Conference - Octavia E. Butler Studies: Convergence of an Expanding Field

When: Friday, June 23, 2017 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM


Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Inspired by the award-winning speculative fiction author Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006), leading experts in the field will explore the expansive ways Butler’s writing, research, and life foster deeper understanding of the past, present, and possible futures. $25. Register online. Rothenberg Hall


Conference Schedule



9:00 a.m. - Registration & Coffee


10:00 a.m. - Welcome: Steve Hindle (The Huntington)

The Octavia E. Butler Papers at The Huntington

Sue Hodson (The Huntington)


Remarks: Ayana Jamieson (Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network and SUNY, Empire State College)

“Mapping Desire: Octavia E. Butler Studies as Palimpsest and Praxis”


Session 1: Fictive Kindred / Seeding the Pattern

Facilitators: Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey


Sami Schalk (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

“Experience, Research, and Writing: Octavia E. Butler as Author of Disability Literature”


Jenny Terry (Durham University)

“Time Bombs, Time Lapse, and Time Capsules in the Fiction of Octavia Butler and the Art of Ellen Gallagher”


Aimee Bahng (Pomona College)

“Plasmodial Improprieties: Octavia E. Butler, Slime Molds, and Imagining a Femi-Queer Commons”


12:00 p.m. - Lunch and time to view exhibit in Library West Hall (led by Natalie Russell, Assistant Curator of Literary Collections at The Huntington)


1:30 p.m. - Session 2: Beyond Octavia E. Butler’s Parables

Facilitators: Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey


Cassandra L. Jones (University of South Carolina Upstate)

“Memory, Resistance, and Liberation: Anyanwu as Lieu de Mémoire in Octavia E. Butler’s Patternist Series"


Gerry Canavan (Marquette University)

“Parables of the Trickster”


Shelley Streeby (University of California, San Diego)

“Climate Refugees in the Greenhouse World: Archiving Global Warming/Imagining the Future of Climate Change with Octavia E. Butler”


3:15 p.m. - Break


3:30 p.m. - Roundtable Communal Convergence / Question and Answer Session

Facilitators: Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey


Sami Schalk, Jenny Terry, Aimee Bahng, Cassandra L. Jones, Gerry Canavan, Shelley Streeby


4:30 p.m. - Closing Remarks

Moya Bailey and Ayana Jamieson

“Reflecting on the Futures of the Field”

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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