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UPCOMING PANELS

MMLA 2017

Margaret Atwood Society is pleased to announce our new affiliation with Midwest MLA. The 2017 convention is November 9-12 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza in Cincinnati, OH. The panel at MMLA hosted by the Margaret Atwood Society is titled “The Handmaid’s Tale: Past, Present, and Future.” Papers on the novel, the Hulu series, or both are welcome. Submit a 250 to 300-word abstract and short bio to Denise Du Vernay by May 15, 2017 (atwoodsociety@yahoo.com).

MLA 2018 (The business meeting will follow the session)

“Renegades and Revenge: Hag-Seed and/or The Heart Goes Last.

Accepting proposals through March 15, 2017. Email 250-300 word abstract and short bio to Eleonora Rao (erao@unisa.it)


PAST PANELS

MLA 2017 (The business meeting will follow the session)

  1. Humor as Social Critique in Margaret Atwood’s Novels, Short Stories, and Poetry

Friday, 6 January

5:15–6:30 p.m., 110B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Presiding: Eleonora Rao, Univ. of Salerno

  1. “The Place You Would Rather Not Know About: Bearing Witness through Humor,” Lauren Rule Maxwell, The Citadel
  2. “Satirical Freudianism in Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman,” Kate Marantz, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
  3. “Epistolary Atwood: Humor, the Open Letter, and Readerly Communities,” Collin Campbell, Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland

Abstracts:

  1. Lauren Rule Maxwell (The Citadel)
    The Place You Would Rather Not Know About:Bearing Witness Through Humor

Margaret Atwood’s poem “Notes Towards a Poem That Can Never Be Written” (True Stories 1981) begins with the lines

This is the place

you would rather not know about,

this is the place that will inhabit you,

this is the place you cannot imagine,

this is the place that will finally defeat you (1-5).

In many of her poems, short stories, and novels, Atwood creates a dystopian world through which we can, in fact, imagine this place we “would rather not know about,” a place where people commit unspeakable acts of violence against each other to solidify their positions of power. These things are actually happening all around us every day: Atwood insists, “This has been happening, / this happens” (“Notes” 15-16). It is the charge of the artist, the writer, to show us these things we would rather not see. As Atwood goes on to assert in the poem, when you see the “facts of this world…clearly,” “[w]itness is what you must bear” (42, 57). Atwood bears witness to these facts in her works of fiction and poetry by drawing us in to places that reflect the realities of our own word, fictional places like the Republic of Gilead or the Compounds. In creating these dystopian places, Atwood draws our attention to the importance of place itself—not only geographic place, but also social place.

In this paper, I will examine how Atwood uses humor to depict the ways people are “put in their place” in various works of fiction and poetry, including The Handmaid’s Tale, the MaddAddam trilogy, and the “Circe/Mud Poems.” In my reading of these texts, I will argue that humor is crucial for Atwood’s act of bearing witness. “The facts of this world seen clearly / are seen through tears,” Atwood tells us, and “no one will listen” to “the poem that invents / nothing and excuses nothing” (“Notes” 42-43, 62-63). By using humor to draw us into her invented worlds, Atwood makes us pay attention.

2. Kate Marantz (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Satirical Freudianism in Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman

Margaret Atwood’s 1969 novel The Edible Woman is a scathing send-up of patriarchal culture and confining notions of femininity. It features laughably stereotypical characters: Duncan, the comically morose graduate student hunting literary symbols; Ainsley, a psychologizing pseudo-feminist; Len, a misogynist whose behaviors are revealed to stem from his mother once making him eat an egg containing an unborn chick. But there are also serious issues at stake: protagonist Marian McAlpin’s fear of her dominating fiancé; her paranoid hallucinations of being hunted; her growing inability to eat. In this paper, I argue that the novel’s toggling between exaggerated humor and disillusioned social commentary is central to its enactment of a kind of satirical Freudianism.

I read The Edible Woman as an uneasy feminist critique of  Freudian ideas in the mid-twentieth century in North America. Atwood humorously indicts the pervasiveness of Freudianism as pop-psychology, satirizing the pervasiveness of empty buzzwords and oversimplified formulations of complex gender relations. At the same time, she reveals how neo-Freudian(mis)conceptions of femininity and sexuality have real, problematic effects on her characters and their relationships. On another level, however, the novel’s mocking tone also masks an underlying discomfort with its own textual inability to break free of Freud’s influence. For despite its suspicion—whether ironic or earnest—of Freud’s ideas and cultural impact, Atwood’s novel in many ways operates firmly within a Freudian context. Indeed, with its focus on connections between mental states, bodily disorders, and symbolic manifestations, The Edible Woman is deeply invested in key aspects of Freudian psychology; in fact, it invites Freudian readings even as it pokes fun at them. With its darkly comic representations, then, this novel of uneven gender politics and unstable female identity reveals itself as wary of Freudian frameworks but ultimately, and quite self-consciously, unable to get outside of them.

