The Huntington Announces Octavia E. Butler Fellowship

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens—home to Octavia E. Butler’s literary archive—has announced a fellowship named after the late science fiction giant, Locus reports. Open to scholars working with the author’s “ideas and issues” from “a variety of disciplinary perspectives,” the fellowship will award $50,000 to the winning fellow for a residency of nine to twelve months.

According to the Huntington’s website, all researchers who’ve “completed all requirements for the PhD” by November 16 of this year are eligible to apply. Here are the fellowship’s full details:

The Huntington is the repository of the literary archive of Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006), the first science fiction writer to receive a prestigious MacArthur ‘genius’ award and the first African-American woman to win widespread recognition writing in that genre. Applicants may be working from a variety of disciplinary perspectives on the ideas and issues explored by Butler in her published works, ranging from speculative fiction through Afrofuturism to environmental studies and biotechnology, but preference may be given to candidates who intend to make extensive use of the Butler archive during their residency.

The Huntington’s Butler archive, by the way, is a treasure trove of scholarly delights for anyone working in Butler Studies, and one of the library’s “most actively researched archives.” According to the library’s website, the collection is a repository of more than 8,000 of Butler’s items such as “unpublished book drafts, diaries, research, notes, letters, and other ephemera.” You can see photos of various excerpts here, including a working draft of Kindred, world-building notes on the Oankali from the Lilith’s Brood/Xenogenesis trilogy, and the famous 1988 journal entry in which she vows to be “a bestselling author…read by millions of people! So be it!”

For more information on the history of the Butler archive, check out the library’s page on its 2017 exhibition of the author’s work, or head over to SoundCloud for audio from its 2018 conference of Butler scholars.

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