Recordings of all sessions are available in our Illinois MediaSpace playlist.

All times are in Central Time (US). Here’s a handy Time Zone Calculator to help you sync up!

All Zoom information is available to registrants via the conference Slack.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

May the 4th Be With You!

Don your favorite Star Wars gear for our Opening Ceremony!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Program Committee


Land Acknowledgment


Chris Kempshall | "The Many Falls of the Galactic Empire"

Christina M. Knopf | “'I am altering the [art of the] deal'; Or, the In-Sidious threat of Dark Side allusions in political satire"

Tonguc Sezen | Reading Imperial documents – Exploring the discourses of the Star Wars Galaxy in its epistolary paratexts

Joshua Jackson

In this workshop, participants will use Twine, a user-friendly but robust hypertext storyboarding-cum-game-design tool, to create digital narratives in the vein of early Choose Your Own Adventure-style books while exploring new ways of examining storytelling as a cultural text.

Bridgitte Barclay | Snow Lizards, Space Cowboys, and Missing Twins: Leigh Brackett’s Contributions to The Empire Strikes Back

Chera Kee | Resisting Their Programming: Clones, Droids, and the Regulation of Life in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Andrew Hageman | Reyduce, Reyuse, Reycycle: The EcoPolitics of Scavenging in Star Wars

Spencer D. C. Keralis

In this social workshop, we'll gather to draw and share comics and sketches inspired by Star Wars, using exercises adapted from Lynda Barry's Making Comics.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Justin Wigard | Now THIS is Podracing!: Narrative and Ludic Friction in Star Wars Episode 1: Racer

Nick Bestor | Games-As-Service or Transmedia Worldbuilding: Star Wars Video Games Under Electronic Arts

Shawn Gilmore | Containing the Canon: Disney's Acquisition of the Star Wars Franchise and Its Impact

Kevin Jenkins

Adetty Pérez de Miles

This workshop will introduce participants to core concepts of gender identity and gender expression, trans-affirming ethics, and methods to work in alliance with transgender people in academic and social spaces.

Stephanie Halmhofer, Alex Fitzpatrick | "There is Power in the Past: The Politicization of Archaeology and Heritage in the Star Wars Universe"

Kaiya Schroeder | "Constructing Imperial Memory: Information Agents and Agency in a Galaxy Not So Far Away"

Owen Morawitz & Nick van Buuren | "Orders of Resistance: Galactic Hauntology and the Force of Recognition in Star Wars"

Jessica Steel | "Finding the Child - Jung, The Mandalorian and a more holistic understanding of myth"

Adam Benkato | "Mandalorians and the Politics of Veiling"

Garret Castleberry | "The Antihero's Journey: (Re)Categorizing The Mandalorian as Future Shock Science Fiction"

Cait Coker

The massive collections of UI's Rare Book & Manuscript Library include a significant collection of film and television scripts, storyboards, press kits, and more. Dr. Cait Coker will share selected items of interest, including the March 1975 Fourth Draft of the original Star Wars film script.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Chris Wildrick | "The Jedi are the Worst: Why the Sith Code is Legitimately Better than The Jedi Code—a Social Justice Critique"

Sasha Rose | "Rhizomatic Resistance: Protest metanarratives in both the real and Star Wars universe"

Rebecca Harrison (she/her/hers) is a feminist academic and culture writer based in Scotland. Her research focuses on histories of media and technology and she is interested in how gender, race, class and sexuality define people's experiences of visual culture from production to reception. Harrison's current work explores the Star Wars franchise and includes the 2020 BFI Film Classic The Empire Strikes Back, as well as articles in LA Review of Books, The Mary Sue, and Sight & Sound, among others.

Daniel Yezbick | Rebel Transmissions: Lost Moments of Difference, Dissent, and Resistance in the 1981 NPR broadcast adaptation of STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE

J. Richard Stevens | Paneling Head Canon: Comic books as Accessible Transmedia Intertextual Dialogue

Jonathan Alexandratos | Working Together: Star Wars Toys as Source Text for On-Screen Storytelling

Samantha Langsdale | "Princesses with Glowing Swords, Frenemies, and Imperial Clones: A Comparative Analysis of Star Wars VII, VIII & IX and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power"

Bethan Jones | "The Fandom Menace: #Reylo, Racism and Toxic Fandom"

Christina Wurst | "The Jedi of Our Own Story - The Politicization of Star Wars"

All Zoom information is available to registrants via the conference Slack.