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Xenogenesis: Octavia Butler’s Dawn. A Presentation By: Jay M. Gipson-King Gender, Authority, and the Politics of Representation in Science & Art July 29, 2004 Edited by Dr. Kay Picart. Class Goals. To understand some basic background materials about Octavia Butler and Dawn .

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xenogenesis octavia butler s dawn

Xenogenesis:Octavia Butler’s Dawn

A Presentation By:

Jay M. Gipson-King

Gender, Authority, and the Politics of

Representation in Science & Art

July 29, 2004

Edited by Dr. Kay Picart

class goals
Class Goals
  • To understand some basic background materials about Octavia Butler and Dawn.
  • To engage in discussion about the various themes and topics of the book, but especially race, gender, and technology.
  • To apply various concepts we have learned from class to the novel.
  • To come away with a greater understanding of Butler’s work.
questions questions
Questions, Questions
  • What does Lilith want? What is her struggle? Does Lilith loose her humanity in the end or retain it?
  • Is it better to be human and die, or become something alien and live? Is hybridity, after all, a viable solution?
  • What is Butler’s commentary on human nature?
  • What is Butler’s overall message, or point? Does she have one? Can you tell from this novel alone?
butler s works
Butler’s Works
  • Patternmaster, 1976 (Patternist)
  • Mind of My Mind, 1977 (Patternist)
  • Survivor, 1978, (Patternist)
  • Kindred, 1979
  • Wild Seed, 1980, (Patternist)
  • Speech Sounds, 1983
  • Clay's Ark, 1984, (Patternist)
  • Bloodchild, 1984, short stories
  • Dawn, 1987 (Xenogenesis)
  • Adulthood Rites, 1988 (Xenogenesis)
  • Imago, 1989 (Xenogenesis)
  • The Evening and the Morning and the Night 1991
  • Parable of the Sower, 1993
butler resources
Butler Resources
  • From: Feminist Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Utopia <http://www.feministsf.org/femsf/authors/butler.html>
  • Allison, Dorothy. “The Future of Female: Octavia Butler’s Mother Lode.” In Reading Black, Reading Feminist: A Critical Anthology, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 471-78. New York: Meridian, 1990.
  • Foster, Frances S. “Octavia Butler’s Black Female Future Vision.” Extrapolation 23 (1982): pages 37-49.
  • Friend, Beverly. “Time Travel as a Feminist Didactic in Works by Phyllis Eisenstein, Marlys Millhiser, and Octavia butler.” Extrapolation Volume 23, Number 1 (Spring 1982): pages 50-55.
  • Gale Publishing. Octavia Butler’s “Kindred”: A Study Guide from Gale’s “Novels for Students.”; ISBN B00006G3KN. PDF format. ---. Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”: A Study Guide from Gale’s “Short Stories for Students.”; ISBN B00006G3R6. PDF format.
  • Govan, Sandra Y. Notable Black American Women. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1992.
  • Johnson, Rebecca O. “African American Feminist Science Fiction.” Sojourner v. 19, n. 6 (February 1994), pages 12-14. (includes interview with Octavia Butler)
  • Lesniak, James G. Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series (v. 38). Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1993.
butler resources6
Butler Resources
  • Levy, Michael. “Green SF and Eco Feminism.” Originally published in IAFA Newsletter, Spring 1989 issues. Reprinted in Robert Collins and Robert Latham, editors, Science Fiction and Fantasy book Review Annual, 1989 Edition (Westport, CN: Meckler, 1990). “Review article of recent work by Octavia Butler, Nancy Kress, Pamela Sargent, and Sheri S. Tepper.”
  • Locher, Frances Carol. Contemporary Authors. (v. 73-76). Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1978.
  • McTyre, Robert E. “Octavia Butler: Black America’s first lady of science fiction.” Michigan Chronicle, April 26, 1994, pp. PG.
  • Raffel, Burton. “Genre to the Rear, Race and Gender to the Fore: The Novels of Octavia E. Butler.” Literary Review, v.38, April 1, 1995, p. 454.
  • Salvaggio, Ruth. “Octavia Butler and the Black Science Fiction Heroine.” Black American Literature Forum. Volume 18, Number 2 (1984): pages 78-81.
  • ---, M. Barr, and R. Law. Suzy McKee Charnas: Octavia Butler: Joan D. Vinge. Mercer Island, Washington: Starmont, 1986. [Starmont Reader’s Guide, No. 23.]
  • Stevenson, Rosemary. Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Pub., 1993, pp. 208-210.
  • Zaki, Hoda. “Utopia, Dystopia, and Ideology in the Science Fiction of Octavia Butler.” Science Fiction Studies Volume 17, Part 2 (1990): pages 239-251.
works consulted
Works Consulted
  • Butler, Octavia. Dawn. New York: Warner, 1987.
  • - - - . Adulthood Rites. New York: Warner, 1988
  • - - - . Imago. New York: Warner, 1989.
  • Gaster, Snally [pseudonym]. “Xenogenesis patterns of Octavia Butler.” Sally Gaster’s African American Library. 1 Sept 1998. Viewed 27 July 2004. <http://www.math.buffalo.edu/ ~sww/butler/butler_octavia0.html>
  • Haraway, Donna J. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge, 1991.
  • Humm, Alan. Lillith. 17 Feb 2001. School of Arts & Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. 27 July 2004. <http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Topics/ Lilith/lilith.html>
  • Graves, Robert. Hebrew Myths.New York:  Doubleday, 1964. <http://www.webcom.com/~gnosis/lillith.html>
  • Quilter, Laura. “An Octavia Butler Bibliography.” Feminist Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Utopia. 26 July 2003. Viewed 27 July 2004. <http://www.feministsf.org/femsf/authors/butler.html>
  • Young, Sela. Octavia Estelle Butler: An Unofficial Web Page. 7 Jan 2002. Viewed 27 July 2004. <http://www.geocities.com/sela_towanda/index.html>