  1.  Collin Campbell (Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland)

Epistolary Atwood: Humour, the Open Letter, and Readerly Communities

This paper puts into conversation Margaret Atwood’s experiments in epistolary narrative and poetry, primarily Alias Grace (1996) and The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970), with her letter writing in nonfiction genres, including her “Letter to America” and a select few other published open letters. Although this panel seeks to address humour and critique in Atwood’s fiction and poetry, this paper contends that her nonfiction letters operate through critical structures, like historical communities, time, place, etc., that correspond to her epistolary fiction and poetry. That is to say, Atwood’s prolific nonfiction writing deserves the same critical attention as her fiction and poetry, since it is in many ways as “literary” as the latter two. Atwood’s fiction and poetry has received some attention for its epistolary experiments. For instance, Kym Brindle provides a substantive reading of the documents in Alias Grace, arguing that they serve as a postmodern critique of historical epistemologies and the dichotomy between public and private identities. However, by examining Atwood’s nonfiction letters, particularly their moments of humour, play, and satire, new ways of reading the genre of the letter reveal themselves. A substantive analysis of Atwood’s prolific nonfiction letters has not yet been done. The genre of the “open letter” itself, which is simultaneously dialogic and overheard, reconfigures the concept of a literary community: this paper argues that humour and satire in her letters collapses geographic distance by way of the letters’ careful management of social boundaries, which are sometimes thwarted and sometimes reinforced. Ultimately, the letters forge a critical intimacy, a way of reading that calls us into community, the analysis of which has vital implications for our reading of her fiction and poetry as well.

 

PREVIOUS PANELS

We had an official MAS panel at the Modern Language Association Convention in Austin, January 2016.

Sunday, 10 January, 2016. MLA: Austin, TX

797. Bouncing on the Stone Mattress: Atwood’s Short Fiction

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m.

Presiding: Eleonora Rao, Univ. of Salerno

1. “Sweet Are the Uses of Revenge; or, The Revenger’s Comedy in Stone Mattress,” Shuli Barzilai, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem

Abstract: A famous musical theme song tells us that money (not love) makes the world go round. But in many of the tales Margaret Atwood spins in Stone Mattress, as elsewhere in her writings, it is neither love nor money that makes the fictional world turn merrily around. Rather, the prime interest and profit for the main protagonists – and, confessionally speaking, for Atwood’s incorrigible readers such as myself – derives from a sweet, satisfactorily accomplished revenge. The old law and spirit of talion, of tit for tat, of tooth-for-tooth presides over these stories. Even when Atwood’s injured ones seem to turn the other cheek, bow their heads, and submit to the unkind strokes of other folks, they are biding time, waiting for an opening, an opportunity not merely to equal but better the score. Upping the ante is often the name of their game.

Take the case of Atwood’s Lady Bluebeard, Verna, in the collection’s title story. Every well-heeled husband whose death she kindly and efficiently precipitates – and each “departed not only happy but grateful, if a little sooner than might have been expected” – is a surrogate for “golden-boy Bob,” the rich Mr. Heartthrob and Senior Football Star, who brutally raped, impregnated, and discarded her in high school. Bob gets his comeuppance decades later, on an Arctic cruise, when Verna achieves a neat and ruthlessly appropriate revenge, apparently getting away with murder. Likewise, in other stories a protagonist settles old scores in inventively devious and sometimes comedic ways. Not always is murder required for revenge. A sharp pen and well-wrought story-within-the-story, such as the “International Horror Classic” titled The Dead Hand Loves You, written by Jack Dace to stick it to his college housemates, will do a surprising trick or two, leading many years later to a promise of romance or, at least, a bouquet of red roses. A trick or two is comparably turned by a “mystery-mix” dog like Charis’s Ouida, in whose body the defunct Zenia possibly reincarnates herself on the occasion when, gallantly leaping out of a bedroom closet, this shaggy defender-avenger sinks its teeth into Billy’s tumescent, treacherous member because Zenia (aka Ouida) knows that Billy slit the throat of Charis’s cherished chickens long ago. Although this is revenge achieved via proxy, a bloody but still clear case of what Freudians call displacement downward, it provides no less satisfactory closure, especially since by the story’s end Charis has achieved clarity about scheming Billy and the promise of benevolent companionship: “a jovial retired plumber” with whom Oudia shamelessly flirts. In story after story, as I propose to show, revenge moves events along and leads to well-deserved consequences for some, while sweet retaliation is allotted others, former victims now turned victors. They laugh best, Atwood’s fictions gleefully and, or grimly remind us, who laugh last.

