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A new fellowship will fund a year-long study of Octavia Butler’s work.

Aaron Robertson

August 20, 2020, 2:59pm

The Huntington Library, part of a beautiful complex with an art museum and botanical garden in San Marino, California, turns 100 this year and they’ve found a great way to celebrate. The library announced a one-year fellowship that will fund the study of Pasadena native Octavia Butler’s work.

The only catch is, well, you need to have a doctoral degree to be eligible for the fellowship. Let’s humor ourselves anyways.

Butler, best-known for her novel Kindred (1979) and the two books in her Parable series, has in recent years been the subject of a resurgence of interest. That might be in no small part thanks to a 2015 anthology edited by adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, which ushered Butler’s work into the age of Black Lives Matter.

The Octavia E. Butler Fellowship, worth $50,000, will give a researcher access to the author’s papers, housed at the Huntington, and encourage them to write about their findings.

The Butler archive is the most popular collection scholars request in the library’s reading room. In 2017, the Huntington staged an exhibition on Butler using 100 objects from her archives.

If you’re interested in watching a conversation on August 26th between the Huntington’s literary collections curator, a professor, and Lynell George (author of the forthcoming book A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler), you can register here.

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