The Handmaid's Tale, the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, is more than a dystopian fiction, it is a cultural touchstone.
Published in 1985, it has been adapted multiple times over: as a film (Volker Schlöndorff's 1990 The Handmaid's Tale); as a Hulu television programme headed for its fourth series; as a radio drama; as a stage play; as a ballet; and even, disturbingly and controversially, as a 'sexy' Halloween costume. Touching on subjects like environmental crisis, totalitarianism, misogyny, and fundamentalist theocracy, the book feels more prophecy than speculative fiction. So much so that the red-cloak of the handmaids has become an expression of global feminist and political resistance.
In this event, organised by the Centre for Screen Cultures, we take the book and its multiple cultural and political expressions as a launchpad for a discussion between scholars from Film Studies, Zoe Shacklock, Leshu Torchin; International Relations, Jeffrey Murer, Caron Gentry; Philosophy, Alison Kerr; Russian, Emily Finer, and you – the audience. We will explore ways of approaching this phenomenon (and Atwood's recently released sequel, The Testaments) so that we may investigate its significance and show thinking in action.
The event is free but ticketed. Book your place on the Byre Theatre website, by phone on 01334 475 000, or pop in to the Byre Theatre box office.
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