The Profess-Hers Podcast
Saint Dolly | 50

Saint Dolly | 50

December 11, 2020

In our 50th episode, we celebrate a woman so talented, kind, sincere, and funny that many people call her “Saint Dolly.” That’s right - it was long past time that we dedicate an episode to singer, actress, philanthropist, and Christmas-enthusiast Dolly Parton. 

We’ll discuss her history, her rise to fame, some of our favorite Dolly songs and films, her charitable work and giving, and how she became the best thing about 2020 and just about the only thing all Americans can agree on. 

Want extra reading? Check out our sources:

Profess-Hers is presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

Profess-Hers is written and created by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. We produce the show ourselves, with help from Austin Haynes.

Stories for Suffragette City | 49

Stories for Suffragette City | 49

November 12, 2020

In our second episode celebrating and discussing Women’s Suffrage and the 100th-anniversary of the 19th Amendments, we interview best-selling authors Fiona Davis and MJ Rose, who edited the short story collection Stories from Suffragette City. 

Their book focuses on one day in the history of women’s suffrage in the United States - October 23, 1915 - the day of the suffrage parade in New York City (about 25,000 women marched). Many of the stories include historical figures, such as Ida B. Wells, Alice Paul, and Mabel Ping-Hau Lee, who were also on our recent episode. This book, which is available as of last month, includes short stories by Fiona and MJ, as well as 10 other authors.

Fiona and MJ were also gracious enough to share with us their writing processes, and advice for writing students. 

Profess-Hers is presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

Profess-Hers is written and created by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. We produce the show ourselves, with help from Austin Haynes. 

Cults and Women | 48

Cults and Women | 48

October 30, 2020

In our third (!) Halloween episode, we discuss cults - how they affect women, how they work, and historical and modern American cults. 

What do silverware, self-help groups, and science fiction actors have to do with cults? You’ll find out!

Misty discusses the Oneidas - their surprising beliefs on gender roles and their dangerous approach to communal living. Allegra shares an overview of how Keith Raneire built NXIVM on misogyny. 

Whether it’s a doomsday cult or a utopia gone wrong, cults are dangerous, sometimes especially for women. 

Want extra reading? Check out our sources:

Profess-Hers is presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

Profess-Hers is written and created by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. We produce the show ourselves, with help from Austin Haynes.

Votes for Women | 47

Votes for Women | 47

October 16, 2020

In this episode, we discuss the fight for women’s suffrage, the imperfect history of suffragists, and what it means for women to vote. Misty gives us the history (of course), Allegra recommends some books, and both share insights about voting patterns, voter suppression, and important women in the battle for universal suffrage. 

Women gained and lost the right to vote a few times in American history, and even when we achieved the victory of the 19th Amendment in 1920, not all women were able to vote. This is the story of how women fought for suffrage, and then of how women have accessed and used that right. In a future episode, we will talk even more about some of the suffragists who did the work, and some literature about that fight. 

Want extra reading? Check our sources:

Books we recommended in this episode:

Profess-Hers is presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

Profess-Hers is written and created by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. We produce the show ourselves, with help from Austin Haynes. 

Women and Social Media | 46

Women and Social Media | 46

October 2, 2020

We’re back! In this episode, we discuss women in Social Media, including some famous women from social media and internet history, a recent social media whistleblower, and facts and research about what happens to women online (it’s not all bad, but it’s mostly bad). 

Women are more active on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, though they are less likely to be listened to and more likely to be harassed. Allegra shares some history about Radia Perlman, whose inventions helped make the internet possible, and Joan Ball, who was the first person to make computer-based dating successful. Misty discusses Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang, and what Facebook has been up to (it’s almost entirely bad). 

We’re inspired by all three women. Plus, we talk about what we’ve been up to since March. 

Want extra reading? Here’s where we did our research:

Profess-Hers is presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

Profess-Hers is written and created by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. We produce the show ourselves, with help from Austin Haynes. 

