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.
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