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Kindred by Octavia Butler: Research Guide

What's a Common Text?

What's A Common Text?

A common text is read and discussed in many classes and serves as the basis for many campus  activities. A new common text is chosen each year. The selection for 2023-2024 is:

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler


Kindred was something different. In it, Butler merged history with the present, and a contemporary Black woman’s body became a time machine—a device to fold time back on itself. Butler presented slavery as a haunting science that created monstrosities, much like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Dana Franklin, Kindred’s protagonist, must survive antebellum plantation life from the perspective of 1976’s racial politics. Here, the future is prologue. (Ibi Zoboi, Time, 12/31/22)

Common Texts