically because steampunk engages so much with the histories that created the oppressions of today. Silver Goggles operates under the optimism that steampunk is among the best spaces to tackle these conversations, because steampunk itself exists in so many places.

Silver Goggles is for and about people of colour in steampunk: it is here to promote POC-centric projects, champion POC presence and document POC representations and experiences in steampunk. It is to push forward our remarkable, amazing, beautiful differences. It is to push back against the stultifying, dehumanizing colorblind ideology and lies of meritocracy that holds us back. It is here to demand spotlights on the histories that have contributed to the overarching Western hegemony that steampunk remains within. It is here to call out those who would speak of us, and claim to speak for us, but without us.

Silver Goggles isn't really a "multicultural" steampunk blog per se; it is about postcolonialism, polyvocalism (ironic given that it only has one blogger), and polyracial futures. It is about POC creators and creations and the need for white people to help set stages for them. It's about resistance, rebirth, renaissance and re-creation. If some ideas on here don't strike you as being "POC-specific" you should perhaps consider the fact that maybe people of colour live in the same world as you do and thus experience many of the same issues.

It's not a perfect space. I'm not a perfect blogger. There's always more I could be doing. But here is my place to speak. Comments are locked after 7 days; I will delete the more egregious comments and leave some others behind for mockery. My voice ranges from informal to really academic. This place isn't just work, it's also play, so I'm not really a regular poster or whatever.

So *pulls on goggles* I'll see you out in the aether, folks.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just was introduced to your writing and thought through Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution. I enjoyed the article "From Airships of Imagination to Feet on the Ground." I wanted to applaud your observation in the line: "But saying "sorry" means someone got hurt in the first place and has to accept the apology."