The Stripping Scholar


The Stripping Scholar podcast is a framework for artist and performer Felicia Bichard / Fräulein Frauke to explore themes and concepts in and around her own artistic practice as “a sexual woman on stage” within burlesque.
Each episode focuses on a concept, digging into meaning, tradition, understanding and aesthetics that inform and have shaped burlesque, situating it as a vibrant artform within the canon of contemporary feminism, amidst the landscapes of performance, culture and academia.
References for all episodes at the bottom of this page.

Episode 1 – The (Male) Gaze with Martin Hargreaves

Dramaturg and writer. His research connects around performance and performativity and includes the recent histories of contemporary dance, queering practices and camp misunderstandings.
Visiting lecturer at SKH, Head of Choreographic School at Sadler’s Wells in London.
We talk about gazes, the male gaze and of course, Laura Mulvey.

Episode 2 – Activism with The Incredible, Edible Akynos

A multi-dimensional performer stripper. Influenced by African dance, the Black diaspora, pop music, and the wild womxn spirit of Sex Workers. Akynos’ work is about upending the patriarchy and setting her own terms for what it means to be a womxn in a Black body.

Activism on and off stage, sexworkers art and Akynos experiences as a black performer.

Episode 3 – Boylesque with Chris Harder

NYC-based burlesque performer and emcee as well as a playwright and PhD candidate in the Theater and Performance Studies program at the CUNY Graduate Center.
His plays are glittery, gritty, and inspired by striptease and nightlife

Boylesque history, referencs points and burlesque within academia.

Episode 4 – Sexpositivity with Aurora Brännström

Singer, sociologist and trained in gender studies. She calls herself an “AA”, an artist and an activist, in both camps dealing with sexuality.
Active within RSFU: the National Association for Sexual Education. Working primarily with  sexual health and body rights.

Sexpositivity, getting rid of shame and joy.

Episode 5 – Eroticism with Ester Martin Bergsmark

Filmmaker, artist and PhD candidate in artistic research at Stockholm university of the arts.
Films include: Something must break (2014), She Male Snails (2012) with Eli Leven, Fruitcake (2010) as part of the experimental feminist film series Dirty Diaries.

What is erotic? Is it okay to be turned on by your work?

Episode 6 – Bodypositivity with Fifi von Tassel

A Norwegian, internationally award winning performer. She is known for her body positive acts, with a fat friendly approach.
Fifi is also the producer of Fifi von Tassel presents, as well as being the head producer of Oslo Burlesque Festival.

Bodypositivity vs fat activism. Do influensers take over our movement?

Episode 7 – Scopophilia with JP Bichard

Experimental artist, burlesque producer and filmmaker whose work references: sexuality as a material, traditional storytelling and art historical aesthetics through the filters of contemporary culture.
Works across media and has strong roots in art/technology research.

Seeing burlesque through the camera lens.

Episode 8 – Fetish with Marnie Scarlet

Marnie Scarlet is the Queen of Fetish cabaret! Renowned for her surreal shows, larger than life looks and self constructed latex costumes.
Marnie Combines aspects of Cabaret with Drag and Burlesque, with fetish and performance art added into the mix.

The fetish scene in transformation.

Episode 9 – Spectatorship with Jonas Eklund

Jonas Eklund holds a PhD in Theatre Studies from Stockholm University (2019).
In his dissertation The Sensational Body, he explores the spectator’s experience of bodies on stage in Circus, Burlesque and Freak Show.

What is the audience experience of burlesque and what is special about it?

References for Episode 1 – The (Male) Gaze with Martin Hargreaves:
Laura Mulvey – Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema
The Lily Pod – i always feel like somebody’s watching me ~ the panopticon, internalized male gaze, + body surveillance
Iris Marion Young – Throwing like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment Motility and Spatiality
Bell Hooks, The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators
Samuel Delany – Times Square Red, Times Square Blue
Linder (Sterling) – artist 
Bell Hooks – Black Looks: Race and Representation

References for Episode 2 – Activism with Akynos:
The Black Sexwoker Collective

References for Episode 3 – Boylesque with Chris Harder :
Vicki Lynn – performer in Teasorama
Burlesque Hall of Fame / Dixie Evans
Henry E. Dixie
Eugine Sendaou?? 22.54
Alissa Kit – PhD & performer

References for Episode 4 – Sexpositivity with Aurora Brännström:
The Guilty Feminist Sex Workers Right nr 173
References for Episode 5 – Eroticism with Ester Martin Bergsmark
Audre Lorde – The Power of the Erotic
Allan Jones – The Table
References for Episode 6 – Bodypositivity with Fifi von Tassel:
Stina Wollter – book “Kriget mot Kroppen”
References for Episode 7 – Scopophilia with JP Bichard:
Laura Mulvey – Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema
Susan Sontag – On Photography
Iva Troj – artist
References for Episode 8 – Fetish with Marnie Scarlet::
Libidex – latex clothing
Asuko Kudo – latex designer

References for Episode9 – Spectatorship with Jonas Eklund:
The Sensational Body – Spectatorship in Circus, Burlesque and Sideshow by Jonas Eklund.

Picture credits: Jason Dimmock, Christina Corpose, … , Kent Renåker, … , JP Bichard, JP Bichard, JP Bichard, …

The Stripping Scholar is produced and recorded by Bichard Studios, all rights reserved.