Ask yourself this question, “Are you a geek?”
This is a question that most people would probably answer with, “No”. Realistically, we’re all probably a geek in some form or fashion. According to the definition provided by the Western Association of College and University Housing Officers (WACUHO) a geek is someone with a hyper-pursuit in a non-mainstream intellectual desire. Maybe you love anything related to crafting and you know your Mod Podge for your Elmer’s glue. You’re a craft geek. Maybe you can identify all of the princesses in every Disney movie. You’re a Disney Geek.
Geeks come in all forms and I am hoping to shed some light on this topic by presenting the first-ever Geek Week at George Mason University. Inspired by a presentation I attended at a national conference in March 2013, I was motivated to bring this awesome week to our campus. Why? Because I am a geek and it’s time for us to shine!
One of the other reasons I wanted to bring this Geek Week to Mason is because being on a large campus can be difficult for those who self-identify as or who are geeks. Many geeks experience difficult times in high school for liking Anime a little too much or for participating in Live-Action Role Playing (LARPers). Perhaps they contemplate the many incarnations of Dr. Who and who was the better actor. These students may log an insane amount of hours playing Magic: The Gathering or Dungeons and Dragons while killing time before their next class while sitting in SUB I. They may even have a love for the Powerpuff Girls or zombie folklore that few outside of their network of like-minded friends can appreciate. The purpose of this week is to spread some knowledge and have lots of fun. Perhaps resulting in many more Patriots self-identifying as geeks. It’s a movement. Showcasing all things “geek” and showing everyone that being a geek is not a negative, but in fact a positively awesome thing to be.
Topics during Geek Week (tentatively scheduled for October 7 – 11) will cover a series of topics that cross into gender, feminism, masculinity, science, careers and your typical Comic Con fare – comics, movies, and cartoons. The week will also showcase two documentaries, “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines” and “White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books”.
The goal is to develop an annual event that showcases a group of students, staff, faculty and community members that go underrepresented in our university community. I hope Geek Week shows everyone that George Mason University is a place where the diversity of our quirkiness is appreciated.
If you are interested in participating as a presenter or helping to plan Geek Week, please contact Dennis Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org.