webinars

Catch the recordings of our live webinars engaging creative thought-leaders about the insights of Octavia Butler and how we live into our new normal with novelty and hope.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us XIX: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Alexis Pauline Gumbs

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About Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Sis Docta Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Troublemaker and Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all sentient beings. Her work in this lifetime is to facilitate infinite, unstoppable ancestral love in practice. Alexis is co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines and author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity, M Archive: After the End of the World, Dub: Finding Ceremony and numerous articles and essays. Alexis’s work has inspired artists across form to create dance works, installation work, paintings, processionals, divination practices, operas, quilts and more.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us XVIII: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Nicole Beharie

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About Nicole Beharie

Nicole Beharie is best known for her starring roles in films such as the independent drama Miss Juneteenth and the drama American Violet, the psychological drama Shame, the biographical sports drama 42. From 2013 to 2016, she starred in the supernatural drama series Sleepy Hollow. And she’s an Octavia fan too! She’ll be talking about her love for Octavia’s work and her inspiration for her acting career.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us XVII: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Nalo Hopkinson

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About Nalo Hopkinson

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Nalo Hopkinson is an internationally acclaimed science fiction author whose writing highlights themes of Afro-Caribbean culture and Caribbean folklore and addresses issues of race, class, feminism, and sexuality. After several years teaching Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, Hopkinson joins the faculty at the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver this fall.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us XVI: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Nettrice R. Gaskins

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About Nettrice R. Gaskins

Dr. Nettrice R. Gaskins is an African American digital artist, academic, cultural critic, and advocate of STEAM fields. In her work, she explores “techno-vernacular creativity” and Afrofuturism.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us XV: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Morowa Yejide

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About Morowa Yejide

Morowa Yejidé, a native of Washington, DC, is the author of the critically acclaimed novelTime of the Locust, which was a 2012 finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize, long-listed-for the 2015 PEN/Bingham Prize, and a 2015 NAACPImage Award nominee.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us XIV: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Tarshia Stanley

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About Tarshia Stanley

Tarshia Stanley is the dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences at St. Catherine University. She is focused on developing programs and courses that engage the liberal arts learning process and embrace social justice across the University.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us XIII: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Iya Funlayo E. Wood

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About Iya Funlayo E. Wood

Funlayo E. Wood-Menzies, Ph.D. affectionately known as “your favorite scholar-priestess”, is a scholar-practitioner of AfricanaReligions, specializing in the theIfa-Orisatradition as practiced in Nigeria and among African Americans in the US. She brings love and light to the Community through herIfa-Orisatemple, IleAseIre, which hosts weekly worship, regular classes, and social activities designed to help people of African descent learn, grow, and connect with spirit.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us XII: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Sheree Renée Thomas

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About Sheree Renée Thomas

Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and editor. Her work is inspired by myth and folklore, natural science, and Mississippi Delta conjure. Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an AncientFutureis her first all-prose collection. She is also the author of two multigene/hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, longlisted for the 2016 Otherwise Award and honored with publishers WeeklyStarred Review and Shotgun Lullabies. She edited the World Fantasy-winning groundbreaking black speculative fiction anthologies, DarkMatter(2000 and 2004), and is the first to introduce W.E.B. DuBois’sscience fiction short stories.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us XI: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Lynell George

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About Lynell George

Lynell George is a journalist and essayist. She is the author of three books of nonfiction—No Crystal Stair: African Americans in the City of AngelsandAfter/Image Los Angeles Outside the Frame, and, her latest, A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia. Butler.

A former staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly, she covered social issues, human behavior, visual arts, music, and literature. She taught journalism at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, in 2013 was named a USC Annenberg/Getty ArtsJournalism Fellow, and in 2017 received the Huntington Library’s AlanJutziFellowship for her studies of California writer Octavia E. Butler

Octavia Tried To Tell Us X: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Linda D. Addison

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About Linda D. Addison

Linda D. Addison is the first African-American recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award® and has received four awards for collections in the Poetry category. She was also part of two books that were finalists for the HWA Bram Stoker Award.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us IX: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Ytasha Womack

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About Ytasha Womack

YtashaL. Womack is an award-winning author, filmmaker, independent scholar, and dance therapist. She is a leading expert on Afrofuturism and lectures on the imagination and its applications across the world. Ytasha was honored amongDesignHub’s 40 Under 40 designers for social good and innovation in 2017andlisted as a filmmaker to Watchin The Chicago Tribune. Her book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture(Chicago Review Press) is the leading primer on the subject and taught in colleges and universities.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us VIII: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Merrilee Heifetz

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About Merrilee Heifetz

Merrilee Heifetz represents authors of books for adults and children, including several #1 New York Times bestsellers and recipients of major awards and honors. She represented MacArthur Grant recipient Octavia E. Butler for the last18 years of her life, and since 2006, has been the LiteraryExecutor of the Butler Estate, for which she oversees licensing film and TV rights, translations, stage rights, permissions, and advises on scholarships and charities benefitting writers of color. Her Children’s Book authors have won, among them, three Newbery Medals, and she would love to find more quality storytellers of diverse backgrounds..

