This course explores the work of speculative fiction writer Octavia Butler, recipient of the Hugo and Nebula awards and a MacArthur “genius.” Credited with influencing the field of Afrofuturist studies, Butler rendered a dystopian vision of the world, one rooted in her own experiences as a Black woman in twentieth-century America. Like all good literature, her work says something important about the period in which she wrote. It was also eerily prescient and can serve as a lens turned on our current moment of political instability, climate change, inequality, social disorder, and the Movement for Black Lives. The course will incorporate original texts alongside supplemental materials and will focus on the recurring themes of race, gender, sexuality, environmentalism, reproduction, social hierarchies, and varied meanings of human. There has never been a more apt and rewarding time to reexamine Octavia Butler’s award-winning work and to reimagine human futures.