- Job title: Project Administrator and Postgraduate Project Assistant, University of Leeds
Seminar One Provocation: Marginally Fannish: Diverse and Intersectional Perspectives in Fan Podcasts
Abstract: For my PhD project, I created a fan podcast called Marginally Fannish. My co-participants and I explored various aspects of intersectionality in some of our favourite media texts and their fandoms. Together, we inhabited a range of identities across national, racial, economic, religious, gender, sexuality, ability, and age spectrums. I will discuss examples of conversations which exposed our different, sometimes conflicting, opinions. In one, my dominant culture blind-spots came to the fore while chatting with queer and disabled co-participants. In another, I, as an atheist, was able to participate with two religious co-participants through the framework of science fiction, fantasy, and fandom, which allowed us to draw parallels between our differing priorities and experiences. And in yet another, my co-participant and I had very different answers to the question of whether you can separate art from the artist, in light of the revelation that the author of our favourite book series held problematic views. The diversity in perspectives allowed us to explore the complexities and nuances of the intersectional themes we were discussing. In this provocation, I want to focus on listening to the Other, which uses a framework that I unexpectedly ended up exploring: “a methodology of discomfort” (Burdick and Sandlin, 2010). In many contexts, I belonged to the dominant culture. While discussing marginalised cultures, I was frequently self-conscious about my ignorance and was forced to grow comfortable with being uncomfortable. This not-knowing allows me to seek more information and stories. This not-knowing is quite liberating.