S2E3: Witch, Please and the Rise of White Nationalism

Howdy partners! Grab yer ten galleon hats and join us as we impose our critical feminism on Calgary, Alberta during the Stamp—er………. that is the Comics and Entertainment Expo that took place this past April. Marcelle hosted a one-witch panel wherein she discussed the rise of fascism in the Harry Potter series. You’ll notice references to slides during the talk; you can view or download them from the links below 🙂

In keeping with our shiny new format, Hannah and Marcelle cap off the episode with fanfare, shout-outs, and the latest #trywitches tournament challenge. Plus they answer another #witchpleasetellme question!

Mega props to all the folks who came out for the Comics Expo panel, especially those who braved a question, and super thanks to the Expo organizers for letting us rabble rouse just a bit!


Download this social episode

The slides!
View the slideshow as a PowerPoint

View the slideshow as a PDF

One thought on “S2E3: Witch, Please and the Rise of White Nationalism”

  1. The academic public discourse thing was one I found interesting. I’m currently doing a PhD in actuarial science, which is essentially mathematics of insurance (though I’m actually using it as an excuse to build little simulations with AIs). I worked as an actuary for a decade before I quit to do research.
    One thing I’ve noted is that academic papers follow a strict format that creates large barriers to allowing contributions from people who are not trained as academics. It makes it difficult to include information about the kinds of models and decision making used by practitioners, because these have not been ‘officially’ documented, even when in common use.
    At the same time, the type of language and formats used also make the papers much less accessible to people who are not academics. There’s a barrier in the other direction: there are mathematical techniques that are common knowledge in academia, which practitioners aren’t aware of and don’t use. I helped out a friend the other day who described a problem that she said was common in her field (models to identify rare events get overtrained on the common ones). I let her know that there’s a whole class of algorithms (oversampling and undersampling methods) designed to help with exactly that problem. The most commonly used algorithm has been around for about 16 years now – but my friend hadn’t heard of it.
    It frustrates me. I find that I want to do research based on messier models that capture the kinds of behaviour that doesn’t result in neat mathematically tractable solutions, and then communicate it to practitioners so that it can be useful. This tends to make me not sufficiently rigorous enough for the academics, and too research focussed to be employed as a practitioner.
    Maybe there *should* be more of an expectation that academics will engage with the public.

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