My name is An Sasala (they/them or ze/zir). I study Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies (PhD—2021) and Film & Media Studies (MA—2020) at the University of Kansas. My work also falls soundly within Transgender Studies and Media Archaeology. Generally, I explore the attachment of embodied identities to sexed, sexualized, and sexy technologies, in particular sex toys, dolls, and droids. I utilize science and speculative fiction to address un/ethical sex object design while also attempting to theorize a materially nonhuman perspective. Just think of my PhD work as a constantly evolving episode of Black Mirror. My first academic publication, “Panic! Humanity’s Cisheteronormative Fear of the Transgender Android” will appear in Somatechnics.
I applied for the HASTAC Fellowship to take a break from business as usual and look forward to engaging with digital humanities scholars and the integration of digital tools and pedagogy into my classroom. I hope to use the next two years to blog about assignments, share student work (with permission of course!) and work with the Future ED Initiative. Ideally, at the end of my time as a HASTAC scholar, I will have digitally reworked my Intro to Gender Studies and LGBTQ Perspectives courses.
I am a podcast enthusiast famous for having at least one recommendation for every situation. I subscribe to over 300 podcasts and regularly listen to nearly 100. What about the other 200? I let them accrue episodes and then go in for the binge listen. I also routinely marathon podcasts from Episode 0 and on.
Current Podcast Ear Worms:
Returning March 2018, Ear Hustle brings the voices of San Quentin State Prison inmates to the outside world. Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods candidly (well, as candidly as Lt. Robinson allows) discuss life inside with artist and volunteer Nigel Poor.
Episode Three: Looking Out
Episode Seven: Unwritten
Episode Ten: Getting a Date
I am a biased as I guested on Episode 4: The Process, but in all seriousness I cannot recommend my good friend Isaac’s podcast highly enough. Authentic and honest, Isaac explores everything you can imagine—we discussed my work on sex robots and our love/hate relationship with RuPaul’s Drag Race and the titular queer herself—providing insightful critique, nuanced commentary, emotions and laughs.
Episode 1.1: Grad Schooling While Black
Episode 1.7: The Tops (and Bottoms) of 2017
Episode 2.4: New Year New Friends
While they make us wait for another season of Limetown, TwoUp produced a phenomenal 3 episode musical podcast starring the voices of Jessie Shelton and Jonathon Groff. Attempting to fix their marriage, the two characters attempt to re-answer Arthur Aron’s 36 questions to help strangers fall in love. The entire production is a delight, also stars a rather delightful duck named Henry, and the end is not what I expected.
I’ve listened to Welcome to Night Vale since episode two and am a regular listener of everything from Night Vale Presents, but season two of Within the Wires really impressed my. I enjoyed the first season, but the premise of season two, slowly uncovering the details of a crime through museum audio guides really spoke to the nerd, the artist, and the storyteller in me.
Recommendations (though you really need to listen all the way through):
Season 2, Cassette 2: Ulster Museum (1973)
Season 2, Cassette 6: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1978)
Season 2, Cassette 9: Metropolitan Museum of Art (1981)