The Confluence: Octavia E. Butler Conference

Event Date
Mar 07, 2021
8:00 am
5:00 pm
The Confluence: Octavia E. Butler at the Intersection of Cultural Critique and Climate Collapse

 The Octavia E. Butler Literary Society invites you to join us for the third biennial conference where we will feature work honoring Butler, hosted by St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

 Mark your calendars and plan to join us at St. Catherine University March 6–8, 2021 to honor the life and legacy of Octavia E. Butler.

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.

More information coming January 2021. 


Presentation proposals invited

We encourage proposals for both individual scholarly papers and workshops, pedagogical discussions, roundtables, art work, dance performances, and other presentations.

Abstracts of no more than 200 words will be accepted for papers, panels, and presentations or summaries of art and performance pieces, and are due by December 1, 2020. Presenters will be notified by January 3, 2021.

Please send abstracts to

Investigations of Butler’s works might include but are not limited to the following themes:

  • Afrofuturism
  • Antiracist pedagogies
  • Apocalypse and eschatology
  • Climate collapse
  • Community organizing as a result of Butler’s influence
  • Cyborgs and the posthuman
  • Disability studies
  • Ecocriticism Indigenous sovereignty
  • Institutional transformation
  • LGBTQIA+ studies
  • Mapping and cartography
  • Pleasure activism
  • Speculative fiction and science fiction
  • Utopia/dystopia

A message with additional registration information will follow in January 2021.