Intersection in the Humanities: Theoretical Consistencies between Classics and History

(pictured: sculpture of Homer Caetani; Roman sculpture from 2nd century CE, copy of Greek sculpture from 2nd century BCE, from the Palazzo Caetani in Rome; from wikimedia commons)

By Kyle Schrader

Villanova University’s History graduate program begins with a course on Methodology focused on tracing different theoretical approaches and broad historiographic trends since the early twentieth century with minor mention of the centuries before. Theories taught include but are not limited to: post-colonial, post-structuralist, anthropological, Marxist, and literary critical as well as the analytical lenses of class, gender, and race. The originations of these theories are as vast as the lenses they themselves provide, but most of them did not arise at first as historical analyses, but as aspects of the social sciences and literary criticism. They have, however, all had a place in the current trend of historical work, whether that be analysis and study on the Modern, Medieval or even Classical eras of history.[1]

Since graduating from the Classics graduate program at Villanova and transitioning into History, I have been asked many times how similar the two disciplines are and how relevant a course like Theory and Methods is/would be for a historian devoted to the Classical period. In my own experience, I began to use gender theory in my studies of ancient Rome after taking an Ancient Gender and Sexuality course with Dr. Subacus during the second semester of the Classics program. While much of the skill set I learned during my tenure as a Classics student has certainly transferred over to important advantages in the study of history, I wanted to discuss the matter with those who have studied the Classics far more intensively and received PhD training. I interviewed two Classics professors (Professors Melanie Subacus and Andrew Scott) as to their views on the subject of historical methodology and the Classics and found that, while comparing the two disciplines could be seen as difficult due to the multi-disciplinarity of both, that same complexity makes them more alike in theoretical process if not objective. The post-modern project of History, as described by George Iggers in Historiography in the Twentieth Century, has been to provide a modern narrative to past events while remaining within a rational course of inquiry.[2] Classics, rather than being separate in this larger academic/cultural project, works within the same parameters and with the same goals in mind.

The major difference that both professors indicated in their responses between Classics and History was the training involved in becoming an academic. Professor Subacus notes that undergraduate training in the Classics, as well as Master’s for that matter, focused very little on theory or even consistent approaches to the period. Instead, as both professors argue, Classics courses provide a large pool of subdisciplines one can explore within the greater Classical era, including training in archaeology, philology (specifically here accompanied by the study of Greek, Latin and other ancient languages), history, philosophy, literature, and art. History courses, conversely and based on my own undergraduate experiences and course listings at Villanova, tend to be very time period and/or theory focused; for example, classes on World War II and Gender or the History of the Long Nineteenth Century (1789-1914), with one or two methodology courses thrown in depending on the department. Professor Subacus notes that when she did receive training in methodology specifically in the Classics, it was focused more on the subdisciplines above, with more advanced breakdowns such as epigraphy and epistemology, rather than on Marxist, gender, race or any theory typically associated with historical study. Professor Scott suggests that training is also determined by which department is handling Classical training, as there are history, classics, classical studies, linguistics, Latin and Greek, Ancient History, philosophy, and more departments still that can train Classicists on their paths to a PhD.

Once one has received their training and begins working as an academic, the methodological differences between Classics and History become less clear. Professor Scott, whose work focuses on Roman historiography, approaches both primary and secondary texts much the same way a historian whose focus is on primary delivery and reception of sources would; via modern theoretical lenses and approaches. Similarly, Professor Subacus uses literary criticism, as well as gender and post-colonial lenses in her own work. When using primary sources, much like in history, the original language is always preferred (i.e. a Medieval historian tends to read Inquisition documents in the original Italian/ecclesiastical Latin much like Classicists read their sources in Latin or Greek), and while Classics is often seen as using Latin/Greek as gatekeeping methods, it is possible to teach classical history in translation much like it is in any history department.

The goals of history as presented by Thomas Andrews and Flannery Burke is to provide current generations with a mode of thought to critically think about themselves and their relationship to the past.[3] When I asked Dr. Subacus what the goals of the Classics were her answer was twofold: Classics, much like History, can be used to conceptualize the actions of the past and past cultures so that we may better understand today’s world (with caveats) and that the Literary Criticism side of Classics is extremely important, as a society’s continued re-understandings of its own and past literature help shape culture. These responses align with a conception of History as a modern narrative, a practice that is as much literature as analysis due to its attempts to make the past present within a historian’s own society and worldview.

