Books That Burn

A book review podcast where we discuss how authors treat and traumatize their characters.

Discussion 1: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling

July 14th, 2020

Welcome to our first discussion episode, the topic is J. K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series. Please read the CWs in the show notes below before proceeding with the episode. Take care of yourselves, and we understand if you need to skip this one.

This episode is mainly for people who are currently unaware of or just learning about J. K. Rowling's problematic nature and rampant transphobia. When we recorded this, in early July 2020, JKR had been putting out at least one transphobic tweet for almost a month and a half and doesn't show any sign of stopping. We focused our discussion on portrayals of bigotry and trauma in the main Harry Potter series, with some discussion of the contents of her recent tweets.

This book contains specific spoilers for the first book, and general spoilers for the full Harry Potter series.

  • Discussion topics/CWs:

    • Fatphobia (linking large body sizes with laziness and cruelty)
    • Child abuse (food restriction and malnourishment, denying meals to a minor, locking a minor in a confined space as punishment)
    • Racism (anti-Black and anti-Asian racism, specifically)
    • Antisemitism (portrayal of Gringotts Goblins)
    • Slavery (House Elves)
    • Betrayal (implications of JKR's actions)

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