Hybrid Powers: the Recombinant Fiction of Octavia Butler

A roundtable conversation about fiction, race, science and art.

Our conversation is in part inspired by The Rose Museum's exhibition of Steve Miller's recent work "Spiralling Inwards", which, like much of Butler's work, engages seriously and playfully with the imaginative possibilities of molecular biology.

We will give particular attention to Butler's novel "Dawn", the first of her Xenogenisis triology (also known as "Lilith's Brood).

Monday, November 19, 2007
3:40-5:00 p.m.
The Rose Art Museum

We begin with a jazz performance by Bob Nieske in memory of Octavia Butler (1947-2006) and a reading from Butler's work by Cathy Draine.


  • Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman (English and American Literature) "Approaching Dawn: Octavia Butler and the Recovery of Black Pasts and Futures"
  • Mary Baine Campbell (English and American Literature) "Utopian Eugenics"
  • Mark Auslander (Anthropology/Cultural Production) "DNA, Divination, and the Afro-Futurist Pilgrimage"

Co-conveners: Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman, Mary Baine Campbell and Mark Auslander

Co-sponsored by the Cultural Production program, the program in Women and Gender Studies, and The Rose Art Museum

Part of our Fall 2007 series, Mirrors of Science at the Rose Art Museum