Tag: Octavia Butler

Thinking Out Loud: Questions for Clay’s Ark and Genetics

While reading Octavia Butler’s “Clay’s Ark,” I couldn’t help but think of how Butler hints at some type of genetic engineering in her text. My mind was constantly going back in forth between Keira’s cancer, acute myeloblastic leukemia (460), and the epidemic that Eli brought down to Earth (480). It appears that this epidemic heightens the senses of humans and allows the human body to mend itself from most damage it comes across. Keira’s cancer has the opposite effect. Her body is slowly deteriorating and there has been no luck in curing Read more

Empathy: Oankali Do More Than Walk in Your Shoes

This past Thursday I attended a discussion on empathy and literature, led by Dr. Ken Asher. The discussion was terribly interesting, and I could not help but draw some mental connections between the discussion and the content of our course. Cassie happens to discuss empathy in her last post (with a nod to Sami), which makes me feel more confident about the relevance of this post.

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Going Back to the Beginning: Stigmergy in Bloodchild

To steer stigmergy away from Octavia Butler’s Lilith’s Brood trilogy, I attempted to find a connection to stigmergy through Butler’s Bloodchild. As I was hunting for possible connections, I found a helpful hint in Heather Marsh’s article, Governance by User Groups”. Marsh states: “In environmentally sensitive areas such as the Arctic, the few who live in the area must have their rights considered along with the rights of the planet.” What stands out to me here is the term “environmentally sensitive.” From my understanding of Bloodchild, this “extrasolar world” (31) that the Terran and Tlic inhabit are faced with an environmentally sensitive issue. Meaning, for the Preserve to survive with both the Tlic and the Terran at Read more

A Critique of Lilith’s Parenting

What is striking to me is a conversation between Lilith and Jodahs in Butler’s Imago. After reading Linda’s post, I came to the realization that Butler strategically placed an incident where the reader sees Lilith’s own humanity through the parental lens. In the second chapter, “Exile,” it is evident that Jodahs has come to accept himself and his changing body. Contrary to Nikanj’s perception of the situation (accepting Jodahs for how it sees itself), it appears that Lilith does not accept Jodahs’ changing appearances:

“What are you doing?” my human mother asked. “Letting your body do whatever it wants to?” Read more

Gender as a Social Construct and Way of Understanding

This past Thursday, I attended a panel discussion titled “Trans? Fine by Me”. This student-organized event featured a panel of three students and two members of faculty, all of whom are part of the Geneseo community as well as the transgender community. This event helped me to realize and expand my thoughts on something that I have been considering throughout this course, which began as a seed of an idea that Butler’s works planted in my head.

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Compulsion and Consent

I want to write this blog post in response to the question Dr. McCoy asked us to think about last class, as I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways in which the Clay’s Ark enclave might be better or worse than the outside world and the real world around us. I was unable to attend class today, so I’m not sure if this topic was discussed/what was said about it; my apologies if I repeat anything that has already been discussed, but I wanted to explore this topic and perhaps I will bring up something new along the way.

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Biopolitics and the Neoliberal Subject: an introduction

Hello all,

This is my first blog post for my English senior honors thesis: Biopolitics and the Neoliberal Subject. For my project, I explore illness narratives and the construction of the ill-body in contemporary African-American literature, and the critical conversations surrounding these narratives. More specifically, my thesis seeks to answer this critical question: In contemporary African-American literature, how does the construction of illness and the construction of the ill-body destabilize and ultimately counteract the biopolitical agenda of the neoliberal regime? Currently, this question acts as a guiding force for my research; the wording of the question may evolve as I conduct my research, but this critical question keeps me grounded in what I am seeking to discover.

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