Witch, Please is a podcast by Hannah McGregor, an assistant professor in publishing at Simon Fraser University. Witch, Please is billed as a "feminist rereading of the Harry Potter series". If I had read that description before starting to listen, I never would have given it a chance. Luckily, I didn't know anything about it beforehand, because the feminist slant is so understated that I didn't really notice it. Instead, I found this podcast series to be more of a literary analysis of the Harry Potter books and movies, but not at all stuffy and boring. While Hannah does cover topics like Hogwarts pedagogy, whether the Gringotts Goblins are Jews, and whether the view we are getting of the magical world is through the unreliable perspective of the eleven-year-old Harry Potter, she also covers lighter issues. Do warlocks wear pants under their robes? How is it that the copious amounts of sugary food at Hogwarts don't make the children fat? Is centaur society purely homosexual? How did Nevil Longbottom get so hot? The more frivolous topics are associated with lots of laughter.
It was from Hannah's first podcast episode that I learned that the British use the word "pudding" as a generic term for dessert. Previously, I had puzzled over the Pink Floyd song Another Brick in the Wall when the demeaning teacher says the lines, "If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?" I wondered about the significance of pudding. What is so special about pudding? Now that I understand that pudding means dessert, it makes more sense to me.
If Harry Potter holds a special place in your heart, and Harry Potter trivia holds your attention, then you should enjoy this podcast series. You can listen to or download something like 50 episodes of Witch, Please for free here.
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