Parinita Shetty has worked with young people and children’s books in India in various ways – as an author, a bookseller in a children’s bookshop, a reading programme developer, and a coordinator of a children’s literature festival. She completed her M.Ed in Children’s Literature and Literacies from the University of Glasgow in 2017. She is currently a third-year doctoral researcher in the School of Education at the University of Leeds. She launched a PhD podcast calledMarginally Fannish to research intersectionality, critical literacy, and public pedagogy in fan podcasts. She is passionate about co-creating knowledge as a researcher, including diverse voices in her research, and making her academic research as accessible as possible to non-academic audiences. She should currently be writing but is probably watching Doctor Who.
Find my PhD fan podcast and blog about fan podcasts as sites of intersectionality, critical literacy, and public pedagogy at https://marginallyfannish.org/

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.