Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
Octavia Butler authored many science fiction novels and short stories, almost all of which have been associated with race and/or slavery. I argue that two of her works, Dawn and “Bloodchild,” are not specifically about race and can be approached from a posthuman perspective. I discuss the place of black literature in the Western Literary tradition, and I highlight the literary reception of Butler’s work. Since her novels and short stories have been compared to slavery, which I argue against, I point out the disparity between the lives of the characters in Butler’s texts and historical accounts of the slave experiences.
In this paper, I rely on the definition of Philosophical Posthumanism, as explained by Francesca Ferrando. Furthermore, I utilize this component of posthumanism from which to approach both texts, since the theory is inclusive of post-anthropocentrism and post-dualism, both of which are relevant to my critique of the humanistic tradition of Othering and setting strict, dualistic binaries to which humans conform.
Fields, Nicole, "Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn and “Bloodchild” : From Human to Posthuman" (2021). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 680.