Hannah McGregor is an Assistant Professor in Publishing at SFU, where her research and teaching focuses on the histories and futures of print culture and new media in Canada, with a focus on Canadian middlebrow magazines, and podcasting as both self-publishing and public pedagogy.
Dearest Witches, gather round for some lessons in class solidarity! In this episode, we'll discuss the formation of class structure in Western society, the inherent relationship between race and class, and the ways in which the Harry Potter books reach for but don't quite deliver a vision for a cross-class uprising against the powers that be. How do some characters occupy complicated or shifting class positions? What would it take for Harry, or other characters of privilege to be true class traitors?Content warning: at 01:06:30, there is a brief mention of the history of eugenics as it pertains to Neville Longbottom's early childhood.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Snuggle up to your familiars, Witches, because today's episode is all about animals (and critical animal studies!). What distinguishes the "animal" from the "human" and why did Western society come to arrive at that distinction? How does separating humans from their fellow animals work to enforce destructive social, political, and ecological power dynamics? What do we make of the way magical and non-magical creatures (and the humans who care for them, commune with them, or use them) are portrayed throughout the Harry Potter books?Content warning: This episode includes discussion of anti-Black racism including racial stereotyping, dehumanization, and physical violence. This discussion largely occurs in the Transfiguration segment of the episode (24:22 to 39:57) and is marked by a content warning at the beginning of the episode and at the beginning of the Transfiguration segment. Please take care of yourselves and feel free to skip all or parts of this episode as needed.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this episode, we unravel the many layers of Orientalist tropes that permeate the Harry Potter world. How do some not-so-subtle visual and narrative cues--turbans, hooked noses, and mysterious powers from the "East" tell readers who to fear, dislike, and distrust in these books? How can we heighten our awareness of tropes like these and call out these negative portrayals when we see them?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It’s FINALLY HERE! In honor of Hogwarts day, September 1st, we present to you the first day of class you’ve always dreamed of from your two favourite lady scholars: Witch, Please | Ep. 1, The Chosen One. Our first episode goes back to the very beginning–to the concept of origin stories themselves–to explore how and why Harry Potter fits into a long tradition of “chosen one” narratives. Harry, we learn, is a very special boy in all the ways English literature tells us special boys ought to be. Harry is a hero, following the tidy path of the classical hero’s journey. But what are the limitations of building characters and building worlds this way? What kinds of stories and perspectives are missing when authors rely on such tried tropes? Join us for a thorough unpacking of Harry’s special-boy-hero-complex and don’t forget to prepare your quills and parchment–you may want to take notes.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Creator Details

Squamish, BC, Canada
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
3 days, 1 hour
Podchaser Creator ID logo 688971