Relevant Writing


Race and Social Justice Conversations

In this volume of the Wiscon Chronicles, we find ourselves considering what it means to live at the intersections of various identities, some of them more privileged than others. We ask how we can function as good allies to each other in often challenging situations. We’re living through an intense time of social change, and a variety of questions arise as we have these often difficult conversations about feminism, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and more. Among them are questions about what leads to positive social change and how best to effect such change in our communities.

From “Towards a More Welcoming War”

Hey, folks. I’m Mary Anne Mohanraj. John’s kindly given me a space here to start a conversation about some of the useful points that came out of RaceFail ’09. Quick intro: nine years ago I started Strange Horizons, which has become one of the premiere SF/F magazines, and which once published one of John’s stories, which is how we met. I currently run the Speculative Literature Foundation, a non-profit arts organization that works to support SF/F, and I was a founding board member of the Carl Brandon Society, which works to support minorities in the field through various awards and other initiatives. In my day job, I write and publish fiction (mostly mainstream), and teach fiction writing and literature (mostly post-colonial) at the University of Illinois. Also, I was born in Sri Lanka, and have brown skin. So now you know where I’m coming from.

Mary Anne Mohanraj Gets You Up to Speed, Part I


I was nineteen years old, at a party in college, and this friend of mine, Kira, had just broken up with her live-in boyfriend. I asked her if she needed a place to crash, and she looked at me for a moment, paused, and said, “Only if you know what you’re offering.” I had no idea what she meant, and blinked cluelessly at her — long enough for Kira to sigh, pat me on the head, and say “Never mind,” before going into the kitchen for another drink.

From “BECAUSE Keynote 2014: Holding Hands”