2. “Through the Fun House Looking Glass: The Fantastic Mirror in Stone Mattress,” Allan B. Weiss, York Univ.

Abstract: As scholars have often said, and as Margaret Atwood herself asserts in In Other Worlds (55-65), fantasy and science fiction are modern embodiments of myth, reflecting the world about us and our deepest questions concerning our place in it. Atwood’s definition of “speculative fiction,” while controversial, reveals her view of the genre in which she writes: she says that her fantastic fiction is not an escape from the real world but an extrapolation from it, thus highlighting its relationship to that world (“Handmaid’s Talepassim). Fantastic literature, no matter what its setting, holds up a mirror to the here and now by portraying the there and then.

In Stone Mattress, Atwood uses the tropes of science fiction and fantasy to reflect and reflect on social and philosophical questions. She insists on calling the texts “tales” rather than “stories,” using the distinction Nathaniel Hawthorne made to differentiate his moral fables, with their fantastic or grotesque elements, from more realistic narrative fiction. Atwood’s collection begins with what I call a “mini-cycle”: three related short stories (or tales) in a collection of otherwise unconnected texts. The mini-cycle—“Alphinland,” “Revenant,” and “Dark Lady”—invokes the conventions and characters of fantasy to explore romantic love, jealousy, and the effects of time on human relationships. At the end of the collection, “Torching the Dusties” fits snugly into the category of dystopian fiction, extending current social trends into a near-future scenario in which the youth arise to punish and rid the world of the oldest generation.

Mirrors and mirroring play a role at both the symbolic and structural level in these stories. First, there are references to mirrors in scenes in which characters confront their deeper selves or less pleasant attributes, such as the magnifying bathroom mirror on p. 2. Second, mini-cycles are linked by common characters and motifs, and the three stories in Atwood’s mini-cycle mirror each other in various ways, most notably their treatment of the theme of art and the role of the imagination. Third, these stories—despite the portrayal of apparently “real” ghosts and presently non-existent political movements—hold up a mirror to our society and psychology. While offering an alternative reality, these tales mirror each other and ourselves.

3. “Dreams, Nightmares, Myths, Stories: Margaret Atwood’s ‘Re-visions’ in Stone Mattress,” Mary Green, Ryerson Univ.

Abstract: In Margaret Atwood’s novels, her female characters struggle with identity issues and their world. To use her own term, Atwood’s characters are “spiritual survivors” as they analyse, assess, metamorphose, and/or vanquish opposing forces, be they traumatic childhoods, domineering or ‘absent’ mothers, abusive men, fairy tale ‘evil’ women, patriarchal society, political turmoil, even dystopian worlds. Although Atwood’s protagonists, her “spiritual survivors” generally overcome obstacles and cease to be victimized by the end of her novels, endings are often indeterminate and all questions and issues are not always resolved or neatly concluded.

It is perhaps this very indeterminacy that allows for a glimpse into often reflective but at times carnivalistic mirror images of stories, what we witness in her new collection of short stories titled Stone Mattress. Drawing on Linda Hutcheon and blurring the boundaries of past and present, Atwood’s metafictions challenge the notion of narrators telling their story, reconstructing and “re-visioning,” to use Adrienne Rich’s term, reality/art, as Joan Foster does in Lady Oracle and Constance does in “Alphinland.” As Atwood noted in Negotiating with the Dead, “The act of writing takes place at the moment when Alice passes through the mirror. At one instant, the glass barrier between the doubles dissolves, and Alice is neither here nor there, neither art nor life, neither the one thing nor the other, though at the same time she is all of these at once” (57). Ultimately, Joan Foster enters her fantasy world rejecting oppressive men and synthesizing her identity, thus vanquishing escapism. In contrast, Constance’s fantasy world “Alphinland” draws her in to protect her husband Ewan, who faces danger, is “runeless” and may become lost in fantasy, a reflection perhaps of her own fantastical mental state.

