8 episodes

The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling is an audio documentary that examines some of the most contentious conflicts of our time through the life and career of the world’s most successful author. In conversation with host Megan Phelps-Roper, J.K. Rowling speaks with unprecedented candor and depth about the controversies surrounding her—from book bans to debates on gender and sex. The series also examines the forces propelling this moment in history, through interviews with Rowling’s supporters and critics, journalists, historians, clinicians, and more.

The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling The Free Press

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 1.9K Ratings

The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling is an audio documentary that examines some of the most contentious conflicts of our time through the life and career of the world’s most successful author. In conversation with host Megan Phelps-Roper, J.K. Rowling speaks with unprecedented candor and depth about the controversies surrounding her—from book bans to debates on gender and sex. The series also examines the forces propelling this moment in history, through interviews with Rowling’s supporters and critics, journalists, historians, clinicians, and more.

    Chapter 1: Plotted In Darkness

    Chapter 1: Plotted In Darkness

    Host Megan Phelps-Roper writes a letter to J.K. Rowling—and receives a surprising invitation in reply: the opportunity for an intimate conversation in Rowling’s Scottish home.
    Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe.
    This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.

    • 47 min
    Chapter 2: Burn The Witch

    Chapter 2: Burn The Witch

    As "Harry Potter" becomes an international phenomenon, it coincides with the culture wars of the 1990s. In the backlash from Christians across America, author J.K. Rowling is accused of mainstreaming witchcraft and poisoning children’s minds.
    Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe.
    This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.

    • 55 min
    Chapter 3: A New Pyre

    Chapter 3: A New Pyre

    The early days of the internet collide with the feverish fandom of “Harry Potter,” and a sprawling, global community emerges. But the hopefulness of this new technology brings with it the darker impulses of human nature.
    Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe.
    This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Chapter 4: TERF Wars

    Chapter 4: TERF Wars

    The movement for trans rights hits its stride in the early 2010s, but encounters fierce resistance from an unexpected source. J.K. Rowling watches the battle unfold with mounting unease.
    Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe.
    This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Chapter 5: The Tweets

    Chapter 5: The Tweets

    After years of observing the conflict between advocates for trans rights and women’s rights, J.K. Rowling weighs in.
    Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe.
    This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.

    • 59 min
    Chapter 6: Natalie and Noah

    Chapter 6: Natalie and Noah

    Transgender fans of Harry Potter share their criticism of J.K. Rowling—and the experiences that inform their views.
    Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, Megan Phelps-Roper, and Candace Mittel Kahn, with special thanks to Emily Yoffe.
    This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.9K Ratings

1.9K Ratings

No time to shop ,

Grateful

I am so grateful for this thoughtful podcast. It has really touched me and exemplifies to me the flavour in which this discussion needs to be held - deeply grappling with the grey while remaining open and respectful.

BrAlWh ,

Incredible

Thought provoking and challenging but never threatening. It was a well balanced and thoughtful exploration into the who’s and why’s and made me really look at my own beliefs too. Phenomenal work, Megan and team!

Chudder1962 ,

Thought provoking, sensitive and personal.

From the start this podcast tackled many of the questions I have been asking myself. And right when I felt comfortable in all of that it made me really think about some of my own assumptions. The people she interviewed for this series offer some incredible insights both personal and intellectually. Easily amongst the best podcast series I have listened to. Thank you.

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