Unstoppable Texas Women Part 1 | 45

Unstoppable Texas Women Part 1 | 45

February 4, 2020

In our first of three episodes about Unstoppable Texas Women, we discuss two women who were great friends, awesome political forces, and very funny Texas women: Ann Richards (our 45th governor) and Molly Ivins (reporter and writer). We’ll get into what made them unstoppable, some favorite quotes from each, ordeals they overcame, and their best barbs aimed at the Bush family.

We’re inspired by Ann Richards and Molly Ivins because they told the truth, worked hard for others, and weren’t afraid to be themselves on a public stage. 

We start the episode with a round-up of other women notable in Texas history, like Ma Ferguson and Clara Driscoll.

Want extra reading? Here’s where we did our research:

Profess-Hers is written and created by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. We produce the show ourselves, with help from Austin Haynes. 

What We’ve Been Watching | 44

What We’ve Been Watching | 44

January 27, 2020

We’re back, and we’re ready to share what we’ve been watching (binging) and loving. We discuss the (possible) gains the TV + movie industries made toward better representation, what’s terrible about the Oscar nominations (basically everything), and lots of great shows and movies we’ve been watching and want to share. 

We’ll discuss feminism, female representation, gender, sex, language, and why they can’t say “vagina” on a medical drama. 

In this episode: Little Women, The Good Place, Watchmen, The Witcher, Grey’s Anatomy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Marriage Story, Greta Gerwig, Awkwafina, Jennifer Lopez, 911: Lone Star, Regina King + more.

Want extra reading? Here’s where we did our research:

Profess-Hers is written and created by Allegra Davis Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. We produce the show ourselves, with help from Austin Haynes. 

Profess-Hers is presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

Frozen + Disney Princesses | 43

Frozen + Disney Princesses | 43

November 12, 2019

This episode is all about Elsa, Anna, and all your favorite (or least favorite) Disney princesses - Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Moana, Tiana, Merida, Mulan, Jasmine, Ariel, Pocahontas, and Belle. We discuss why folks love Disney, what princesses do to girls and girl culture, how to keep girls from being “eaten” by Cinderella, and the impact of Disney around the world. We get into unhealthy body images and relationship models, giving your voice away, and getting “princessified.” It’s not all bad news, especially once we get to Frozen and our hopes for Frozen II. 

Want extra reading? Here’s what we consulted for our episode:

Profess-Hers is a podcast written and presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

Written by Allegra Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

(W)itches vs. The Patriarchy, Part 2 | 42

(W)itches vs. The Patriarchy, Part 2 | 42

November 5, 2019

In our second episode about Witches, we talk about women who embrace the label of witch because they don’t accept typical gender roles, and women maligned as “witches” by others, including Hillary Clinton and AOC. Plus, WITCH protest groups, Lindy West, and pop culture witches that made a statement about gender and feminism, including The Craft, AHS: Coven, and Sabrina. We also discuss Disney witches, including Maleficent and Ursula. It won’t surprise you to know that most witches in film and TV are not great representations of women. Still - why are so many of us drawn to the idea, imagery, and symbolism of a witch? What is inherent to witches that leads feminists to identify with them?

Want extra reading? Check our sources and recommendations:

Profess-Hers is a podcast written and presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

Written by Allegra Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

(W)itches vs. The Patriarchy, Part 1 | 41

(W)itches vs. The Patriarchy, Part 1 | 41

October 28, 2019

In our Halloween-themed first of two episodes about Witches, we’re both really in our elements - Misty gets to talk about history, and Allegra gets to talk about witches. We focus on historical witches and witch hunts, the Hammer of Witches, Salem, Macbeth, the Crucible, what made someone more likely to be seen as a witch (surprise: Being a woman! Being a marginalized woman! Not having a husband or children!), and a lots of modern pop culture references to witchery. 

Want extra reading? Check out our sources and recommended books:

Profess-Hers is a podcast written and presented by Misty, a History professor, and Allegra, an English professor, both of whom are here for having a serious, fun conversation about looking at literature, history, current events, pop culture, and media through a feminist lens.

Written by Allegra Hanna and Misty Wilson-Mehrtens. Find the Profess-Hers Podcast on Twitter and Instagram @Professhers.

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