Fansplaining is a podcast about by, for, and about fandom. It’s hosted by Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel. New episodes come out every two weeks. If you want to call us and leave a message for us to read on air, our number is 1-401-526-FANS!
info_outline Episode 131: Happy Anniversary #5 08/05/2020
Episode 131: Happy Anniversary #5 Flourish and Elizabeth celebrate their fifth anniversary with an annual tradition: inviting back guests from the past year to talk about changes in fandom, from the global to the personal. Topics discussed include race and racism in fandom, harassment and accountability, increases in “migratory fandom” behavior, and the act of rereading providing comfort over the past few months.
info_outline Episode 130: Pam Noles 07/22/2020
Episode 130: Pam Noles In Episode 130, Elizabeth and Flourish interview Pam Noles, the self-described “executive geek” in charge of one of the restricted entrances to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con. They discuss Pam’s history with cons, how being on-staff changes the con-going experience, and the past, present, and future of SDCC. Plus: Pam tells some behind-the-scenes stories about saying “no” to A-listers, studio executives, and the kind of people who say things like, “Don’t you know who I am?!?”
info_outline Episode 128: The K-pop Narratives 06/24/2020
Episode 128: The K-pop Narratives In Episode 128, “The K-pop Narratives,” Keidra Chaney returns to the podcast to discuss mainstream framings of K-pop fans and their online actions in support of Black Lives Matter. Topics covered include the flawed foundations of these narratives, the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of boosting hateful hashtags, and the continued anti-Blackness within K-pop fan spaces—and its connections to anti-Blackness within the industry itself.
info_outline Episode 127: A Fan of Fandom 05/27/2020
Episode 127: A Fan of Fandom In Episode 127, “A Fan of Fandom,” Elizabeth and Flourish get (too?) meta answering a listener letter about the term “fan of fandom,” which Flourish had previously dismissed as “cute.” They discuss the ways different communities use the terms “fan” and “fandom,” the role of affect in their fannish lives, and whether approaching all media with a fannish lens might lead to more inclusive fan spaces—and more diverse media.
info_outline Episode 126: Social Media Fic 05/13/2020
Episode 126: Social Media Fic In Episode 126, “Social Media Fic,” Elizabeth and Flourish welcome Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, culture journalist and Elizabeth’s collaborator on “The Rec Center,” back to the podcast to talk about how fanfic has expanded across Twitter. Topics covered include the fuzzy lines between fiction and roleplay, changing norms around pseudonymity, and generational shifts around fanworks and ephemerality.
info_outline Episode 125: Con-solation 04/29/2020
Episode 125: Con-solation In Episode 125, Flourish and Elizabeth discuss the state of fan conventions in 2020, whether they’ve been canceled, moved online, or, in a few cases, are supposedly going forward (DragonCon, what are you doing???). What’s lost in the transition from IRL to remote—and what can fans potentially gain? They also answer a listener question about, uh, other listeners’ questions!
info_outline Episode 124: Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 7 04/15/2020
Episode 124: Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 7 In Episode 124, “Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 7,” Elizabeth and Flourish dig into a new pile of listener questions and comments. Topics covered include fan reactions when male versus female actors talk about shipping, whether spec scripts count as fanfiction, what to say to friends who disrespect fic, and how the podcast gets made.
info_outline Episode 123: Reread, Rewatch, Replay 04/01/2020
Episode 123: Reread, Rewatch, Replay In Episode 123, “Reread, Rewatch, Replay,” Elizabeth and Flourish think about that most ubiquitous of comfort activities—returning to old favorite books, shows, films, games, and fics. Topics covered include the specific pleasures of re-experiencing narratives, how repeat consumption is an inherent part of fan culture, the different things people seek out when rereading fic, and how moments of collective trauma influence art and culture.
info_outline Episode 122: Wash Your Hands and Read Some Fic 03/18/2020
Episode 122: Wash Your Hands and Read Some Fic In very self-isolated Episode 122, “Wash Your Hands and Read Some Fic,” Elizabeth and Flourish share the results of a mini-survey about people’s fiction habits in times of crisis—the personal, the global, and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Are people more interested in fluff or angst? Do they seek escapism or catharsis? Is this a good time—or the worst time—to watch Contagion? They also read a message from the co-chair of the AO3 Technical Support and Feedback Committee on some of the reasons the Archive doesn’t have a mobile app.
info_outline Episode 121: The Money Question 2: The Appening 03/04/2020
Episode 121: The Money Question 2: The Appening In Episode 121, Flourish and Elizabeth revisit the themes of in the wake of the recent brouhaha about apps like Fanfic Pocket Archive Library. They talk to fanfic author and copyright law professor Earlgreytea68 about “the AO3 App Wars,” digging into topics like the basics of U.S. copyright law, the AO3’s non-monetization policies, and the legal, moral, and ethical dimensions of who is (and who should be) permitted to make money from fanfic.
