In response to the many questions and requests we got, we began Steampunk University back in 2008. Despite it’s lofty name, the aim of SU is really just to introduce people to the literary genre of steampunk and it’s subsequent subculture and help them figure a few things out, like what to wear to Steamcon and how to make cool stuff. It’s pretty basic, intended for beginners but can be a lot of fun. We also run a store at the same time, so you can get some fun items to wear and meet some of the many merchants that will be at Steamcon IV in October. This year we aren’t even charging tuition or admission, so it’s the best opportunity to come and learn a little about our passion, steampunk.
12:00 – 1:00 – Intro to Steampunk: Diana Vick will give you an overview of how it all began and her take on the genre, subculture and aesthetic of steampunk.
1:00 – 2:00 – How to Dress Steampunk: Liz Spain says that your perfect steampunk outfit may be hiding in your closet! Learn how to find and alter easy-to-find inexpensive clothing to create sartorial fabulousness for all genders.
2:00 – 3:00 – Prop making: Tony Hicks aka Shamus Tinplate and Sean Forbes will show you their fabulous gadgets and talk to you about their process.
3:00 – 4:00 – Leather working & Goggle making: Mac McGowan of SteamBaby has been doing leather work of various kinds for many years. In this talk he will cover some basic leatherworking ideas and show some tips and hints for goggle construction as well
4:00 – 5:00 – Steampunk Music: Jordan Block of Sepiachord, one of the leading steampunk musicologists in the world will talk about what he finds to be steampunk music.
The Steampunk University Store will be open from noon to 6:00 PM for your shopping enjoyment.
Me as school marm
Last year in March, we, that is Steampunk Conventions Inc., the organization behind Steamcon, held a little day of classes that we called Steampunk University. So many people had questions about steampunk and where to find clothing and how to make props that it seemed like a good idea. We held it on a Sunday and had seven classes and a vendor’s room. We had a little under a hundred students. It seemed to go over well, and we had planned to try and have another one but the convention took most of our energy and focus.
Ericka of Steampunk Exhibition Ball, decided to hold a film festival as a fund raiser to help replace the clockworks that were taken from the gorgeous Carroll clock in front of the Museum of History and Industry.
Although it seemed like a good idea to hold another Steampunk University in conjunction with the film festival, we were very busy. Luckily Nathan Barnett decided to take the reins. In a very short period of time, the university and film festival became a reality. There were five classes in the regular curriculum and five more that were a bit more advanced. There were also two vendor’s areas.
I was pleased to be asked to do a talk on “Introduction to Steampunk”, a talk that I’ve given many times in the past, although I have added a lot to it recently. I took the opportunity to do my first PowerPoint presentation since the facilities lent themselves to it. I had also never done a talk on a stage, in an auditorium with lights and a wireless mic. It was a whole new level of nerve wracking, but I think it went well. I was also the first speaker of the day. All in all, I felt it went over well. People were educated and entertained.
After my class, I chatted with folks and wandered the vendors areas. Lunch was Dante’s tasty hot dogs from their cart and some delicious tea from B. Fuller’s wonderfully well appointed stand. My husband and I took a few pictures of the day which you can find here. I also made a photo pool here for Steampunk universities past and present.
I sadly couldn’t stay all day, but I have it on good authority that in the evening they showed Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Time Machine, had a silent auction and intermission entertainment. I am told that their goal for fundraising was reached, so the clock will be repaired. It’s wonderful when the community can right such an indecorous wrong and have fun doing. Kudos to Ericka, Nathan and all the crew that helped to make it happen.