Episode 5: Outlander

Happy full moon! In this episode, we dive into Outlander by Diana Gabaldon–and a little bit into the television adaptation as well.

Content warning: rape, sexual assault, domestic abuse, torture, homophobia

Our theme song is “Moon and Spruce” by Sarah Littledrum.

Here’s a listening guide for the episode. (For a description of our segments, go here.)

Introduction (0:00 – 2:40)

Which Craft? (3:03 – 18:01)

  • First impressions
  • Genre expectations and subversions
  • Gabaldon’s process
  • Writing dialect
  • The book’s structure (plus some musings about time travel)
  • Foreshadowing and parallel moments

Related Links

Romance: Genre Expectations and Fantasy Fulfillment (Writing Excuses podcast)

About the Romance Genre (Romance Writers of America)–this is a better definition than the one Katie provides in the episode

Scottish Accents in Outlander (YouTube video)

“Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” (18:06 – 41:45)

  • Traditional gender roles and departures
  • Jamie’s performance of masculinity vs. Arthur, Dougal, and other Scotsmen
  • Domestic abuse
  • Consent in marriage
  • The changing concept of race

Related Links

Scottish People React to Outlander (YouTube video)

Women in Early Modern Scotland

What is Whiteness? (New York Times)

Marble Statues and Whitewashing History (Vice)

“Bald Heads and Queer Noses” (41:49 – 1:08:51)

  • Jamie’s rape and the text’s treatment of homosexuality
  • Disability and adaptability (Colum, Hugh, Ian, etc.)
  • Jamie’s scars and his relationship to his body
  • Physical manifestations of emotional trauma (the body as text!)
  • Jamie’s hand (and Claire’s)

Related Links

Twitter Thread about Male Violence

What Do We Mean When We Say “Toxic Masculinity”?

“Treguna, Makoidees, Trecorum, Satis, Dee!” (1:08:55 – 1:19:55)

  • Defining witchcraft
  • Druids and Mrs. Graham
  • Claire as witch
  • Geillis as witch
  • Different types of knowledge (vs. superstitions)

“Round About the Cauldron Go” (1:19:58 – 1:34:30)

  • Claire’s role as healer and her connection to nature
  • Jamie’s connection to nature
  • Jamie’s healing process and rebirth

Related Links

Native Healing and the Medicine Wheel (Native Voices)

Final Spells (1:34-34 – 1:36:43)

  • The Loch Ness Monster!?!?

Blooper Reel (1:37:41 – 1:38:00)

Our next episode will be about Hocus Pocus (1993 film). See you on October 5! (Don’t light the black flame candle!)

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