February Update: Honors Colloquium Recap

So I presented at the colloquium yesterday, and overall I think it went pretty well! I went first, but it was a friendly audience and my nerves quickly dissipated. Being forced to explain what I am researching and what I aim to accomplish in only 15 minutes was tough but ultimately really helpful. It helped me concentrate on what’s really important in my thesis and how I want to think and talk about it. I’ve been able to realize my thesis is essentially split into four parts: Atwood’s own influence/thoughts on the message of the novel, the choice of dystopian genre and how that impacts the message, the message about the power and potential of women’s solidarity as presented in the novel (explored through individual female relationships), and how the Hulu series changes that message. All four parts have an underlying element of backlash and how that influences the message running through them. I guess that could count as the fifth element, but it’s a constant presence so let’s just say it contributes to each other element.

Now that I’ve been figuring stuff out about my work, it was great to see others in the same boat. I presented at the same time as two other English honors candidates, Emma and Elijah, and it was awesome to see their work and so reassuring to know that their projects also have evolved a lot (and in some ways, shrunken like mine) over the course of the year. It’s sometimes frustrating to work so often and so hard on a project that you are really the only one accountable for, but knowing you aren’t alone in the research struggle is great. I feel inspired and refreshed going into writing the second half of my thesis in the coming weeks!