Podcast Spotlight: Welcome to ‘Fansplaining’!

Image courtesy of Staff Writer Heather.

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“Welcome to Fansplaining! The podcast by, for, and about fandom!”

Image courtesy of fansplaining.com

That introduction is a concise summary because this podcast truly is about all things fandom! Created and hosted by Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel, Fansplaining delves into all the good, bad, weird, and heartwarming things about fan culture. The show isn’t specific to a particular fan community, but instead takes a look at what makes up fandom as a whole.

If you’re the type of fan who enjoys the analysis of social and cultural structures, this is the podcast for you. Not only am I a fandom nerd myself, but I’m also an academic nerd, so this podcast has the best of both worlds. In one episode, they may discuss the many ways fans express love for their favorite things like conventions, fan fiction, shipping, fan art, or cosplay. Then the next episode, they may dig into the nuances of fan activism, fandom and capitalism, or fandom and its relationship to race, gender, or sexuality. Fans and their relationships with content creators like producers and writers is also a frequently discussed topic. Episodes don’t just include their thoughts on the matter, though. They often have fan scholars on as guests, such as Dr. Lori Morimoto and Dr. Rukmini Pande, who they ask to weigh in with their professional and academic insights.

Don’t worry, though. It’s not all just academic! There’s also plenty of their own fannish excitement to go around. Just ask Elizabeth about Black Sails! She’s a huge Harry Potter fan too. Then there’s Flourish who, from the episode’s description, subjected Elizabeth to a half-hour discussion about a Harry Stiles concert. Flourish also hasn’t been shy about her own experience writing fan fiction for various fandoms. The point is, this podcast is not just intellectual outsiders analyzing and judging fan communities. It’s a show created by fans on the “inside” who integrate their own brand of analysis and critical thinking. But, with the fun and excitement of the fan experience.

Here’s just a small sample of the captivating content on over 100 episodes:

  • Episode 111, “Canon, What Canon?.” This episode discusses the relationship that fans have with the source material, including “what happens when fans are more interested in fanon than canon.”
  • Episode 106, “The Neverending Franchise.” Flourish, and Elizabeth conducted their own panel at San Diego Comic-Con, titled “Don’t Dream It’s Over: What Fans Do When Long-Running Stories End.” This episode reflects on their San Diego Comic-Con experience, what it was like hosting their own panel, and their thoughts on long-running fan favorites coming to an end – you can watch that panel here.
  • Episode 60, “Orlando Jones.” Yes, that Orlando Jones! Flourish, and Elizabeth were lucky enough to have Orlando on as a guest, who shared his insights on fangirls vs. fanboys, shipping, fan fiction, and racism in TV production.

For more information and the entire list of episodes, you can visit their website. To listen to their podcast, you can find it on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, Castbox, TuneIn, Overcast.fm, and Player.fm.

Amanda Brock

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Amanda is a mental health counselor by day and a nerd by night. She’s been fangirling since 1989 when she had so many New Kids On The Block posters in her bedroom that she ran out of wall space and had to put them on her ceiling. She finds people and stories fascinating and even went to film school years ago. The journey from film to Social Work is a long, depressing tale, but she came out the other side feeling inspired to help people. Now she’s living out that old Hollywood cliché. You know, the one where someone can’t contain their passion any longer and leaves a career in entertainment to pursue their dreams of becoming a therapist in the Midwest. She’s not a filmmaker anymore but she is a fan. Her favorite genres are sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes, and musicals. She loves Supernatural, New Kids On The Block (duh), and comes from a family of Star Trek nerds. She might also be a little obsessed with her cats.

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