info_outline Episode 120: Ebony Elizabeth Thomas 02/19/2020
Episode 120: Ebony Elizabeth Thomas In Episode 120, Flourish and Elizabeth welcome back one of their earliest guests, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, to talk about her book about race, fantasy, fandom (and more!), The Dark Fantastic. Topics covered include what Ebony’s work as a reading professor entails, the themes of the book, Barnes & Noble’s “diverse book cover” controversy, and what to do with the problematic canon of children’s literature. They also discuss a listener’s response to the last episode, about whether Oscar Isaac really can be said to “ship” Finnpoe.
info_outline Episode 119: Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 6 02/05/2020
Episode 119: Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 6 In Episode 119, “Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 6,” Flourish and Elizabeth tackle a new stack of listener questions and comments. Topics covered include actors’ shipping preferences, #OwnVoices in profic and in fanfic, what counts as “canon,” why we get stuck in fandoms we no longer like, and Flourish’s true feelings about fictional demons.
info_outline Episode 118: The Craft of Writing (Fanfiction) 01/22/2020
Episode 118: The Craft of Writing (Fanfiction) In Episode 118, “The Craft of Writing (Fanfiction),” Flourish and Elizabeth interview Betts, a fic writer and professional writing instructor, about how different writing practices can inform each other on a craft level. They discuss how fanfic utterly altered Betts’s career path, what role it plays in her classroom, the effects of changing norms around fic critique and feedback, and why many people in fandom spaces are reticent to engage with literary fiction (and why they should give it a try).
info_outline Episode 117: Fans and the Man 01/08/2020
Episode 117: Fans and the Man In Episode 117, “Fans and the Man,” Elizabeth and Flourish talk about whether fandom really has “gone corporate” in the last decade—and if so, what parts of fandom, and in what ways? Topics covered include whether fans have “sold out,” been exploited, or both; whether it’s a good thing for fandom to be intertwined with corporations; and whether “curatorial” and “transformative” are even still useful terms to define fan cultures as we enter the ’20s.
info_outline Episode 116: The Year In Fandom 2019 12/27/2019
Episode 116: The Year In Fandom 2019 In Episode 116, Elizabeth and Flourish revive their end-of-year tradition and revisit big fandom trends in 2019. What changed, what got better, and what got worse? (According to Flourish, everything got worse.) Topics covered include the premature death knell for Tumblr, myths about the “monoculture,” truths and falsehoods about “fantitlement,” the messy rise of 8,000 streaming services, and, of course, “J. K. Rowling and the Infinite Pool of Bad Opinions.” And finally, since this decade is FINALLY over, they talk about what’s changed for fans over the past ten years. Spoiler alert: everything.
info_outline Episode 115: Power Plays 12/11/2019
Episode 115: Power Plays In Episode 115, “Power Plays,” Flourish and Elizabeth discuss three listener letters that deal with the use (or misuse) different kinds of power in and adjacent to fandom. How do we navigate a social media world where creators can find—and fuel a backlash towards—negative critique? How do the amorphous structures of the fanfic world give some readers and writers more power than others? And what can you do if the person making your life miserable in a closed fandom community is also in charge of that space?
info_outline Episode 114: Live From GeekGirlCon 11/27/2019
Episode 114: Live From GeekGirlCon In Episode 114, “Live From GeekGirlCon,” Elizabeth and Flourish take the show on the road and record their first-ever live episode—from the 9th annual GeekGirlCon in Seattle, Washington. They’re joined by Kristine Hassell, the con’s director of community engagement, to talk about diversity and inclusion at geek-oriented events, especially around disability, race, and gender. How can volunteer-run organizations with tight budgets make sure that everyone feels welcome and is able to participate?
info_outline Episode 113: Waffle House Is a Reylo 11/13/2019
Episode 113: Waffle House Is a Reylo In Episode 113, Flourish and Elizabeth look at brand social media accounts’ relationships with fandom, from direct appeals to adopting the persona of a fan. When a musical, a breakfast restaurant, or a streaming service tweets about a Star Wars ship, what exactly do the people managing these accounts hope to achieve? They also answer a listener question about private vs. public fannish spaces online—and unload their feelings about Tumblr’s new group chat feature.
