How Do You Like It So Far uses pop culture to take soundings of a society in transition, exploring intersections with civic imagination and engagement, and social and political change. Henry Jenkins and Colin Maclay are your guides on this adventure.

Episode 69: The Power of Fan activism with Janae Phillips and Shawn Taylor

This week, we offer the second of an ongoing series of episodes focused on fandom and fandom studies. Last week, we explored fandom’s relationship with the creative industries. This week, we are looking at fan-based activism.

The episode features Janae Phillips, Director of Leadership and Education for the Harry Potter Alliance, who oversees the Granger Leadership Academy and the Fandom Forward study guides project, among other things. Shawn Taylor is one of the founders of Nerds of Color and a founding organizer of the Black Comix Arts Festival, a festival that highlights and promotes artists on the margins of the mainstream comic book industry. Shawn recently published a white paper, We The Fans: How Our Powers Can Change the World, as a Senior Fellow for the Pop Culture Collaborative

We begin our discussion by trying to understand what we mean by fan activism and why fandom has emerged as an important driver of movements for social change. We consider why fandom might not only enable young people to enter the political process but also how fan activism becomes more sustainable because of the elements of joy, empathy, and passion it brings with it. We consider the darker sides of fan activism, including links between “toxic fandom” and the alt-right, but we also consider how fandom has become a site for anti-racism work. We share our experiences at the Granger Leadership Program this summer as an example of how the Harry Potter Alliance is helping to train young activists and the Granger/Lovegood campaign as a specific effort with the goal of registering and informing potential young voters. Finally, Shawn closes us out with some reflections on Afro-futurism as a philosophy and model for social action and the risks that it has become too cool, too fast.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Karan Nevatia – a remarkable young producer, fan, activist, and professional.

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper: 

Here are some articles Henry has written about the Harry Potter Alliance’s model for social change and its Not in Harry’s Name Campaign. Henry’s research group had more to say about the Harry Potter Alliance in their book, By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism

This video about the Not in Harry’s Name campaign illustrates how the HPA builds on the infrastructure fandom provides.

HPA’s Hunger Games Campaign

More of HPA’s Fandom Forward Resources:
Star Wars
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Black Panther
Welcome to Night Vale
Pokemon
Doctor Who

Fandom Jargon

What is a Blerd?

Asian-American fans 

Nerds of Color:
Ghost in the Shell controversy

Racebending 

Star Trek

E.E. “Doc” Smith – Lensmen Novels

The Book of Three, Prydain, The Horned King

Raiders of the Lost Ark – mythology

Save Our Show campaigns

What Steven Universe did for queer kids

Worldbuilding in Role-Playing Games

Translating fandom skills to digital organizing; fandom as a way to make activism sustainable:
Activist joy
The Handmaid’s Tale
Princess Leia at Women’s March
Hong Kong students and Les Miserables
Three finger salute in Thailand

Trump and Popular Culture

TiKTok  Protest

What’s different about youth activism

Exclusive vs. Inclusive Fandoms:
Comicsgate
Gamergate
Spider-Man 
Star Wars – Kelly Marie Tran

Transformative fandom/affirmational fandom

Yes And

Fandom Hierarchies and Ownership

Cross the Streams – Ghostbusters

Hermoine Granger – SPEW

Granger Leadership Academy

the TERF who shall not be named

Steven Universe and HPA

Granger/Lovegood 2020 “campaign”

Luna Lovegood

Afrofuturism

Alondra Nelson on Afrofuturism

Mark Dery on Afrofuturism

Shawn Taylor on Our Opinions are Correct – the history of Afrofuturism

Chadwick Boseman 

Mutabaruka

Shawn Taylor’s Essay on Black Panther

Steven Barnes on Black Panther 

Afro-speculative

Buckminster Fuller

Astroblackness

Afrifutrism

More thoughts on “the White CIA guy” in Black Panther – Eve Ewing on Intercepted

Shawn’s film Afrofuturist recommendation: Destination Planet Negro

History of Fictional characters running for president:
Pogo, “I Go Pogo”
Pat Paulson
Archie Bunker
Bart Simpson

Some basics on K-pop fan activism

John Lewis “good trouble”

K-pop fans’ sabotage of Tulsa Trump rally

Check out these related past episodes:

Episode 14: Hye Jin Lee and Cristina Visperas on the Global Fandom for K-pop
Episode 22: On Conspiracy Theories, with Benjamen Walker and Wu Ming
Episode 66: The Legacy of Octavia E. Butler with Damian E. Duffy, John Jennings, and Shelley Streeby
Episode 40: Exploring the Dark Fantastic with Ebony Thomas
Episode 25: Why Do We Need More Critics of Color? with Jeff Yang & Mauricio Mota 
Episode 26: Reimagining the ecology of cultural criticism: Elizabeth Mendez Berry and Carolina A. Miranda
Episode 27: Critics of color: The added value of subtleties, with Eric Deggans
Episode 5: Black Panther, comics and the history of Marvel
Episode 6: Define American’s Julian Gomez on Black Panther and empowering fan activism
Episode 8: Manouchka Labouba on Black Panther and African cinema today
Episode 9: Nicholas J. Cull on Black Panther and the politics of popular culture

Hear Karan Nevatia talking on NPR about his signature song, “No Scrubs” by TLC

Donate to the Harry Potter Alliance in memory of Karan Nevatia.

If you or someone you know needs someone to lean on for emotional support, call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat them online.

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry, Colin and the How Do You Like It So Far? account! You can also email us at [email protected]!

Music:
“In Time” by Dylan Emmett and “Spaceship” by Lesion X. 
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet  https://soundcloud.com/dylanemmet
Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/in-time-instrumental
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/lesion-x-spaceship
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/AzYoVrMLa1Q
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
“No Scrubs” by TLC

Episode 68: The Business of Fandom with Susan Kresnicka and Suzanne Scott

Welcome back to How Do You Like It So Far?, listeners! Today, we’re bringing you a time capsule of an episode: We recorded today’s conversation back in April, but it’s still as relevant as ever. Just don’t mind us thinking the coronavirus pandemic will be over in a couple of weeks. 

The episode features Suzanne Scott, an assistant professor at the University of Texas Austin and author of Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry. She is also the co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, an anthology that brings together an international and interdisciplinary collection of nearly 60 established scholars to reflect on the state of the field and to point to new directions in fan studies research. Also on the episode is Susan Kresnicka, a cultural and business anthropologist and president and founder of cultural research firm Kresnicka Research and Insights (see their Human Needs Model whitepaper). Susan holds an M.A. in social anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin, sits on the professional advisory board for UCLA’s Master of Social Science program, and regularly speaks publicly on fandom, gender, morality, identity, and the value of anthropology in business. In the episode, Susan and Suzanne lead us through a discussion of how we define the word “fan” and who it applies to. Then, we discuss the relationship between fandom and industry: How do industry choices shape whose voices matter in fandom? How do companies strike the balance between capitalism and fan culture? Should fans be entitled to have a voice in new iterations of their favorite texts? Other topics Susan and Suzanne cover are the differences and similarities between sports fandom and entertainment fandom, how toxic fans and trolls affect fandom, and how fandom’s relationship to the industry is shifting as a result of COVID-19.   

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper: 

Susan’s yearlong study on fandom: The Power of Fandom

Degrees of Fandom: Authenticity and Hierarchy

Suzanne’s study on repackaging fan culture and commercialization

Covid-19 and Fandom

Fandoms and virtual engagement in a time of social distancing

Exploring Fan Communities in Online Spaces

Instagram #PassTheBrush challenge

Disney+ “May the 4th” Tweets

Disney Terms of Use

“Fanocracy” and fandom of brands like Trader Joe’s, Southwest Airlines, etc.

“Joker” Fan Art contest

“A Portrait of the Auteur as Fanboy”

Chapter 5 of Suzanne’s book (on Fan Auteurs)

The Psychology of Sports Fandom

The beginning of the fan movement: brief history of the first fandoms

Matinee girls as the first fans

The Disjuncture between Sport Studies’ and Pop Culture Studies’ Perspectives on Fandom

African American acafandom and other strangers: New genealogies of fan studies

Esports and the future of fandom

“Creators of popular media are becoming increasingly wary of their fans. That’s a problem for everyone.”

Balance of Power Between Media and the Audience

From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Sonic and the costs of fan anger

What is Fan Service?

Sonic Movie Redesign VFX Studio Shuts Down After ‘Extreme Hours’ to Wrap it Up

Toxic fandom: “When Fandom is the Problem” 

On toxic fan practices: A round-table

Rian Johnson’s death threats after “The Last Jedi”

Archive of Our Own (fanfiction platform)

“How Do You Like It So Far?” Episode 16: Emily Andras, Maureen Ryan, and Louisa Stein Discuss Fans, Producers, and Queer Baiting

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry, Colin and the How Do You Like It So Far? account! You can also email us at [email protected]!

Music: “In Time” by Dylan Emmett and “Spaceship” by Lesion X. 
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet  https://soundcloud.com/dylanemmet
Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/in-time-instrumental
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/lesion-x-spaceship
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/AzYoVrMLa1Q
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Episode 67: Pandemic, Pedagogy, and Politics

How Do You Like It So Far? is back! We’re excited to bring you a whole new slate of stimulating conversations with authors, activists, and scholars as we consider the role of pop culture during the pandemic this season. 

This week, Henry and Colin kick off the season with a look back at a wildly eventful summer away from the podcast, which featured not only the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also renewed movements against systemic racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, natural disasters wreaking havoc across the country, and a divisive political climate in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. We examine the accessibility disparities that come with online learning and how pedagogy will function in the new environment, both for younger students and for higher education. We also discuss how online communities are beginning to emerge as primary gathering spaces, following the models of online gaming and fandom communities. Then, Colin and Henry discuss how the pandemic has affected the type of media being produced in 2020 — while cinema and television are less prevalent, lower-tech media have the potential to become more meaningful. We also consider the state of politics today as both parties have wrapped up their national conventions, and conflict continues to harm the U.S. Postal Service and Census Bureau counts. Finally, we explore what reconciliation might look like for a divided America, and what we need to do differently to ensure America doesn’t fail as an experiment of democracy. Check out the notes for more information on everything we talked about and Henry’s recommendations from the show! 

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper: 


Scholarship on Online Learning:
PACE: What California’s Leaders Must Do Next to Advance Student Learning During COVID-19
Ed Week: The Disparities in Remote Learning Under Coronavirus (early in the pandemic, but similar trends)
McKinsey: COVID-19 and student learning in the United States: The hurt could last a lifetime
Common Sense Media: Closing the K–12 Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning
Ed Trust: From Crisis to Opportunity: Recovering California’s Commitment to Equity
“On The Media” podcast episode about higher education, remote learning and political conventions 
Henry’s MIT Conference: We Wired the Classroom, Now What?
MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Initiative
Henry’s blog conversation on screen time: Sangita Shresthova and Susan Kresnicka

Civic Imagination Toolkit 

Civic Media Fellowship Program

How Do You Like It So Far? Episode 59: On Communities with Colin and Henry

2020 Movies Available Online: 
Palm Springs
Da 5 Bloods
The Old Guard
First Cow

How Do You Like It So Far? Episode 58: Open TV with A.J. Christian

ASMR on Twitch

Sequester (game)

Henry’s article on Dziga Vertov

How Do You Like It So Far? Episode 1: Star Wars Cluster — Ahmed Best

How Do You Like It So Far? Episode 34: Power and Pleasure of Podcasting (part three): Amber J. Phillips & Chenjerai Kumanyika on podcasting as a vehicle for counterhistory

Kimberly Guilfoyle’s fiery Republican National Convention speech

Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Full Speech At The 2020 DNC

Barack Obama’s Full Speech At The 2020 DNC

Michelle Obama Complete Remarks at 2020 Democratic National Convention

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at 2020 DNC

Joe Biden Acceptance Speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention

President Donald Trump Full Acceptance Speech at 2020 Republican National Convention

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Full Speech At The 2020 DNC

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Full Speech At The 2020 DNC

Gavin Newsom’s full speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s full speech at the 2020 DNC (“kitchens like this across America”)

Full Democratic roll call from Delegates across America

RNC delegates conduct roll call vote in person

How Do You Like It So Far? Episode 7: March for Our Lives and the Census

2020 Census Adjustments due to COVID-19

Hansi Lo Wang’s Twitter feed (leading source of Census news) 

LA Times Editorial on Decennial Census

How Do You Like It So Far? Episode 45: “Radicalized” with Cory Doctorow 

Cory Doctorow’s “Radicalized”

Cory Doctorow’s “Masque of Red Death”

The Ezra Klein Show: An inspiring conversation about democracy with Danielle Allen

Henry’s recommendations:
HBO’s Perry Mason
Showtime’s Penny Dreadful: City of Angels
HBO’s Watchmen

Chadwick Boseman films:
Black Panther
42
Marshall
Get on Up

HDYLISF? Episodes on Black Panther:
Episode 5: Black Panther, comics and the history of Marvel
Episode 6: Define American’s Julian Gomez on Black Panther and empowering fan activism
Episode 8: Manouchka Labouba on Black Panther and African cinema today
Episode 9: Nicholas J. Cull on Black Panther and the politics of popular culture

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry, Colin and the How Do You Like It So Far? account! You can also email us at [email protected]!

Music: “In Time” by Dylan Emmett and “Spaceship” by Lesion X. 
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet  https://soundcloud.com/dylanemmet
Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/in-time-instrumental
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/lesion-x-spaceship
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/AzYoVrMLa1Q
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––