Octavia Tried To Tell Us VII: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Nisi Shawl

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About Nisi Shawl

A friend of Octavia’s during her final years, Nisi Shawl is a founder of the Carl Brandon Society and serves on Clarion West’s Board of Directors.Shawl’s collection Filter House co-won the 2009 Tiptree/Otherwise Award; they’re also the recipient of two Locus Awards and the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award. Shawl edited Blood children: Stories by the Octavia E. ButlerScholars.They co-edited Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler, and they’re also a co-editor of the forthcoming first volume Library of America’s Octavia Butler books

Octavia Tried To Tell Us VI: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guests: Farah Jasmine Griffin & Moya Bailey

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About Farah Jasmine Griffin

Farah Jasmine Griffin is the inaugural Chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, and the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is the author or co-author of several books including: Who Set YouFlowin?: The African American Migration Narrative; If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday; and HarlemNocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II.

About Moya Bailey

Moya Bailey is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern University. Bailey’s work focuses on marginalized groups’ use of digital media to promote social justice as acts of self-affirmation and health promotion. She is interested in how race, gender, and sexuality are represented in media and medicine. She will spend this upcoming academic year at MIT as an Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar in the program of Women’s and Gender Studies. Her co-authored book, #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice was just released in 2020

Octavia Tried To Tell Us V: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Adrienne Maree Brown

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About Adrienne Maree Brown

Adrienne Maree Brown is a writer. She attended the ClarionSci Fi Writers Workshop and the Hedgebrook Writers Residency in 2015, and Voices of Our Nation in 2014 as part of the inaugural Speculative Fiction Workshop. She was a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow and a 2013 and 2015 Knights Arts Challenge winner, writing and generating science fiction in and about Detroit. She was the Ursula LeGuin Feminist Sci-Fi Fellow, and a Sundance/Time Warner 2016 Artist Grant Recipient.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us IV: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Tananarive Due & Monica Coleman

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Tananarive Due

monica coleman

Octavia Tried To Tell Us III: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Steven Barnes, John I. Jennings & Damian Duffy

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About Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times Bestselling writer, author of over thirty novels, and writer for television’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE,  OUTER LIMITS, STARGATE, and ANDROMEDA. He lectures extensively on creativity and personal development. Husband and partner of Tananarive Due, they live and work together in Southern California.

About John I. Jennings & Damian Duffy

John Jennings is a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award-winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of the Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art. Jennings is also a 2016 Nasir Jones Hip Hop Studies Fellow with the Hutchins Center at Harvard University.

Damian Duffy is a cartoonist, scholar, writer, curator, lecturer, teacher, and a Glyph Comics, Eisner Comics, and Bram Stoker Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novelist. He holds an MS and Ph.D. in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is on faculty, teaching courses on computers & culture, and social media & global change.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us II: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Special Guest: Toshi Reagon & Ayana A. H. Jamieson

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About Toshi Reagon

Toshi Reagon(Librettist, Composer, Music Director) is a talented and versatile singer, composer, musician, curator, and producer with a profound ear for sonic Americana–from folk to funk, from blues to rock. Her expansive career has landed her at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House, and Madison Square Garden. Toshi was the recipient of an NYFA award for Music Composition, co-composed music for two Peabody award-winning films, and received TheBlack Lily Music and Film Festival Award for Outstanding Performance.

About Ayana A. H. Jamieson

Ayana A. H. Jamieson is the founder and creative directorof Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, a global community inspired by and committed to uplifting and highlighting Butler’s life, new works, practices, and ways of being in the world inspired by Butler’s legacy. She teaches in the Department of Ethnic and Women’s Studies at California State University Polytechnic, Pomona.

Octavia Tried To Tell Us: Parable for Today's Pandemic

with Tananarive Due & Monica Coleman

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Tananarive Due

monica coleman