An Evening with Margaret Atwood
Literature to Explore Our Genetic Engineering Futures.
A CHASS Lightning Rod Event
Friday, November 15, 2019, 6:00-7:30 PM
State Ballroom, Talley Student Union, NC State
It is impossible to talk about dystopian literature without mentioning Margaret Atwood, who has been described as the most important living author of our time. A true literary legend with over 50 novels, including The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood’s writing has proved as timeless as it is prophetic. 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. In her talk, Ms. Atwood will share her thoughts on how she uses literature to explore our genetic engineering futures, challenging the audience to think critically and engage with the world around them from different angles.
- On-Sale Date: Friday, September 13 at 10 AM EDT — Click here to be notified when tickets go on sale!
- Public: $30 (plus convenience fees, limit 6)
- NC State Students, Faculty, and Staff: Free (limited availability, 1 per Unity ID)
- VIP Reception: Immediately following the public talk, members of the newly launched Friends of the GES Center, will have the opportunity to attend a VIP reception with Margaret Atwood. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a Friend.
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
STS 403 — Capstone Seminar in Science, Technology & Society
ENG 588 — Fiction Writing Workshop
Instructor: Belle McQuaide Boggs, Thur 4:30 – 7:15 PM, 3 credits
GES 591 — Special Topics in Genetic Engineering and Society
Instructor: Zachary Brown, Tues 12:00 – 1:00 PM* (sec 002), 1 creditGo to Course Catalog