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event • Lectures

Revisiting Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower in 2024

  • Tuesday, January 30, 2024
    4 PM–5 PM ET
  • Online on Zoom
Image of Parable of the Sower book cover
Cover of Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

This program is the first in a two-part series of webinars, cosponsored by Harvard Radcliffe Institute and the Monroe C. Gutman Library at Harvard Graduate School of Education, focused on issues of climate change and climate justice as addressed through young adult literature.

In this series, Radcliffe is inviting leading thinkers, writers, and educators to participate in conversations about how authors and readers of young adult literature engage with climate change, leveraging the power of storytelling as a way to learn about, cope with, and address this extraordinary challenge.

Literature can move people of all generations, including students and educators, as well as scientists, policy makers, journalists, and the public. Parable of the Sower, anticipating global climate disasters, was first published in 1993 but takes place beginning in 2024. This and other seminal works by Octavia Butler have reached many thousands of young readers, engaging them in complex climate issues through fiction while demonstrating the power that arts and literature can have on our communities.

The event will also include audience Q and A.

Harvard Radcliffe Institute gratefully acknowledges the Ethel and David Jackson Fund for the Future Climate, which is supporting this event.

To access a teaching guide with resources and activities for educators and learners who would like to explore climate justice through the works of Octavia Butler, please visit Harvard Radcliffe Institute is grateful to Alex R. Hodges, librarian and director of the Monroe C. Gutman Library at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, for developing the guide.


Ayana A. H. Jamieson, assistant professor, Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department, College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network

Shelley Streeby, professor of literature and ethnic studies, University of California, San Diego


Sarah Dimick, assistant professor of English, Harvard University

Program introduction by Cory Beizer, Harvard College student

Event Video

Play video of discussion, Revisiting Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower in 2024

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