Five sequential meetings will be held. Please mark your calendar and do your best to attend them all!
All discussions will take place on Wednesdays, noon - 1:00 pm. Location will vary by week. Glatfelter Lodge isn't big enough for all of us!
Paperback copies of the book will be distributed to participants at the first meeting on February 7, 2018. The ebook is also available from Musselman Library's collection (unlimited simultaneous checkouts). Note that the ebook is called Earthseed - the Earthseed series contains two novels: Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. We are only reading the first one this semester.
Want a flyer? Here you go. Print and post as much as you like!
Flyer for Spring 2018 #GBCTalks book discussions of Parable of the Sower.
"Octavia Butler is heralded as the first African American female writer of science fiction and fantasy, also termed speculative fiction. Her published works include 12 novels, a novelette, and one collection of stories; only two of her novels (Kindred and Fledgling) were written to stand alone, with all others envisioned as part of a collection of books: the Xenogenesis trilogy, the five-volume Patternist series, and Parable of the Talents and Parable of the Sower. Butler began writing science fiction out of frustration with the genre’s glaring lack of female protagonists and ethnic minorities. Her work is acclaimed for its bold projections of future worlds driven by complex explorations of race, sexuality, spirituality, and violence as foundational in shaping people and building community."
-- from The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction, edited by Brian W. Shaffer, vol. 2: Twentieth-Century American Fiction, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011
For more information on Butler (links from Prof. Sobelle):
Why ‘Black Panther’ Is a Defining Moment for Black America (NYTimes Magazine 2-12-18) - Octavia Butler's contribution to Afrofuturism is mentioned here
5 Books to Read After You've Seen "Black Panther" (Off the Shelf 2-14-18) - more Afrofuturism, including another Butler title
Afrofuturism: Why black science fiction 'can't be ignored' (BBC News 5-7-18)
Stefanie Sobelle is an Associate Professor in Gettysburg's Department of English. She teaches courses in twentieth-century American fiction and poetry. In Spring 2018, she is teaching a new course on Afrofuturism, and the reading list includes Parable of the Sower. At our first meeting on February 7, Stefanie will provide an introduction to the book. She and her students will participate in this discussion series.
The course description for ENG 350 Afrofuturism:
Afrofuturism is an artistic and critical movement concerned with the place of science fiction and technology in black culture. This interdisciplinary course investigates the origins and influences of African/ African American contributions to science fiction in the forms of literature, comic book arts, film, music, performance, and visual culture. Beginning by highlighting the historical roots of Afrofuturism in African American speculative fiction dating back to the nineteenth century, this course then focuses on the different ways African/ African American artists and thinkers have used science fiction to critique contemporary forms of racial difference and imagine alternate futures. Additional topics of discussion will include Afro-pessimism, Afro-optimism, utopia, futurity, blackness, and metaphysics.