The Deconstruction Workers

The Deconstruction Workers is a bi-weekly podcast dedicated to bringing the academic power of professional scholars to bear on popular culture. From My Little Pony to Hamilton, everything is fair game for the Deconstruction Workers.

A good bit of fun. A whole lot of interesting. A metric tonne of smart. 

Listen on YouTube!

 

Season One, Episode One

Welcome to The Deconstruction Workers podcast! Just a quick overview of the aims and goals of the podcast, and what you can expect in the episodes to come. 
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. No Guest Worker this episode. 


SEASON ONE, EPISODE TWO

Join us this week as we kick around the concept of transgressive fandom, Bronies, girls and women who dig "sportsing," and more. Why are you a fan of some things that aren't "for you," and why do some other people get so angry when they find out? 
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest Worker this week is Dr. Kyle Kontour. 


SEASON ONE, EPISODE THREE

This week in the zone, let's talk about action figuresWhy are we not allowed to play with toys anymore as grown ups? Why have you forgotten how to play? And why do other grown ups get so bothered if you do play? 
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Jonathan Alexandratos. 


SEASON ONE, EPISODE FOUR

With everything going on the country right now, it seems like a good time to talk about Hamilton: An American Musical. This week in the Deconstruction Zone, we talk about the cultural impact of the show, and why it has become such a phenomenon.
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Marley Steuver-Williford.


SEASON ONE, EPISODE FIVE

This week in the Deconstruction Zone, we are on a deep dive into fan culture. What does it mean to be a "fan" of something? How does being a part of a fan community work? And why does it seem like fans are always at war with each other?
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dr. Rick Stevens.


SEASON ONE, EPISODE SIX

This week in the Deconstruction Zone, Harry Potter StudiesHarry Potter Studies? What the heck is Harry Potter Studies? That's a thing that exists? Why? And why is it so important?
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dr. Lauren Camacci.


SEASON ONE, EPISODE SEVEN

It's gonna be a good old fashioned barn burner this week in the Deconstruction Zone as we break down professional wrestlingWhere did pro wrestling come from? What is it like today? And why does anybody even still watch it? 
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dustin Dunaway.


SEASON ONE, EPISODE EIGHT

This week in the Deconstruction Zone, it's time for crime. True crime, that is. We're discussing American fascination with murder, serial killers, and unsolved mysteries. Why are we so interested in the unexplained deaths of other people? 
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dr. Tracy Bealer.


SEASON ONE, EPISODE NINE

In the Deconstruction Zone this week, we are taking a good, long look at the people who make our favorite popular culture and asking, what happens when we find out the person who made this thing that we love is a horrible person? We’re talking #MeToo, Bill Cosby, public racist tirades, and more.
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dr. Shannon Sindorf.

SEASON ONE, EPISODE TEN

It’s the season finale of The Deconstruction workers, and this week in the Deconstruction Zone, we’re breaking down fan fiction. What is fan fiction? Who writes it? Who reads it? And what do the original authors of the characters used in fan fiction think about the practice?
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Natalie Sheppard.



SEASON TWO, BONUS EPISODE!

It’s a special bonus Christmas extravaganza in the Deconstruction Zone, as we tackle the traditions of the holiday season. Why do we do all of those things that we do at Christmastime? Where do those traditions come from? And who is this guy we all know as Santa Claus?
Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dr. Dan Yezbick.


SEASON TWO, EPISODE ONE

Welcome to the premiere of Season Two! This week in the Deconstruction Zone, we’re dealing with the concept of the Mary Sue. What is a Mary Sue? Who counts as a Mary Sue? What about a Gary Stu?

Written and Produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dr. Rick Stevens.


SEASON TWO, EPISODE TWO

It's a supersized episode in the Deconstruction Zone this week as we tackle the subject of dystopia and dystopian fiction. What is a dystopia? What kinds of stories get told in dystopian worlds? Why do we love these stories so much? And, most importantly, what do they have to do with our real world?

Written and Produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dustin Dunaway.


SEASON TWO, EPISODE THREE

This week in the Deconstruction Zone, we are taking a look at the field of rhetoric. What do we mean by rhetoric? What does rhetoric have to do with popular culture? Is the President of the United States popular culture? And what do rhetoricians do anyway?

Written and Produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest Worker this week is Dr. Lauren Camacci.


SEASON TWO, EPISODE FOUR

In the Deconstruction Zone this week, it’s a lengthy discussion about empathy and "reaction videos." What is a reaction video? Why are so many of them showing up on YouTube? How do these videos play right into our sense of empathy?

Written and Produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest Worker this week is Dr. Kyle Kontour.



SEASON TWO, EPISODE FIVE

Very excited to present a special episode of The Deconstruction Workers podcast this week as we go LIVE! Join us at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association conference as four members of the Harry Potter Studies leadership team (and one very smart outsider) break down the current state of scholarship in Harry Potter Studies. We're talking Potter, Puffs, Freddie Mercury, academic publishing, and more.


SEASON TWO, EPISODE SIX

This week in the Deconstruction Zone, we are doing a deep dive into the concept of nostalgia. Why are we so attached to the popular culture of our childhoods? What is the nature of our love/hate relationship with reboots, remakes, and revivials? And how are popular culture producers capitalizing on that relationship?

Written and Produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Jonathan Alexandratos.


SEASON TWO, EPISODE SEVEN

Just in time to get you ready for its second season, this week in the Deconstruction Zone, we are talking about Freeform's Cloak and Dagger! We’re discussing New Orleans culture, voodoo, gentrification, adapting comics to the screen, and more. Why is this show so important? And why is it secretly the best live-action Marvel property on the air?

Written and Produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Natalie Sheppard.


SEASON TWO, EPISODE EIGHT

It's another scholars roundtable in the Deconstruction Zone this week as five of our scholarly circle get together to discuss the idea of binge watching/marathoning, Game of Thrones, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and superhero narratives in general. It's a super DCW all-play!


SEASON TWO, EPISODE NINE

This week, it's just a short update on what's going on with The Deconstruction Workers. We're on a short pass-through until finals week, meaning this isn't full episode. It's just a quick hitter to get you through until May 10th.


SEASON TWO, EPISODE TEN

It’s the season finale, with a grab bag of digital community-related topics: The Gaze, The Glance, meme/gif culture, performative distaste, and more. What does our social media culture say about who we are as a people? Are we being dumbed down? And we invoke Wheaton's Law!

Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dr. Shannon Sindorf.


SEASON THREE, EPISODE ONE

Welcome back for Season Three! This week in the Deconstruction Zone, part one of a two part episode about canon. What is canon? Why is popular culture so obsessed with it? And who decides what's included?

Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dr. Lauren Camacci.


SeASON THREE, EPISODE TWO

This week in the Deconstruction Zone, it’s part two of a two part episode about canon. What is canon? Why is popular culture so obsessed with it? And who decides what's included?

Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Dr. Lauren Camacci.


SEASON THREE, EPISODE THREE

This week, we’re talking about witches! We walk through portrayals of witchcraft over time, talk about some of the most iconic witches in popular culture history, and answer the question, "What's so scary about being a witch?"

Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Marley Steuver-Williford.


SeASON THREE, EPISODE FOUR

As promised, the first of our new Deconstruction Workers is in the zone this week! We’re discussing bad ass female characters. How does being a bad ass female character work, and what are some of the pitfalls of those portrayals?

Written and produced by Dr. Christopher Bell. Guest worker this week is Jenn Zuko.