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Between Activism and Apocalypse: The Work of Margaret Atwood

A One-Day Symposium

Starts: Thursday, January 29, 2015, 10:00am
Ends: Thursday, January 29, 2015, 4:15pm

Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union

“Between Activism and Apocalypse: The Work of Margaret Atwood”

A One-Day Symposium Sponsored by CAHI
Thursday, January 29, 2015

All panels will be held in the Oak Room of the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU). The symposium is free and open to the public. 

10:00am – 10:30am
Coffee in the Oak Room 

10:30am – 12:00 noon   Panel 1: Apocalypse
Gerry Canavan (Marquette University), “Cruel Optimism, MaddAddam, Hope”
Rebekah Sheldon (Indiana University), “The Children of the Children of Crake: MaddAddam’s Reproductive Futurism”
Everett Hamner (Western Illinois University), “Atwood’s Madd Humanity and the Case of the Holy Sex Pillbox”
Moderator: De Witt Douglas Kilgore (Indiana University) 

12:00 noon – 1:00pm
Coffee break 

1:00pm – 2:30pm   Panel 2: Activism
Hannah Murray (Indiana University), “Witch Hysteria: The Regulation of Female Sexuality in The Handmaid’s Tale
Carly Yingst (Indiana University), “‘Who Knows What We’d Make of It?’: Subversive Feminine Discourse in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Elizabeth Lundberg (University of Iowa), “‘Like a frog in a jar’: Surfacing’s Visual Rhetoric of Pregnancy”
Moderator: Ed Comentale (Indiana University) 

2:30pm – 2:45pm
Coffee break 

2:45pm – 4:15pm   Panel 3: Art
Olivia DeClark (Indiana University), “Off the Charts: Cartography and the Mapping of Atwood’s Poetry”
Monique Morgan (Indiana University), “The Abominable Snowman: Storytelling and Ethics in the MaddAddam Trilogy”
Roundtable discussion with all 8 panelists moderated by Daniel Lukes (New York University) 

Panelist bios: 

Gerry Canavan is an Assistant Professor of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature in the Department of English at Marquette University. His research focuses on the relationship between science fiction and the political and cultural history of the post-war period, with special emphasis on ecology and the environment. He has been the co-editor of special issues of American Literatureand Polygraph on “speculative fiction” and “ecology and ideology,” respectively, and with author Kim Stanley Robinson he is the co-editor of Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction (Wesleyan University Press, 2014). Additional current projects include a critical monograph on science fiction and totality, and another on the work of African-American science fiction author Octavia E. Butler; he is also, with Eric Carl Link, the co-editor of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction (2015). He serves as an editor at Extrapolation and Science Fiction Film and Television.

Olivia DeClark is a third year English major at Indiana University, Bloomington. She enjoys writing poetry, and recently had her first creative piece published in Canvas Creative Arts Magazine here in Bloomington. She is involved on campus in the Undergraduate Religious Studies Association. She hopes to continue her study of English at the graduate level, and is interested in both modernist and post-modernist literature.

Everett Hamner is Associate Professor of English at Western Illinois University. His primary interests are in relationships between twentieth- and twenty-first-century fiction and film, science and technology studies (especially those around evolution, genomics, and ecology), and global religions and postsecular theory. His essays on science fiction may be found in American LiteratureScience Fiction Studies, and The New Utopian Politics of Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, while those on questions of contemporary transcendence appear in Religion and LiteratureModern Fiction Studies, and The Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies. But that’s something of a false binary: the stories we tell about cells and souls are increasingly interwoven.

Elizabeth Lundberg is a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa, where she specializes in science fiction, affect theory, and American literature. Her dissertation examines relationships among empathy, reading, and gendered embodiment in post-WW2 American fiction. Her work has appeared in Deletion: The Open Access Online Forum in Science Fiction Studies, and is forthcoming in GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies.

Monique Morgan is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research and teaching focus on Romantic and Victorian literature, narrative theory, poetics, and science fiction. Her publications include Narrative Means, Lyric Ends: Temporality in the Nineteenth-Century British Long Poem (Ohio State UP, 2009), as well as articles in Science Fiction StudiesNarrativeVictorian Poetry, and Romanticism on the Net. Her current book project is on narrative and epistemology in Victorian science fiction.

Hannah Murray is a junior Founders Scholar and honors student majoring in English and Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. She received the Edward L. Hutton International Experiences Program Grant and the Hutton Family Study Abroad Scholarship to study modern British literature in London during the summer of 2014. The Department of Religious Studies awarded her the Mary Jo Weaver Undergraduate Scholarship in 2014. Currently, she is the president of the Undergraduate Religious Studies Association, a tutor for Indiana University’s Writing Tutorial Services, and a contributing writer for the Canvas Creative Arts Magazine.

Rebekah Sheldon is Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington. She writes on science fiction, feminist science studies, childhood studies, and contemporary American culture and has recent articles in ADA: Journal of Gender, New Media & Technology, The Nonhuman Turn (UMinn) and The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction. She is also co-editor along with Julian Gill-Peterson and Kathryn Bond Stockton of a special issue of GLQ titled The Child Now.

Carly Yingst is a senior majoring in English with a minor in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Indiana University, Bloomington. She works at Indiana University Press, where she interns in the managing editorial department, and has served as an editor for Hutton Honors College’s research publication, The Undergraduate Scholar. She was the 2013 recipient of the Paul E. and Mary F. Howard Scholarship for undergraduate work in English, and is currently writing her senior thesis on the novels of David Foster Wallace and Thomas Pynchon.