Having moved fully into the History program at this point, I have realized more and more that any study of the humanities maintains the intrinsic quality of being one part cultural product and one part objective study. Working with colleagues in the fields of Sociology, theoretical economics, Anthropology, Archaeology, and even Psychology does not feel so different from my work in History and Classics. Much of our work as historians is to add to the modern dialectic, and Classicists do much the same even if they are working with older materials. We are all working towards the betterment of ourselves and, hopefully, to the advancement of the world we live in.

[1] These eras are separate here as Universities tend to give PhDs in these fields apart from each other rather than under one larger History degree.

[2] Georg G. Iggers, Historiography in the Twentieth Century: From Scientific Objectivity to the Postmodern Challenge (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2012), 99-100.

[3] Thomas Andrews and Flannery Burke, “”What Does it Mean to Think Historically?” (Historians.org, January 2007): https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/january-2007/what-does-it-mean-to-think-historically.

Reviewed: Women in Purple: Rulers of Medieval Byzantium by Judith Herrin

Review of: Herrin, Judith. Women in Purple: Rulers of Medieval Byzantium. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.

 

By Kyle Schrader

 

“By securing the reversal of official iconoclasm and restoring icons to their place of veneration in the eastern church, Irene, Euphrosyne and Theodora profoundly altered the course of history.”[1]

 

Judith Herrin’s Women in Purple provides the modern reader and historian with a thorough exploration of Byzantine politics and culture such that, when the primary subject of female rulers becomes the focus, one can see how both primary and more recently secondary historians have misplaced their foci when discussing the empresses of Byzantium. In a work that seeks to discuss the sheer power of female rulers in the eastern Roman Empire, Herrin makes a divergent but definitive statement by not including the sixth century’s Empress Theodora in her main analysis of gender and Byzantine political power. Running counter to other major contributors in this field such as Lynda Garland and James Evans, Herrin argues that Theodora I, while certainly influential in her own right, did not have the long lasting effects of the later Byzantine empresses simply due to Justinian’s own grasp of power alongside her.[2] Instead, Women in Purple focuses on the arena that was most changed by female empresses, that of religious iconoclasm.

Herrin allows her book to unfold as if a drama; after providing the necessary context of the Byzantine religious system and political courts, she moves into a discussion of the defining issue of the book and the reigns of the empresses she covers. The Byzantine iconoclasm was a centrally defining feature of the eighth century as it marked a major departure from centuries of Christian norms and resulted in one of the final splits between the eastern and western Christian traditions. It was the will of Irene’s predecessors, Leo III, Constantine V and Leo IV, that Christendom cease its focus on religious icons, symbols, and art, and their policies struck directly at the icons themselves through massive amounts of destruction and vandalism across the eastern empire. Herrin portrays Irene as a savvy political and religious women, able to identify that reversing the trend of iconoclasm would not only benefit the crown in Constantinople, but Christianity more generally.[3] Thusly, Women in Purple describes three empresses who fought for the reversal of destructive policies instituted by male-led regimes not simply due to women’s relationship to religion during the time period, a fact that Herrin does recognize, but also because each empress recognized the political and societal benefits of reversing course.[4]

Women in Purple reuses many of the principle sources cited in older studies to suggest that these empresses were unpopular and altogether weaker than their male counterparts, those being, of course, historians and court documents from the ninth and tenth centuries, as well as western commentaries of happenings within Constantinople and the eastern church. Simple readings of works such as Procopius’ Secret History or later ecclesiastical notes by Archbishop Nikephoros in Constantinople suggest a general disdain for the female empresses and downplay their important in the political arena of the empire, but Herrin provides a more substantive look not only into what the sources suggest but also the results of the various reigns. The author’s study of Byzantine art reveals what the written sources do not, that the empresses were recognized by the church and artists to be major players in the history of Byzantine iconography and the survival of iconophilic ideology from the eighth century on.

Herrin’s study provides an against-the-grain approach to the Byzantine empresses and their influence, but perhaps could have used more analysis of gender within its binding. While the basics of Constantinople’s gender dynamics are covered early on, more work could have been done discussing the traditional roles of women and especially Herrin’s “Third Sex” or eunuchs.[5] Though much of Herrin’s point is that these empresses expressed themselves through religious policy over direct military and political policies, short descriptions of moves made by these women in those arenas would have filled in some of the cracks in the narrative.

Women in Purple provides a necessary piece of medieval history that allows the modern reader to explore gendered rule as well as religious policy in a fashion not often discussed in more mainstream works on the period. The work’s drama-like presentation, as well as its frequent and informative heading breaks, allow for a methodical and enjoyable reading process that is extremely accessible while remaining in the top rungs of scholarship. Women in Purple is necessary reading for anyone interested in the history of women, Christianity, or Byzantium proper, and provides a fantastic look into the world that preceded and informed much of our modern existence.

[1] Herrin, Women in Purple, 8.

[2] Herrin, Women in Purple, 22.

[3] Herrin, Women in Purple, 74.

[4] Herrin, Women in Purple, 179.

[5] Herrin, Women in Purple, 17. For more on Eunuchs and gender roles in the Byzantine world, see Liz James, “Men, Women, Eunuchs: Gender, Sex, and Power” in A Social History of Byzantium, edit. J. Haldon, 2009.

Americans: Wow Factor vs. History

Review of: Americans, in the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC; Curators: Paul Chaat Smith and Cecile Ganteaume. Limited Exhibition; January 2018-January 2022; https://nmai.si.edu/americans/.

by Kyle Schrader

The Americans exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian greets the viewer with two distinct but related goals: for “the viewer to recognize the power of everyday Indian images and names” and to place that power as central to the United States’ national identity.[1] The foci of the exhibit are represented by the layout of its principle four rooms: the central hub containing numerous Native American-inspired pieces of American culture, and three side rooms focusing on Pocahontas, the Battle of Little Bighorn, and the Trail of Tears. The exhibit’s goals and success are based upon its ability to engage the guests about the importance of Native American iconography and language in American culture and generally preconceived misconceptions of Native American history.[2] The exhibit fails to incorporate its side rooms effectively into the main thrust of the exhibit due to poorly written, repetitive panel presentations, and unfortunately also provides little context for the numerous images and motifs it presents even in the main room of the exhibit hall.

Introductory Panel

            When one enters into the Americans exhibit, the sudden introduction of images, objects and sounds from various Native-American-inspired pieces is both deafening and blinding. With all of these distractions, one could be forgiven for not turning slightly to the right where, hidden in the corner, are two central pieces of the exhibit: a panel presenting the exhibit’s purpose and a pamphlet the curators wish visitors to use in order to foster productive conversation within the grand central chamber. The pamphlet contains four pages of questions each relating to the rooms of the exhibit; the visitor is urged to take one and use the book to “spark discussion” about the images and objects surrounding the onlookers. The central room is well constructed for this as it is large, open, contains centrally-located seating, and has numerous cultural pieces along the walls, all conducive to their goal of fostering discussion. Unfortunately, upon visiting the exhibit, it seems that either no one located the pamphlets in the corner of the large room, or there was simply no interest. Creating discussion, giving the exhibit a more living quality, is certainly an interesting idea, albeit a poorly executed one in this circumstance. A roundtable piece of furniture in the center of the otherwise empty floorspace likely would have aided in promoting the discussion.

Wall Images and Objects

            The pieces in the central hub are amongst the exhibit’s most interesting artifacts and examples. Highlights include: Native American references in sports (for example the Cleveland Indians, Redskins), images and cartoons depicting the ‘first’ Thanksgiving (Charlie Brown and the Pilgrims), advertisements for the arms manufacturer Savage Arms, and patriotic/military appropriations of Native iconography and language.[3] No discussion of the racially charged nature of most of these images exists in this room. There is a lot of variation in the central chamber, with some videos, numerous images, and even physical artifacts depicting American cultural appropriation of Native symbols, language, and peoples. This was the room that most fascinated the crowds inside the exhibit, but unfortunately a major issue pervading the entire exhibit reared its head here: a lack of context. The images are given small information panels describing dates, relevant creators, and companies, but nothing discusses the history of U.S. appropriation. Another major misstep in the exhibit’s presentation comes in one of its three secondary rooms: one emphasizing the Battle of Little Bighorn. The tagline for the room is ‘1876: The Indians Win,’ and shows the major weakness of the collection gathered for the exhibit; there is a lack of cohesion between the varying exhibit rooms. While the ‘Indians Win’ area is interesting in the microcosm its sectioned off area provides, when brought into the context of the wider exhibit, it serves little purpose. This room is especially guilty of irrelevance as, unlike the third room on the Trail of Tears, it fails to connect with similar exhibits in the rest of the museum.

