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The Handmaid’s Tale

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

Hulu has adapted The Handmaid’s Tale, the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, into a 10 episode saga of life in the dystopia of Gilead. Gilead is a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States, ruled by a twisted Protestant fundamentalism in its ‘return to traditional values’. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (played to much acclaim by Elisabeth Moss) is forced into sexual servitude as part of a caste of women called Handmaids. In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between the men who rule with iron fists, the Commanders, as well as the deeply divided casts of women wealthy but bored Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids. Her goal is to survive, and one day find the daughter that was taken from her.

Host Jonathan Schwartz is joined by three fierce women of USC to discuss the series’ timeliness, its narrative of motherhood, the fear of religious fundamentalism, and the absence of a discussion on race.

Featuring host Jonathan Schwartz and guests Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, Melinda C. Finberg, and Tara McPherson.

Let us know what you think of the film and our conversation at Facebook or Twitter.


To listen to the Price Projection Room discussion of The Kingdom click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or download and subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

What to read/watch next …

The Handmaid’s Tale (novel, film)
1984 (novel, film)
The Children of Men (novel, film)
Parable of the Sower
Orphan Black
Battlestar Galactica
Never Let Me Go (novel, film)
Left Hand of Darkness
It Could Happen Here (The Atlantic)



This podcast is sponsored by Price Video Services and USC Bedrosian Center,
and continues our ongoing efforts to bring policy and its impact into the public discourse.

Special thanks to Dean Jack Knott, USC Price; Dean David Bridel, USC School of Dramatic Arts; and Dean Elizabeth Daley, USC Cinematic Arts for their support of this interdisciplinary conversation.

This podcast was produced by Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz, recorded and mixed by Corey Hedden.

Bedrosian Center