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Gerry Canavan on Octavia E. Butler

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 16, 2017. 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
CCSRE Conference Room (Building 360)
Interdisciplinary Working Group in Critical Theory
Meeting Description: 

In this meeting, Prof. Gerry Canavan will present material from his most recent book, Octavia E. Butler. Please contact for the pre-circulated reading.

Gerry Canavan is Assistant Professor of English at Marquette University. He is the author of Octavia E. Butler (UI Press 2016) and the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction, and Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction

Gerry Canavan offers a critical and holistic consideration of Butler's career. Drawing on Butler's personal papers, Canavan tracks the false starts, abandoned drafts, tireless rewrites, and real-life obstacles that fed Butler's frustrations and launched her triumphs. Canavan departs from other studies to approach Butler first and foremost as a science fiction writer working within, responding to, and reacting against the genre's particular canon. The result is an illuminating study of how an essential SF figure shaped themes, unconventional ideas, and an unflagging creative urge into brilliant works of fiction.

Respondent Ben Allen is a PhD Candidate in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford.

From the Back Cover:
"I began writing about power because I had so little," Octavia E. Butler once said. Butler's life as an African American woman--an alien in American society and among science fiction writers--informed the powerful works that earned her an ardent readership and acclaim both inside and outside science fiction.