The Confluence: Octavia E. Butler at the Intersection of Cultural Critique and Climate Collapse
September 11-13, 2020 (St. catherine university)
A confluence is the place where two rivers meet. It is a place of not only great energy but great power and creativity. Located at one of the great confluences, the Twin Cities occupy this place called Bdote – “where two waters come together” – that is sacred to the Dakota people. The Octavia E. Butler Literary Society invites you to join us at this sacred place of power and creativity for the third biennial conference where we will feature work honoring Butler. Our host is St. Catherine University in St. Paul MN.
Octavia E. Butler’s work continues to be a catalyst for scholars, artists, and activists to engage contemporary issues that are shaped by our nation’s legacies of colonialism and capitalism. Offering visions of apocalypse shepherded by diverse characterizations of leadership, much of Butler’s work urges aspirational engagement with the myriad dimensions of our current cultural polarization and the devastating consequences of climate collapse. Her critical representations of the environment, sexuality, race, gender, politics, and many other topics have established her as a revolutionary thinker, and her influence cannot be contained by the traditional categories and boundaries in which knowledge is typically organized. Her work is too vital to be put into any kind of box and, like the rivers, is energized when scholars, artists, organizers, activists, educators and lovers of speculative fiction come together in creative confluence.
Join us at St. Catherine University from September 11-13, 2020 to honor the life and legacy of Octavia E. Butler. We encourage proposals for both individual scholarly papers and workshops, pedagogical discussions, roundtables, art work, dance performances, and other presentations.
Abstracts of no more 200 words will be accepted for papers, panels and presentations or summaries of art and performance pieces and are due by April 1st. Presenters will be notified by May 1st. Please send abstracts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Investigations of Butler’s works might include but are not limited to the following themes:
Apocalypse and eschatology
Community organizing as a result of Butler’s influence
Cyborgs and the Posthuman
Mapping and cartography
Speculative Fiction and Science Fiction