            The third room of the exhibit is titled ‘1830: Democracy at a Crossroads’ and contains problematic framing of the history of Native American removal in the context of modern democratic theory and cultural history. This room uses the tragedy of the Trail of Tears to theoretically explore how the U.S. has changed in its treatment of Native Americans, though it fails to fully explain why such a discussion belongs in this exhibit.[4] The first panel of the room questions whether the United States was a “true democracy” in 1830. The same panel provides a sarcastic answer to its own question by stating: ‘of course not.’ While certainly provocative, this initial panel, as well as the remainder of the Trail of Tears section of the exhibit, tells a tale of a progressive, less morally grotesque modern America through retrospective hatred of those involved in the decision making in the 1830s and other such cathartic exercises. The Smithsonian museums, known for their patriotic leanings, tend to historically mishandle tender subjects through an apologetic tone that patronizes victims and alleviates blame from the modern descendants of the perpetrators.[5] The museum itself contained, at the time of review, two other major exhibits either centering around the Trail of Tears or including mention of the event in some major way. Visitors could be heard chatting about the similarities between this presentation and those within the Trail of Tears and Treaty to Treaty exhibits, as well as confusion as to why it seemed to be included into Americans when the exhibit on Treaties downstairs focused so thoroughly on the injustices between the Native Americans and the U.S. Government; repeated presentation seemed heavy-handed. Americans fails to adequately explore the Trail of Tears as a standalone issue and is an odd inclusion into an exhibit focused on the embedded nature of Native American heritage into the broader U.S. culture.

Pocahontas Intro

            The final rooms do refer to ideas presented in the central chamber and opening theses of the exhibit. Though the ‘1607: America Begins’ seems like a superfluous title, the subject of the room is Pocahontas and the creation of the myth surrounding her as well as modern representations and cultural products referencing her. This room was by far the most popular with visitors, with many focusing on the wall frieze imaged on the far side (image at the top of the article) as well as the references to the Pocahontas Disney film. The variety of media in this room is the best of the exhibit, with informational panels, artwork, films/interviews as well as physical artifacts showing the breadth of media related to Pocahontas and her influence on modern North American perceptions of Native Americans and mainstream U.S. culture. Most of the primary points presented in this room, on the frieze and panels especially, refer back to the central room’s ideas: mainly that American culture has clung tightly to the historical figure of Pocahontas and used a mythologized version of her to act out relations with Native Americans and, perhaps, allow for more empathizing with the Native American plight. This room ties in closely with a side room of the exhibit, which houses a small, darker room with a single screen showing depictions of ‘the first thanksgiving,’ while having various interviewees weigh in on American cultural conceptions of Natives and Pilgrims.

            The final room of the exhibit, titled Americans Explained, is designed akin to the Pocahontas room; it houses panels, artwork and video interviews to help present the final points the exhibit hoped to make. This room focuses on the outreach and awareness the exhibit hopes to spark in everyday Americans; that Native Americans exist just as their symbols in our culture do, and that we should embrace and aid them in their endeavors to recover from tragic events in U.S. history such as the Trail of Tears, despite the exhibit doing little to connect these ideas with any sort of context. The main performance of this outreach is through a wall depicting the events discussed in the exhibit with little distinction given to the differing Native Tribes affected: the final panel contains the twitter handle #NDNsEverywhere (Indians Everywhere). This room, along with the Battle for Little Bighorn room, were amongst the least populated of the exhibit.

