Event Recaps | 22 September 2020

The Deep Read | Margaret Atwood Live


Margaret Atwood is often described as a prophet of doom, and for good reason. She is an unsparing observer and predictor of environmental catastrophes, anti-utopias, authoritarian regimes, and biotech run amok.

In other words, the author of the 1985 bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale is not an obvious go-to choice for words of hope during this time of political fracturing, climate change, and a global pandemic.

But Atwood offered some words of cautious encouragement and measured hope this week during her virtual dialogue with alumna and author Kate Schatz (Stevenson ’01, women’s studies and creative writing).”

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The Peggy Downes Baskin Ethics Lecture Series is a lively forum for the discussion and exploration of ethics-related challenges in human endeavors. The Ethics Lecture is made possible by the Peggy Downes Baskin Humanities Endowment for Interdisciplinary Ethics which enables the Humanities Division to promote a dialogue about ethics and ethics related challenges in an interdisciplinary setting. The endowment was established in honor of Peggy Downes Baskin’s longtime interest in ethical issues across the academic spectrum.

Futures and The Deep Read: This event was the culmination of a year-long program called the Deep Read. Throughout 2019-2020, we had over 1,000 people – students, staff, faculty, community members on campus and around the world – reading together and discussing Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments with insights from UC Santa Cruz professors in Literature, Feminist Studies, Engineering, and Anthropology and 3,000 people registered for our event on September 22nd. We’re continuing the Deep Read this year with Tommy Orange, author of There There, and you’re all invited to join.

During 2019-2020, THI’s Expanding Humanities Impact and Publics project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, was exploring the theme of Futures.

This event was originally scheduled to take place in person at the Quarry Amphitheatre on April 5, 2020 as a part of UCSC’s Alumni Weekend. However, due to the global pandemic starting in March, 2020, this event was postponed and finally rescheduled as a virtual event that took place on September 22, 2020.

Read more about the Deep Read launch.

Read UCSC’s exclusive interview with Margaret Atwood.

More about the event and Margaret Atwood: