Worldmaking in the dark with Octavia E. Butler

This session explores the speculations and theorizing of Octavia E. Butler and her histouturist ways of "composting" the rubble left behind by misogynoir, patriarchy, colonialism, and ecocide. Butler understood the underlying archetypes of foundational stories as well as new guises, uses, and ways of experiencing new paradigms. We will use the framework of the archetype of Change, the organizing pattern which undergirds all her work. Butler understood that the darkness, decay, and even death were the fertilizer for sustaining new life. Change is not linear, one-sided, or wholly positive. It is sometimes brought about by rupture, resistance, chaos, and rebirth. We will explore examples of Butler's perceived prescience couched in in-depth research via her published and unpublished works. Butler laid the groundwork for imaging our shared futures with lessons to contemplate our interdependence.


Sophie Strand

Sophie is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, & ecology.

Learn more
Ayana Jamieson

Ayana Jamieson, PhD is an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at Cal Poly Pomona, a mythologist, and depth psychologist. She is the founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, a global community founded in 2011, committed to highlighting Octavia Butler’s life and work while creating new works inspired by Butler’s legacy.

Learn more