The Festival of Questions: What the Hell? The Handmaid’s Tale in 2017
This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.
Why has The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood’s uniquely disturbing vision of feminist dystopia, struck such a chord in 2017?
Does the overwhelming response to the new TV Handmaid’s Tale series reflect a moment of unprecedented panic among feminists? Or are we waking up to our complacency?
At the Melbourne Town Hall, Deborah Frances-White, Lauren Duca, Celeste Liddle, Quinn Eades, Jamila Rizvi and Krissy Kneen pull apart and rebuild The Handmaid’s Tale. They take us through key moments of the novel, discuss the TV series’ most poignant, powerful and hands-over-the-eyes-horrific scenes – and interrogate what was left out, too.
Deborah Frances-White is a stand up comedian, writer, speaker and podcaster. She is best known as the creator and host of The Guilty Feminist Podcast – which has had 20 million downloads in its first 18 months. It has just been nominated for a 2017 Aria Award for Best Podcast. She is currently writing a Guilty Feminist book for Virago at Little, Brown.
Lauren Duca is an award-winning and -losing freelance journalist best known for her viral piece 'Donald Trump is Gaslighting America', and calling Tucker Carlson a 'partisan hack' on national television. In addition to working on her Thigh-High Politics column for Teen Vogue, Lauren's work can be found in/on New York magazine, the New Yorker, the New Inquiry, the Nation, Pacific Standard, Cosmopolitan and Complex, among other publications.
Krissy Kneen is the award-winning author of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, including An Uncertain Grace, which was shortlisted for the Stella Prize.
She has written and directed broadcast television documentaries and is the current Copyright Agency Ltd Non-fiction Fellow. The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen is her latest book.
Celeste Liddle is an Arrernte woman (traditional owner in Central Australia) who was born in Canberra and has been living in Melbourne since she was a teenager. She is a trade unionist, an activist, a feminist, a social commentator and an opinion writer. In May 2021, she was announced as the preselected Greens candidate for the seat of Cooper in the upcoming Federal Election.
Quinn Eades is a researcher, writer, and poet whose work lies at the nexus of feminist and queer theories of the body, autobiography, and philosophy. Eades is published nationally and internationally, and is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, and Rallying.
Eades is a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at La Trobe University, as well as the founding editor of Australia's only interdisciplinary, peer reviewed, gender, sexuality and diversity studies journal, Writing from Below. He is currently working on a collection of fragments written from the transitioning body, titled Transpositions.
In 2015 Quinn Eades changed his name and gender. Prior to 2015, he was writing and speaking as Karina Quinn.
‘Being a feminist is about more than a cute slogan on a t-shirt, it’s about more than your own personal identity. It’s about being part of and contributing to an ongoing movement.’
Jamila is Editor-at-Large of Future Women and a weekly columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age. She has published two best-selling books Not Just Lucky and The Motherhood. Rizvi is also a regular commentator on The Project, Today, The Drum, Q&A, and an occasional host on ABC Radio Melbourne. She previously worked in politics for the Rudd and Gillard Governments, advising on issues including media, women, childcare, and employment. Rizvi is an Ambassador for CARE Australia and board member of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.
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