Post-Apocalyptic Comp(h)osting, With Ayana Jamieson
This session explores the speculations and theorizing of Octavia E. Butler and her histouturist ways of “composting” the rubble left behind by misogynoir, patriarchy, colonialism, and ecocide. Butler understood the underlying archetypes of foundational stories as well as new guises, uses, and ways of experiencing new paradigms. We will use the framework of the archetype of Change, the organizing pattern which undergirds all her work. Butler understood that the darkness, decay, and even death were the fertilizer for sustaining new life. Change is not linear, one-sided, or wholly positive. It is sometimes brought about by rupture, resistance, chaos, and rebirth. We will explore examples of Butler’s perceived prescience couched in in-depth research via her published and unpublished works. Butler laid the groundwork for imaging our shared futures with lessons to contemplate our interdependence.
Ayana Jamieson #
Ayana Jamieson, PhD is an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at Cal Poly Pomona, a mythologist, and depth psychologist. She is the founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, a global community founded in 2011, committed to highlighting Octavia Butler’s life and work while creating new works inspired by Butler’s legacy. Ayana’s essay, “Far Beyond the Stars” appears in the Black Futures anthology, 51 Feminist Thinkers, Uneven Futures: Strategies for Community Survival from Speculative Fiction, Public Books and elsewhere. She is also a contributor to Salome Institute for Jungian Studies, and most recently a featured speaker at the New York Times “A New Climate” on climate change, and elsewhere.
Sophie Strand #
Sophie is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, & ecology. But it would probably be more authentic to call her a neo-troubadour animist with a propensity to spin yarns that inevitably turn into love stories. Her first book of essays The Flowering Wand: Lunar Kings, Lichenized Lovers, Transpecies Magicians, and Rhizomatic Harpists Heal the Masculine is forthcoming in 2022. She is currently researching a mythopoetic exploration of ecology and queerness in the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde.