Latest posts by Shanna Gilkeson (see all)
- Semantic Shenanigans Episode 14- Jedi Jive Turkeys - January 27, 2018
- Semantic Shenanigans Episode 13 – Farshtinkener Sharks - December 8, 2017
- Episode 10 – We Lost September!! - August 30, 2017
Semantic Shenanigans Episode 3 – Alpha Nerds, Axanar Redaction Action, and the Seuss is Loose
Our show is ready to download here.
Shanna was at the National Communication Association annual conference in Philadelphia November 10-13. While there, she presented on post-9/11 spirituality in Star Trek, and the relationship between the death of Michigan’s film incentives and the Flint water crisis.
Janet’s doing NaNoWriMo! This year, Janet’s novel is called The Real Hub of the Universe, a tale of aliens set in the Victorian era.
WE GOT FAN MAIL!
A BIIIIG thank-you to Beth from Case Western University for being the first person to write in about our show! We love our listeners, and we’re glad to hear when what we’re doing resonates.
Have you ever been told you’re only in your fandom because your boyfriend or spouse is? Maybe you’ve been subjected to a ridiculous test of trivia or had to enumerate the contents of your entire collection on the spot? Or maybe you’ve been told you’re not a “real” fan because you’ve failed to meet some criteria and no one sent you the memo? If you can say yes to any of these questions, you’ve been alpha nerded, my friend.
Legends in Their Own Minds
Many of us are familiar with the term Big Name Fan (BNF), but alpha nerding is something different. Shanna explains how alpha nerds are the self-appointed gatekeepers of the fandom, policing the boundaries of behavior and taste within the fandom and dictating who a “real” fan is in the name of fandom purity.
Shanna draws current scholarship is looking at the relationship between privelege and fractured fandom. In order to explain this, Shanna takes on the difficult task of unpacking the concept of privilege. She emphasizes that privilege is an analytical tool and not a label, that it’s a very nuanced concept that can’t be adequately explained in a few lines of Facebook meme, and that it’s contextual. Shanna explains what privilege actually means in academic circles and how it relates to toxic fandom and alpha nerding.
There’s lots to unpack here, so you’re better off just listening to the show! Over a thousand pages of court documents were released over the last couple of weeks as the last date for motion practice was recent, and both sides have moved for summary judgment. Janet explains the motion to compel discovery ruling, CBS/Paramount’s application for an order, and the David Grossman declaration and exhibits. We also talk about the defense response to plaintiffs’ request for ex parte relief, the summary judgment motions from both sides, and the hearing on summary judgment motions scheduled for December 19, 2016. Lots of these documents were redacted but there was an easy workaround for taking a peek underneath the black bars (plus the defense did not redact their motion exhibits and documents at all). Janet and Shanna discuss why that’s significant and the possible consequences it could have on the case.
Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!
As we’ve previously discussed on the show, Dr. Seuss Enterprises is suing Comic Mix LLC et. al. over a book written by David Gerrold that parodies Star Trek in the style of Dr. Seuss. Read Janet’s blog post about the complaint here. In this month’s episode, Janet unpacks the copyright infringement cause of action, trademark infringement, and unfair trade practices cause of action related to this case. We also talk about willful infringement penalties and treble damages under California law.
How do you, as a fan, react to Alpha Nerding or any of the topics we talked about? Tell us in the comments, if you like. Or send us a note!
Thanks for listening! Our show would not be possible without the help, kindness, and generosity of some truly wonderful people. First of all, we would like to thank Busy Little Beaver Productions and more specifically the G & T Show for giving us this great opportunity. We would also like to thank our music providers, Cerys and Kailani of Invocation Array. Thank you, ladies!
Once again, our biggest thanks go to sound engineer extraordinaire, Michael Medeiros, and his niece, Katie, our announcer girl. Yes, we have the only announcer who has to take a break and study fractions and the times tables.
As usual, we’d like to thank our friends and families for indulging our creativity and offering their support – or at least for not laughing and pointing at us while we do our thing. May your Thanksgiving (if you celebrate) have been free of political brawling with your families and your Black Friday shopping free of violence. Unless you’re a Klingon. In that case we hope you’ve conducted your Black Friday mayhem with honor.
Finally, thank you, our audience. Because a podcast with no one to listen to it doesn’t make a sound.
Our Next Show
Tune in again in December when we’ll be talking about real-life shipping and fan activism in the Days of our Lives fandom!
Show Note URLs
Finally, please check out these links for more information on our topics this month.
Everything keeping Janet and Shanna out of trouble in November, more or less.
Check these out to learn more about alpha nerding and toxic fandom.
- PAGING DR. NERDLOVE: Geek Behaviors that Drive Women Away
- FANLORE WIKI: Big Name Fan
- KRISTINA BUSSE: Geek Hierarchies, Boundary Policing, and the Gendering of the Good Fan
- CARRIELYNN REINHARD: Fan Privilege and Fractured Fandom
For more information about CBS/Paramount v. Star Trek: Axanar, take a look at Janet’s individual blog posts on each of the following subjects:
- Motion to Compel Discovery Ruling
- Plaintiffs’ Ex Parte Application for Order
- David Grossman Declaration and Exhibits
- Defense Response to Plaintiffs Ex Parte Relief
Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!
For background on the lawsuit against David Gerrold’s parody of Star Trek, read here:
Busy Little Beaver Productions and The G & T Show
While you’re here, please check out our parent show and the links to our sister shows.
In addition, thank you SO much, Cerys and Kailani!
Mike & Announcer Girl Katie
Finally, Mike is a published author, too! Please check out his work. It’s just wonderful.