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Fansplaining

Author: Elizabeth Minkel & Flourish Klink

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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!
112 Episodes
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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!).
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.
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.”
Episode 108: #TheOAIsReal

Episode 108: #TheOAIsReal

2019-09-0401:14:591

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.
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!
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.
Episode 105: Emily Nussbaum

Episode 105: Emily Nussbaum

2019-07-2401:09:25

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.
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?
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?
Episode 102: OOC

Episode 102: OOC

2019-06-1201:13:33

In Episode 102, Elizabeth and Flourish talk about characterization: how fans interpret it, get attached to it, and fight about it. How do fans collectively come to an understanding of a fictional character? Does this change with textual vs visual source material? What does “OOC”—“out of character”—mean to people in different fannish spaces? They also respond to a listener letter about the history of fandom, and discuss what can be documented—and what cannot.
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