info_outline Episode 112: Rainbow Rowell 10/30/2019
Episode 112: Rainbow Rowell In Episode 112, Flourish and Elizabeth talk to Rainbow Rowell, author of Fangirl, Carry On, Wayward Son, and many other novels, as well as the current run of Marvel’s Runaways comics. They dig into the fandom experiences that inspire Rainbow’s fiction, the differences (and similarities!) between fanfic and original writing, and Flourish feels the pain of being the only non-lurker in the conversation.
info_outline Episode 111: Canon, What Canon? 10/16/2019
Episode 111: Canon, What Canon? In Episode 111, “Canon, What Canon?” Flourish and Elizabeth discuss listener questions about the relationship between fans and the source material—including what happens when fans are more interested in fanon than canon. Topics discussed include headcanon orthodoxy, fanworks about fanworks, characterization, “death of the text,” and whether Agent Dana Scully would prefer Herbal Essences or Pantene shampoo (and none of it strawberry-scented, damnit!).
info_outline Episode 110: Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 5 10/02/2019
Episode 110: Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 5 In Episode 110, “Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 5,” Elizabeth and Flourish answer a new collection of listener letters and voicemails. Topics covered include ageism, “valorizing” bad behavior in fic, multishipping, and further thoughts about the phrase “OOC,” in real life and in fiction.
info_outline Episode 109: Covering Fandom 09/18/2019
Episode 109: Covering Fandom Amidst a string of mediocre-to-bad articles about fandom in mainstream publications, Flourish demands answers from Elizabeth: How does one of these things get made? They discuss different kinds of publications, pitching, editing, differences between academic and journalistic writing, and fandom’s tall poppy syndrome. They also respond to a listener who asks whether there’s a statistical way to determine a fandom’s percentage of “filthy kinksters.”
info_outline Episode 108: #TheOAIsReal 09/04/2019
Episode 108: #TheOAIsReal In Episode 108, Flourish and Elizabeth interview Claire Kiechel, a playwright and a writer on The OA, a Netflix TV show that was recently cancelled—and the subject of a passionate fan campaign to bring it back. They discuss fandom conspiracy theories, the impact of violent stories on our emotional lives, why Hollywood is shunning original story ideas, and, most importantly, how BBA is THE BEST.
info_outline Episode 107: Happy Anniversary #4 08/21/2019
Episode 107: Happy Anniversary #4 Continuing an annual tradition, Flourish and Elizabeth celebrate their fourth anniversary with guests from the past year, who talk about changes in fandom from the global to the personal. Topics include shifting privacy norms, fanzines and other smaller-scale fan activity, stanning corporations, and that old chestnut, fan/creator interaction on social media. A note: this conversation was recorded before Tumblr was sold and AO3 won a Hugo, but still! These points hold up!
info_outline Episode 106: The Neverending Franchise 08/07/2019
Episode 106: The Neverending Franchise In Episode 106, “The Neverending Franchise,” Flourish and Elizabeth debrief after Fansplaining’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, “Don’t Dream It’s Over: What Fans Do When Long-Running Stories End.” They discuss the panelists’ takes on the topic—what happens when specific iterations of a franchise come to an end—and dig into the (sometimes radically different) perspectives of various stakeholders in entertainment franchises, including fans, writers, producers, marketers, and more.
info_outline Episode 105: Emily Nussbaum 07/24/2019
Episode 105: Emily Nussbaum In Episode 105, Flourish and Elizabeth talk to Emily Nussbaum, television critic for The New Yorker, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, and the author of I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution. The conversation focuses on the technological changes that have shaped television over the past two decades—and how those changes have altered the way we watch, discuss, and talk about it in turn. They then discuss a related listener letter on mismatched expectations between TV creators and audiences.
info_outline Episode 104: The Fourth Wall Redux 07/10/2019
Episode 104: The Fourth Wall Redux In Episode 104, Flourish and Elizabeth revisit the fannish version of the fourth wall—the barrier between fans and creators. In the first half, they look at fan/creator interaction around the new TV adaptation of Good Omens, from “death of the author” to validating fanfiction to the false dichotomy of “fan vs pro.” In the second half, they tackle the dustup around HBO’s Euphoria: Did the show go too far when they depicted Larry Stylinson fic—or when they created a Tumblr for a fictional Larry writer?
info_outline Episode 103: Slash: The Play 06/27/2019
Episode 103: Slash: The Play In Episode 103, Flourish and Elizabeth interview Leah Hennessey and Emily Allan, creators of “Slash: The Play,” which they recently performed at Joe’s Pub in New York City. Topics discussed include lurking, the appeal of “bad” writing, presenting ideas about fanfiction to people outside fandom, and the complicated interplay of irony and sincerity in fandom and in art. They also tackle the vitally important question, at length: What houses would the characters of BBC Sherlock be sorted into at Hogwarts?