Thinking Aloud: The Handmaid’s Tale

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


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 ballet, and even, disturbingly and controversially, as a ‘sexy’ Halloween costume. Touching on the 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 expression of global feminist and political resistance.

In this event, we take the book and its multiple cultural and political expressions as launchpad for a discussion between scholars from Film Studies, International Relations, Philosophy, and Russian as well as with 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.
Period17 Oct 2019
Event titleThinking Aloud: The Handmaid's Tale
Event typeOther
LocationSt Andrews, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • science fiction
  • adaptation
  • comparative literature
  • russian