@ASoulAFire @JaniceOCG @Y_Strahovski @MargaretAtwood @AtwoodSociety Dr. #CynthiaAnnBaron joins Thurs., 1/20/22, 8 pm ET, “If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny,” on Cults, Cultures and Religions Theme in @HandmaidsOnHulu. You’re invited! #DemocracyMatters
TruthWorks Network is pleased to announce Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University, will participate as an expert guest panelist in the January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET episode of “If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny.”
This evening’s focus is the Cults, Cultures and Religions theme found in The Handmaid’s Tale. Dr. Baron’s expertise in film studies will be of particular benefit to viewers who seek a more nuanced perspective on the subtle references and imagery of religiosity found in the book and television series.
For example, in the early episodes of the Hulu TV show, featuring an ensemble cast, led by Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski, newly indoctrinated handmaids pass by a wall on which men have been hanged for crimes such as being gay, working in an abortion clinic, and being a Catholic priest. Also, while they are walking, they see St. Paul Catholic Church, their local church, being destroyed by the new régime, and Ofglen tells Offred that the régime bulldozed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan to try to “erase” the fact that it ever existed.
- What historical and real-life references are we seeing in scenes like these?
- What subliminal messages do viewers receive about the permanence or transience of religion, the power of extremist ideas on the masses, or necessity of comporting one’s self to powerful social actors willing to violently impose their will on others?
- Are we more likely to learn to “go along to get along” or the need to quash cult ideas in their seminal formation, from watching this show?
- Are shows like The Handmaid’s Tale more harmful or helpful to our collective mental health and capacity to nurture a world where freedom reigns?
Are shows like The Handmaid’s Tale more harmful or helpful to our collective mental health and capacity to nurture a world where freedom reigns?
Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, where she researches and teaches; authors scholarly books and articles on subjects related to the discipline; and provides keynote speeches and other presentations at conferences both domestically and internationally. Her research and teaching interests include American Independent Cinema; Screenwriting; Taste Formation; Censorship; Food Studies; Women’s Cinema; and Actor Training, Stardom, and Screen Performance, among other subjects. She has taught courses on intersections between the film-media industry, national security, and cultural moments such as the Cold War and the Vietnam era. Some other courses Dr. Baron teaches are American Independent Cinema; Hollywood, Censorship, and American Culture; and Performance and Theatre in the Americas.
Most recently, she published Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (with Yannis Tzioumakis), (2020), which illustrates the many ways that actors contribute to American independent cinema and analyzes industrial developments; Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre (2016), which, in part, highlights women’s key contributions to American film and theatre; and Denzel Washington (2015) where Baron traces the star’s persona and impact on mainstream society. Current book projects include: Recasting (White) Genres: Race, Ethnicity, and Performance in Contemporary Film and Television; Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness, with co-editor Charlene Regester; and Imprisonment: Representation in Global Film and Media, with co-editor Karen Ritzenhoff. She is co-chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Caucus on Class and has participated in events such as the Rethinking Realist Acting Conference in New York, and the Acting in Film Conference in Potsdam. — If America Fails: The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production
MARK YOUR CALENDAR | Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron Joins the 1/20/22, 8 pm ET Episode of “If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny,” Focusing on the Cults, Cultures and Religions Theme in The Handmaid’s Tale | If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny | TruthWorks Network | 12/22/2021