It’s impossible to talk about dystopian literature without mentioning Margaret Atwood.
A true literary legend with over 50 novels, her writing has proved as timeless as it is prophetic. Ms. Atwood has been described as the most important living author of our time. For instance, The Handmaid’s Tale—currently an Emmy-award winning Hulu series—feels as relevant today as it was when published in 1985. She has won numerous awards and honors including the Man Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award, Governor General’s Award, and the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Atwood has always possessed the uncanny ability to predict the future of technologies and society, and nowhere is that more apparent than in her book Oryx and Crake (2003): covering a host of issues including genetic manipulation, corporate domination, and global pandemics.
Sharing her thoughts on the intersections of technology and humanity, Atwood challenges audiences to think critically and engage with the world around them from different angles, employing her expertise as a writer to the spoken word in a candid, relatable way.
An Evening with Margaret Atwood
Lightning Rod Event: Literature to Explore Our Genetic Engineering Futures.
Friday, November 15, 2019, 6:00-7:30 PM
State Ballroom, Talley Student Union, NC State
Details forthcoming. Tickets and more information will be available closer to the event. In the meantime, if you have a questions, please contact us.
From Reviews of Oryx and Crake:
“Atwood herself, from a family of scientists, is far from confused when it comes to biology. The bioengineered apocalypse she imagines is impeccably researched and sickeningly possible: a direct consequence of short-term science outstripping long-term responsibility. And just like the post-nuclear totalitarian vision of The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), this story is set in a society readers will recognise as only a few steps ahead of our own.”
Helen Brown, for The Daily Telegraph, 5/11/2003
“But a dystopian novel is not intended as a literal forecast, or even necessarily as a logical extension of our current world. It is simply, and not so simply, a bad dream of our present time, an exquisitely designed horror show in which things are changed from what we do know to a dream version of what we don’t… Besides, given what is known about fish-gene-enhanced tomatoes—or those genetically modified goats that produce spider silk—the biologically reengineered world of “Oryx and Crake” ceases to seem very far-fetched.”
From Bioperversity, by Lorrie Moore, for The New Yorker, 5/3/2003
Students enrolled in the following courses will read Oryx and Crake, and participate in an hour-long group discussion with Ms. Atwood on Friday, November 15, prior to the general event later that evening.
WGS 350 — Emerging Issues in Women’s and Gender Studies: Feminist Futures
Instructor: Patsy Sibley, M/W 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM, 3 credits
This experimental course seeks to both explore and disrupt dominant narratives of “the future” by exploring the possibilities of alternative futures as imagined by and with feminist communities and feminist thinkers. By examining critical technology studies, theories of feminist technoscience, and speculative and science fiction across media, we will work to interrogate the ways in which technologies have been used to create, sustain, or challenge systems of power and oppression and to imagine new possibilities. Prerequisites: WGS 200 or WGS/STS 210
STS 403 — Capstone Seminar in Science, Technology & Society
Capstone course for the Science, Technology, and Society [STS] major. Review of the principal theoretical and empirical issues of the field. Research project focused on each student’s STS specialty. Prerequisites: STS 214, STS or STB Majors
ENG 588 — Fiction Writing Workshop (NEW!)
Instructor: Belle McQuaide Boggs, Thur 4:30 – 7:15 PM, 3 credits
Advanced work in techniques of writing fiction for students with substantial experience in writing. Workshop sessions with students commenting on each other’s work. Prerequisite: ENG 488 or ENG 489
GES 591 — Special Topics in Genetic Engineering and Society
Instructor: Zachary Brown, Tues 12:00 – 1:00 PM* (sec 002), 1 credit
The GES Colloquium hosts a local, national, or international speaker weekly to discuss complex and contentious issues around genetic engineering and society. *Note: time listed incorrectly in course catalogGo to Course Catalog
An Evening with Margaret Atwood, and its related events and activities, are made possible by the generous support from, and collaborative partnerships with, the following: