Back at Home with Butler

The second I arrived back at home and my mom begins to ask me about my courses. I knew it would be relatively easy to explain all of them, all of them except my Octavia Butler course. I wasn’t quite sure where to start with this one. Do I just explain the books that the class has read? Do I try and guide her through all the themes we have discovered in those books? I finally decided on showing her our final exam project and to take it from there. Continue reading “Back at Home with Butler”

Finally Coming to Terms with My Vampire-Fandom in Butler’s Fiction

Funny enough, after reading Octavia Butler’s Lilith’s Brood Trilogy, I became disappointed in myself. My reading of Butler’s “Fledgling” is different from any of the other texts we have read in class.  I really don’t want to say it’s because of the vampires, but I think it is… Vampire culture has been heavily discussed in class and through blog posts. Maybe “Fledgling” didn’t take me on such a ride compared Butler’s other texts because vampire culture has Continue reading “Finally Coming to Terms with My Vampire-Fandom in Butler’s Fiction”

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 Continue reading “Thinking Out Loud: Questions for Clay’s Ark and Genetics”

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 Continue reading “Going Back to the Beginning: Stigmergy in Bloodchild”

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?” Continue reading “A Critique of Lilith’s Parenting”

Reexamining Sexual Hierarchies

In my Inspire paper, I wrote about how Xenogenesis demands that its readers re-evaluate their preconceived frameworks of hegemony in imagining and enacting social change. More specifically, though, I’d like to revisit this subject in the context of sexual power dynamics prevalent throughout the trilogy.

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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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