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A Sentimental Education

By Hannah McGregor
Subjects Literary Criticism, Film & Media, Social Science, Women’s Studies
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Paperback : 9781771125574, 142 pages, September 2022

Table of contents

Territory Acknowledgement
A Sentimental Education
Caring Ferociously
Words with Friends
Horizons of the Podcastable
Coming Back to Care
Works Cited

How can we reimagine feminist learning as a collective practice?


How do you tell the story of a feminist education, when the work of feminism can never be perfected or completed? In A Sentimental Education, Hannah McGregor, the podcaster behind Witch, Please and Secret Feminist Agenda, explores what podcasting has taught her about doing feminist scholarship not as a methodology but as a way of life.

Moving between memoir and theory, these essays consider the collective practices of feminist meaning-making in activities as varied as reading, critique, podcasting, and even mourning. In part this book is a memoir of one person’s education as a reader and a thinker, and in part it is an analysis of some of the genres and aesthetic modes that have been sites of feminist meaning-making: the sentimental, the personal, the banal, and the relatable. Above all, it is a meditation on what it means to care deeply and to know that caring is both necessary and utterly insufficient.

In the tradition of feminist autotheory, this collection works outward from the specificity of McGregor’s embodied experience – as a white settler, a fat femme, and a motherless daughter. In so doing, it invites readers to reconsider the culture, media, political structures, and lived experiences that inform how we move through the world separately and together.


In A Sentimental Education Hannah McGregor extends generosity on each page. The essays in this collection are deeply insightful, citational, and conversational. They are unwavering in their critique of the myriad boundaries that oppress us, and they offer ideas for collective resistance. A Sentimental Education made me laugh, cry, and reach for my pen to write everything down. This book is necessary, luminous, and crackling with joy and kindness. What is the collective noun for a group of essays that teaches, gives care, critiques repressive systems, and offers both humor and friendship? A companionship of essays? A feminist provocation of essays? An education of essays. – Erin Wunker, author of Notes from a Feminist Killjoy