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There was one MAS panel at the 2015 Modern Language Association Convention in Vancouver, January, 2015

The Political Atwood

Presiding: Karma Waltonen, Univ. of California, Davis

  1. “Species Thinking, Ecology, and Biopolitics in Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy,” Christopher Walker, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
  2. “Renegotiating the Social Contract: Governance in the MaddAddam Trilogy,” Lauren Rule Maxwell, The Citadel
  3. “Debt and Profit: Taking Atwood beyond Payback,” Theodore F. Sheckels, Randolph-Macon Coll.
  4. “Margaret Atwood’s Postapocalyptic Trilogy and the Malthusian Moment,” Carl Gutierrez-Jones, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

There was one MAS panel at the 2014 Modern Language Association Convention, Chicago, January, 2014

Margaret Atwood’s Recent Work

There were two Atwood panels at the 2013 Modern Language Association Convention, Boston, January, 2013

1. Margaret Atwood: Religion, Ethics, and Debt

2. In Other Worlds: Atwood and Lessing’s Speculative Fiction

Program arranged as a collaboration between the Doris Lessing Society and the Margaret Atwood Society.

Modern Language Association Convention
January 2012

Margaret Atwood and the Apocalypse

Program arranged by the Margaret Atwood Society

Presiding: Tomoko Kuribayashi

  • Karma Waltonen (UC Davis): “‘it was zero hour, you said Be Brave’: Tracing Atwood’s Apocalypses”
  • Lauren Rule Maxwell (Citadel):  “‘Apocalypse coiled in my tongue’: Apocalyptic Vision in Margaret Atwood’s Poetry”
  • Kathryn VanSpanckeren (U of Tampa): “Atwood’s ‘Last Man’ Novels: Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood”
  • Debrah Raschke:  (Missouri State U): “‘The Post-Modern Condition’ as Apocalypse in Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood”

ACCUTE Conference 2011

University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University, May 28-May 31

Organizer/Chair: Karen MacFarlane (Mount St Vincent University)

ACCUTE Joint Session with the Margaret Atwood Society

Margaret Atwood and the Body

  • Jess Huber (Memorial): “’Having a Body is Not Altogether Serious’: Limitless Corporeality in Margaret Atwood’s Short Fiction.
  • Lynda Hall (Calgary): “Margaret Atwood’s model prisoner: Embodied Performances of Oryx and Grace Evoke ‘pure bliss, pure terror.’”
  • Helene Staveley (Memorial) “Margaret Atwood’s Blind Assassin and Alias Grace: Power and the Writing Body.”

Modern Language Association Convention
January 2011

Ecocritical Perspectives on Margaret Atwood’s Recent Fiction

8 January 2010, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Platinum Salon B, J. W. Marriott

Program arranged by the Margaret Atwood Society

Presiding: Tomoko Kuribayashi

  • Lauren J. Lacey,“Oryx and Crake as Ecofeminist Fiction”
  • Lynda Hall, “‘O Honey. You’re My Only Hope. Don’t Let Me Down’: Oryx and Nature in Jimmy’s Extinctathon Game of Life”
  • Amanda Thibodeau,“Feminist Political Ecology and Reading The Year of the Flood
  • Danette DiMarco, “‘The Echoing Green’: Blakean Form in Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood

Narrating Past, Present, and Future: Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood

10:15–11:30 a.m., Platinum Salon I, J. W. Marriott

Program arranged by the Doris Lessing Society and the Margaret Atwood Society

Presiding: Tonya M. Krouse

  • Earl G. Ingersoll, “Engendering Utopia and Dystopia: Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake, Lessing’s The Marriages between Zones Three, Four, and Five
  • Lynda A. Hall, “The Puppets Jerk to Their Invisible Strings: Performances of Oryx and Emily in Memoirs of a Survivor and Oryx and Crake
  • Virginia Tiger, “Fables for Tomorrow from Today in the Speculative Fables of Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood”

Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900
February 2010

Margaret Atwood Society Panel

Chairs: Susanna Hoeness-Krupsaw and Drew Shannon Patrick

  • Hannele Kivinen, “Looking forward by Moving Backwards: Revisionary Psychoanalysis in Selected Poems by Margaret Atwood”
  • Dibakar Pal, “Of Pride and Vanity”
  • Debrah Raschke, “Canadian Landscape Painting and Atwood’s  ‘Death by Landscape'”
  • Françoise Couturier-Storey and Jeff Storey “Spirituality, Voice, and the ‘Language of the Marshes’ in Margaret Atwood’s World of Fiction”