Outreach Panel

            The Americans exhibit opens with such force that one is amazed that the adjacent rooms, with the notable exception of the Pocahontas section, are so weak in comparison. Little is done to connect most of the images and themes presented in this exhibit to any sort of real context, leaving the visitor interested but unfulfilled should they want more information Despite these shortcomings, and the lack of focus overall, it would be hard to condemn the exhibit entirely; most Americans will find the exposure to images of Native American cultural appropriation juxtaposed besides each other quite stimulating and will at least have them leaving with a newfound sense of just how many symbols and phrases have been lifted for the benefit of American media and advertising, hopefully sparking curiosity enough to further research such things on their own. The exhibit ends up failing in its goals, unfocused and lacking in the presentation of its historical thesis, but certainly is provocative. It is a visual crowd-pleaser hoping to teach as well as entertain, but additional effort should have been focused on the central and Pocahontas rooms rather than unnecessary side tangents into other historical motifs and events.

Bibliography

“About the Museum.” National Museum of the American Indian.

https://americanindian.si.edu/about. Accessed September 22, 2018.

Post, Robert C. Who Owns America’s Past: The Smithsonian and the Problem of History.

Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Walker, William S. “Introduction: The Changing Universal Museum.” In A Living Exhibition:

The Smithsonian and the Transformation of the Universal Museum, 1-10. Amherst, MA:

University of Massachusetts Press, 2013.

[1] Stated on the exhibit brochure and reiterated on introduction panel (see Appendix A).

[2] As stated by an explanatory panel in a corner of the main room (see Appendix A).

[3] For a small collection of the images, see Appendix A.

[4] For more information on the Indian Removal Act and the subsequent Trail of Tears/effects on the Cherokee populations, I suggest Theda Perdue’s The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears (Viking, New York: 2007).

[5] Robert C. Post, Who Owns America’s Past: The Smithsonian and the Problem of History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), 213.

Authorial Intent, Part 1: Literary Criticism, Derrida and the Meaning of Writing

(Article and photograph by Kyle Schrader)

            The disciplines that make up the broad spectrum of the Humanities have long relied on the voices of artists of years passed. Academic scrutiny asks much of artistic products from literature to sculpture to film; each set of analyses hoping to learn something new, or at least complicate previously conceived notions. Fictional literature, much like other historical primary sources, presents an interesting challenge when it comes to analysis; what, as a historian, should one look for in a fictional work? While researching Russian culture in the 19th century, what is one to glean from Crime and Punishment? Is the goal to reconstruct Dosteovsky’s own purpose in writing the novel? Or is it to extrapolate the image of 19th century from a novel of the era? Does the author’s purpose for writing even matter if one sees literature simply as a cultural product, more telling of the times than any sort of underlying scheme?

            Literary criticism underwent a massive change in the 1970s and 1980s. Historical scholars since the early twentieth century tended to focus on critical literary theory only as far as it led to the ideal of “recapturing the exact aims of the creator of a text.”[1] The hope in this methodology lies on a focus on the author as a historical agent; if one could determine the author’s true intent, more would be revealed not only about the author but also the society they were writing in. This approach of literary criticism was basic but had a long-lasting effect on the discipline. Historians as early as Gibbon sought to locate the reason for Tacitus’ own recording of his Annals and Histories, using the angry senator’s words to ensure the Julio-Claudians received poor historical treatment (with Augustus spared the brunt of the abuse, of course).

            What changed to allow for historians to move past an author-focused study of literature? A mixture of major philosophical figures of the late 20th century including Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucalt, and especially Jacques Derrida ensured that the work of historians when it came to literary analysis, amongst other topics, would never be quite so simple again. Questions over the worth of analyzing authorial intent arose as early as the 1940s, but it was these French figures that truly broke the mold and convinced the History discipline to move toward a more deconstructionist literary critical method.[2] The reason for the lateness of the American branch of historical academia making this change is simply based on exposure, as Michael Naas argues. Naas explains that Derrida’s tenure in the United States from the late 1970s to the 1980s allowed for for his own and nearly every other French theorist’s views to be disseminated amongst academia, to the point that academic inquiry in the United States almost universally saw a “heyday of post-structuralism, post-modernism, or, more generally, French theory.”[3]

            With the arrival of these ideas, academia saw the “demise of intent,” and saw instead the rise of textual critique and analysis separated from the author but placed more within the greater cultural context of the work itself.[4] This new model is well-suited to the analysis of older literature, since the problematic case of a living author refuting claims of intent is non-existent, but what of modern literature? Does this methodology hold up when there is an author to refute a scholar’s analysis? Does their intent matter?

