MLA Proseminar: The Science Fiction of Octavia E. Butler
This course covers key novels, short stories, and essays by the great African American science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler, with a focus on her experiments with genre and gender-bending shape-shifters. Across texts that span her entire career, from the 1960s to 2006, Butler pursued the themes of time travel, slavery, biotechnology, ecological catastrophe, and urban survival. Novels will include selections from her Patternist, Xenogenesis, and Parable series, as well as the neo-slave narrative Kindred and her vampire novel Fledgling. Texts will be situated within the scholarly fields of Afrofuturism, Black speculative fiction, Black feminisms, animal studies, and climate fiction.