Modern Language Association Convention
December 2009

Margaret Atwood’s Most Recent Work

Politics and Economics in Works by Margaret Atwood

Chair: Tomoko Kuribayashi

  • Theodore F. Sheckels, “The Difficult Quest for Integrative Power in Atwood’s Fiction”
  • Earl G. Ingersoll, “Hard Times in the Chase Family: Politics and Economics in Atwood’s The Blind Assassin
  • Fiona Tolan,  “‘Alone on a wide, wide sea’: Atwood’s Liberal Vision in Oryx and Crake
  • Sarah Appleton, “Corp(Se)ocracy: The Body as Commodity in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood

Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900
February 2009

Margaret Atwood Society Panel
Chair: Tomoko Kuribayashi

  • Carol Osborne, “Saving Graces: Narrative Designs in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake
  • Nancy Peled, “Wicked Woman Writing: Narrator as Witch in Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin

Modern Language Association Convention
December 2008

The Door and Other Atwoodian Spaces
Organizers: Deborah Rosenthal and Tomoko Kuribayashi

  • Ted Sheckels, “Spaces of Retreat: Temporary Respites in Atwood’s Threatening World”
  • Earl Ingersoll, “Doors and Other Spaces in Atwood”
  • Lynda Hall, “‘Born with mortality’s hook in us’: Atwood’s The Door on the Thresholds of Life”
  • Paul Huebener, “Dark Stories: Poet-Audience Relations and the Journey Underground in The Door

Modern Myths and Popular Culture in Atwood’s Works
Organizers: Karma Waltonen and Denise Du Vernay

  • Jenni G. Halpin, “Distressed Distribution in ‘Encounters with the Element Man’”
  • Lorraine York, “’I’ve Broken the Sound Barrier’: Margaret Atwood’s Literary Celebrity and Popular Culture”
  • Sharon R. Wilson, “Magical Realism in Atwood’s The Blind Assassin
  • Eric Aronoff, “’We’re Hard-Wired for Dreams’: Mythology, Biology, and the Human in Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

Modern Language Association Convention
December 2007

Atwood’s Recent Shorter Fiction
Organizers:  Sharon Wilson and Lisa Weckerle

Presiding: Lisa Weckerle

  • Kiley Kapuscinski, “Writing the Wrong: Ethical Responses to Female Violence in the Mythic Minifiction of Margaret Atwood”
  • Camille Harris, “‘Who Are We Now?’: Societal Constructions in Margaret Atwood’s The Tent
  • Karma Waltonen, “‘Your Tent Is Made of Paper’: Self-Reflexive Writing in The Tent
  • Alice Rachel Ridout, “The Relation between Time and Space in Margaret Atwood’s Moral Disorder

Atwood as a Poet
Organizers: Karma Waltonen and Debby Rosenthal

  • Marilyn J. Rose, “Tender (Though Far from Toothless): Margaret Atwood on Love”
  • Tomoko Kuribayashi, “‘Consider the Body’: Remaking the Myth of Female Sexuality in Margaret Atwood’s Recent Poems”
  • H. Louise Davis, “Atwood, Ambiguous, and Accusatory: Circe/Mud Poems and ‘The Bog Man’ as Models for Ecofeminist Fiction”

Modern Language Association Convention
December 2006

Myth and Intertextuality in the Works of Margaret Atwood

Presiding: Deborah Rosenthal and Lisa Weckerle

  • Sharon R. Wilson, “The Crone Creator Goddess in Atwood’s The Penelopiad
  • Earl G. Ingersoll, “Myth in Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad
  • Hilde Staels, “The Penelopiad: Atwood’s Parodic and Burlesque Transformation of the Penelope Myth”
  • Lauren J. Lacey, “Unmaking Myth in The Penelopiad
  • Tomoko Kuribayashi, “Margaret Atwood’s Myth Remaking in Recent Poems and The Penelopiad

Performing Atwood

Presiding: Jennifer M. Hoofard and Tomoko Kuribayashi

  • Deborah Phelps,  “Misconceiving Atwood: The Edible Woman in Performance”
  • Lisa Weckerle, “Multiple Identities: A One-Woman Show of the Writing of Margaret Atwood”
  • Gilya Hodos and Eileen Strempel “(In)Habitation: Settings of Margaret Atwood Poems by Women Composers”

