Parable of the Sower Integrated Learning Series

Join the St. Kate's community — alumni, students, faculty, staff and neighbors — as we read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and gather at thematically interwoven campus events to learn from, discuss, and celebrate the book's themes.

About the Book

In a world ravaged by environmental and economic crisis, Parable of the Sower is the story of Lauren Olamina, a young minister’s daughter who loses her family and is forced out of her gated community into the dystopian landscape of the future. Through her struggle for survival, she cultivates a new strength in herself and a new religion for humankind.


Join us to Celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 at
The Bonnie Jean and Joan Kelly Distinguished Scholar Lecture
March 8 | 7 p.m.

Toshi Reagon is a singer, composer, musician and producer in the folk, funk, blues and rock scene. She will deliver the keynote address "I Have Seen The Good Worlds: Notes on Octavia E. Butler's Parable of Sower and the Art of Prediction as Activation" at this year’s Bonnie Jean and Joan Kelly Lecture.

Order your free tickets online.

Online Learning Presentation on Parable of the Sower
March 12 | 12 p.m.

A free, one-hour program with 30–40 minutes of presentation by Tarshia Stanley, PhD, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, followed by a period of questions and answers. Because the presentation is online, you can participate wherever you happen to be! Register online today.

Book Discussion
Practicing Community: Octavia E. Butler's Continuing Legacy
April 13 | 3–5 p.m.
Jeanne d’Arc Auditorium

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow. ASL Interpretation provided.

This community discussion of Butler's novel Parable of the Sower, guided by St. Kate's student leaders, welcomes St. Catherine's family and friends into a conversation about about empathy and adaptability as tools for community building. Tarshia Stanley, PhD, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences and founding president of the Octavia E. Butler Society will moderate.

Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version
April 26 | 7:30 p.m.
The O’Shaughnessy

In addition to leading the Kelly lecture, Toshi Reagon will direct a theatrical performance of Parable of the Sower this spring. Join us for an operatic retelling of this dramatic and emotionally stirring story.

Order your tickets online.

About Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler was an influential African American science fiction writer.

The Washington Post has called her “one of the finest voices in fiction, period. A master storyteller who casts an unflinching eye on racism, sexism, poverty, and ignorance and lets the reader see the terror and the beauty of human nature.”

Often referred to as the “grand dame of science fiction,” Butler was born in Pasadena, California. She received an Associate of Arts degree in 1968 from Pasadena Community College, and attended California State University in Los Angeles and the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.