            As an example we shall take Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the dystopian novel that has become popular enough as to gain its own show on Netflix. Originally written in 1985, Atwood’s work describes a bleak future where sexism has landed society into the extreme of women become slaves and men their masters. At the end of the novel (spoiler warning), Atwood provides an interesting epilogue entitled “Historical Notes.” This end piece has received significant attention from academia, with multiple different opinions as to its meaning and purpose. Two members of the English academic circle, within five years of the book’s publication, weighed in on the subject with completely opposite views on the section. Dominick M. Grace notes that “Historical Notes” is a haunting reminder that things can always change for good or for ill, and that just because things improve does not mean humanity cannot slide backward.[5] David Ketterer conversely believes that the section is a complete turn on Atwood’s main point and mostly invalidates the dystopian aspect of the novel.[6] Atwood herself has been interviewed numerous times about the meaning of this particular work, and has claimed that its inspiration was from the decline of many 1970s feminist movements in the 1980s; she hoped the book would show what ceasing the push for female equality could result in. To her, the book in its entirety was a warning in the vein of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and that, if anything, the “Historical Notes” section should be seen as a call to arms that the dystopia described has not occurred yet. This would seem counter to Ketterer’s point, but Atwood also concedes and accepts that the book has been seen as many different things and that she accepts that.[7]

            While Atwood seems accepting that her own intent means little to the grand scheme of audience reception and academia, other authors have made strong moves to try and control the narrative surrounding their works. J. K. Rowling, the author famous for the Harry Potter series, has been extremely active on Twitter over the past few years and has done numerous interviews refuting certain readings of her work and characters. Most famous (or, perhaps, infamous) of Rowling’s refutations and statements are the cases for Dumbledore’s sexuality and Hermione’s race, two things never explicitly stated in the book that fans, politicians, artists, and academics alike have tried to present their own views on. Are Rowling’s statements that are contrary to other’s readings of her work valid? If one accepts the older generation’s belief that authorial intent reigns supreme, it completely ignores how the work is received and absorbed into the social consciousness of the culture that consumed it. It is hard to argue against Derrida’s deconstructionists points when it comes to older works, but when the author is involved with the conversations, are their points more valid than a scholar’s or diehard fan’s?

            We will discuss that, and my own personal experience with literary critique and analysis, in Part 2: The Active Fallacy.

Bibliography

Barnard, Ian. “Intent.” In Upsetting Composition Commonplaces, 40-66. Boulder,

Colorado: University Press of Colorado, 2014.

Grace, Dominick M.. “”The Handmaid’s Tale”: “Historical Notes” and Documentary

Subversion.” Science Fiction Studies 25, no. 3 (1998): 481-94.

Henige, David. “In Quest of Error’s Sly Imprimatur: The Concept of “Authorial Intent” in

Modern Textual Criticism.” History in Africa, 14 (1987): 87-112.

Ketterer, David. “Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”: A Contextual Dystopia (“La

Servante écarlate” De Margaret Atwood: Une Dystopie Contextuelle).” Science Fiction

Studies 16, no. 2 (1989): 209-17.

Naas, Michael. “Derrida’s America.” In Derrida From Now On, 96-111. New York:

Fordham University, 2008.

Penguin Books. “Margaret Atwood Interview.” April 2018. Transcribed at:

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2018/margaret-atwood-interview/.

[1] David Henige, “In Quest of Error’s Sly Imprimatur: The Concept of “Authorial Intent” in

Modern Textual Criticism,” History in Africa, 14 (1987): 89.

[2] Ian Barnard, “Intent,” In Upsetting Composition Commonplaces (Boulder, Colorado: University Press of Colorado, 2014), 41.

[3] Michael Naas, “Derrida’s America,” In Derrida From Now On (New York: Fordham University, 2008), 98.

[4] Barnard, “Intent,” 41-42.

[5] Dominick M. Grace, “”The Handmaid’s Tale”: “Historical Notes” and Documentary Subversion,” Science Fiction Studies 25, no. 3 (1998): 481.

[6] David Ketterer, “Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”: A Contextual Dystopia (“La Servante écarlate” De Margaret Atwood: Une Dystopie Contextuelle),” Science Fiction Studies 16, no. 2 (1989): 212.

[7] Penguin Books, “Margaret Atwood Interview,” April 2018, Transcribed at:

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2018/margaret-atwood-interview/.