What comes to mind when you hear the word YouTube? Depending on your age and level of “online-ness” it might be anything from cat videos, to videogame steams, to TedTalks. But what about sociology? Philosophy? Cultural studies and critical theory? What if I told you were are enthusiasts, graduate students, and tenured professors producing accessible and insightful video essays with all the intellectual heft of a published journal article? And that they’re getting hundreds of thousands of views? That’s what today’s episode is all about–finding the intersection between scholarly pursuits, multimodal composition, and the wild west of web 2.0. Joining me on this conversational adventure is one of my personal favorite YouTubers, the man, the myth–F.D Signifier. A teacher and ABD sociology student turned YouTuber, F.D has north of 350 thousand subscribers and 12 MILLION views. For those of you who aren’t hip to YouTube–that is A LOT. Enough that producing video essays and digital content is now his full-time gig. Luckily for us, he was generous enough to stop by and share how he leverages his training as a social scientist to create accessible, nuanced, and seriously entertainment videos exploring topics ranging from Black Masculinity to Bridgerton. Whether you’re a zealous believer in critical media literacy or a reticent skeptic, this conversation has so much to offer. F.D’s has an inspirational level of commitment to his craft, but also doesn’t shy away from sharing the potential pitfalls of micro-celebrity and cultural analysis as edutainment. Get ready to like/comment/subscribe… and enjoy this episode.
F.D's YouTube Channel