Twentieth-Century Literature Conference
February 2006

Margaret Atwood Society Panel
Organizer: Cynthia Kuhn
Presiding: Debrah Raschke

  • Elizabeth J. Fleitz, “Troubling Gender:  Rethinking the Disordered Body in Atwood’s The Edible Woman
  • Cathia Jenainati, “Narratives of Aging and Melancholia: Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel and Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin
  • Debrah Raschke, “’Shock and Awe’: Machiavellian Politics in Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride

Modern Language Association Convention
December 2005

Teaching Margaret Atwood’s Works
Presiding: Jennifer M. Hoofard

  • Shuli Barzilai, “Atwood in the Classroom: Looking Back, Looking Forward”
  • Tomoko Kuribayashi, “Teaching Margaret Atwood’s Poems Along with Sylvia Plath’s”
  • Marie I. Lovrod, “Teaching Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in the Context of Transnational Feminisms”
  • Lynne Bruckner, “Surfacing in the Ecofeminist Classroom”

Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake
Presiding: Dunja M. Mohr

  • Karma Waltonen, “Beyond Didacticism: The Relations between the Personal and the Political in Oryx and Crake
  • Deborah Rosenthal,  “’Here and Not Here’: Fragmentation in the Absence and Presence of Maternal and Romantic Bonding in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake
  • Alice Rachel Ridout, “Tragic Triangles: Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and The Blind Assassin
  • Tara Johnson, “Locating Sources of Knowledge and Truth in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

Twentieth-Century Literature Conference
February 2005

Margaret Atwood Society Panel
Organizers: Karen Macfarlane and Cynthia Kuhn
Presiding: Sally A. Jacobsen

  • Karma Waltonen, “Transgressing Through Humor in Oryx and Crake.”
  • Ian Williams, “Or What: Voicing Irony in Morning in the Burned House.”
  • Sue Sorensen, “‘Death by Landscape’: Atwood’s Revision of Wordsworth’s Lucy Poems.
  • Sally A. Jacobsen, “Fishy Food, Global Business and Atwood’s Postmodern High Jinks in Oryx and Crake.”

Modern Language Association Convention
December 2004

Margaret Atwood’s Dystopian Visions
Presiding: Joy Arbor

Sharon R. Wilson, “Dr. Frankenstein in Oryx and Crake

  • Debrah Raschke,  “The Temptation to Apocalypse in Atwood’s The Robber Bride
  • Dunja M. Mohr, “‘The Rag Ends of Language’: The Poetic Discourse of Survival in Atwood’s Future Visions”
  • Deborah Phelps, “Apocalyptic Canada: The Nationalist Lessons of Susanna Moodie.

Margaret Atwood and the Craft of Narrativity

Presiding: Lynda Hall

  • Sally A. Jacobsen, “The Blind Assassin: Negotiating with the Canadian Postmodern.”
  • Earl G. Ingersoll, “Margaret Atwood as Narrative Innovator: The Handmaid’s Tale.”
  • Theodore F. Sheckels, “Critic as Storyteller: Margaret Atwood’s Use of Narrative in Survival and Second Words.”
  • Radmila Nastic, “Narrating Alterity in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing.”

Twentieth-Century Literature Conference
February 2004

Sleight-of-Hand: Transgressive Strategies in Margaret Atwood’s Fiction
Presiding: Shuli Barzilai

  • Sally Jacobsen, “Negotiating with the Dead in The Blind Assassin
  • Susan Hoeness-Krupsaw,  “Snowman goes Windigo: Ironic Reversals in Oryx and Crake
  • Shuli Barzilai, “Gothic Fractures in Lady Oracle

Modern Language Association Convention
December 2003

Margaret Atwood and the Environment
Presiding: Charlotte Templin and Karen Macfarlane

  • Holly Blackford, “The Ecological Movement of the Female Body in Surfacing
  • Susan Fisher,  “‘The Faces of Animals’: Margaret Atwood and the Animal Story”
  • Patricia Merivale, “Oryx and Crake: The Unhinging of the Ecological Imagination”

Margaret Atwood’s Multiple Bodies
Presiding: Phyllis Perrakis and Joy Arbor

  • Sally Chivers and Nicole Markotic, “Margaret Atwood’s Problem Bodies”
  • Jennifer Hoofard, “‘It Is Her Body, Silent / and Fingerless, Writing This Poem’: Margaret Atwood’s “Notes toward a Poem That Can Never Be Written”
  • Laura Wright, “National Photographic: Embodying the Animal in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing
  • Steven Bruhm, “Lepers Leaping, Ladies Dancing: Aesthetics and Kinesthetics in Margaret Atwood”

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