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Holmgren Troy, MariaORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-7640-0639
Publications (10 of 88) Show all publications
Holmgren Troy, M. (2023). Adapting Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred in the Twenty-First Century. In: : . Paper presented at Crises and Turns: Continuities and Discontinuities in American Culture, NAAS 2023 conference, May 25-27, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adapting Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred in the Twenty-First Century
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Academic work on Octavia E. Butler’s speculative fiction has increased exponentially since the 1990s, and Butler is a towering presence in the multidisciplinary field termed Afrofuturism. A fairly new development regarding Butler’s oeuvre – her first novel Patternmaster was published in 1976, her last, Fledgling, in 2005 – is the interest in adapting her novels to different media. In the past five years, there have been two graphic novel adaptations: Kindred (2017) and Parable of the Sower (2021); and Parable of the Talents will allegedly also soon be published in the form of a graphic novel. A TV series based on Butler’s neoslave narrative Kindred (1979) premiered on Hulu in December, and some of her other novels are considered for film and television adaptations. These adaptations were, however, preceded by The Seeing Ear Theater’s radio or audio theater adaptation of Kindred, which aired in February 2001. 

In this paper, I will draw on Linda Hutcheon’s A Theory of Adaptation (2006; 2nd ed. 2013) in order to begin to discuss the three twenty-first century adaptations of Kindred: the radio play at the very beginning of the century, the graphic novel in the age of BLM and Trump, and the very recently produced TV series. As Hutcheon points out, “An adaptation, like the work it adapts, is always framed in a context – a time and a place, a society and a culture …” (142). In addition to addressing some contextual aspects, I will examine the adaptations in terms of narrative and aesthetic strategies. 

Keywords
Octavia E. Butler, KIndred, adaptations
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-95670 (URN)
Conference
Crises and Turns: Continuities and Discontinuities in American Culture, NAAS 2023 conference, May 25-27, Uppsala University, Sweden
Available from: 2023-06-24 Created: 2023-06-24 Last updated: 2023-06-27Bibliographically approved
Holmgren Troy, M. (2023). Body Horror in Octavia E. Butler’s Clay’s Ark [Review]. Humanities, 12(5), Article ID 120.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Body Horror in Octavia E. Butler’s Clay’s Ark
2023 (English)In: Humanities, E-ISSN 2076-0787, Vol. 12, no 5, article id 120Article, book review (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

African American science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler’s works have attracted a great deal of academic interest since the 1990s onwards. Clay’s Ark (1984), however, has not gained as much scholarly attention as some of her other novels, and the centrality of Gothic aspects, in particular those related to body horror, has not been addressed. By focusing on how these aspects inform the structure, setting, and characters’ actions and relationships in this novel about an extraterrestrial infection that threatens and changes humanity, this article demonstrates how Butler employs and adapts strategies and conventions of Gothic horror and body horror in order to explore various attitudes towards difference and transformation, paralleling these with a particular brand of antiblack racism growing out of American slavery. Although the 1980s are already receding into American history, and a few aspects of the imagined twenty-first century in this novel may feel dated today (while many are uncomfortably close to home), Clay’s Ark is a prime example of how aspects of popular culture genres and media—such as science fiction, the Gothic, and horror films—can be employed in an American novel to worry, question, and destabilize ingrained historical and cultural patterns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2023
Keywords
Octavia E. Butler; Clay’s Ark, American Gothic, body horror
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-97078 (URN)10.3390/h12050120 (DOI)001099369400001 ()2-s2.0-85175040494 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-10-19 Created: 2023-10-19 Last updated: 2023-12-04Bibliographically approved
Holmgren Troy, M. (2022). Living with the Virus: Octavia E. Butler’s Clay’s Ark and Nicola Griffith’s Ammonite. In: : . Paper presented at Maple Leaf and Eagle conference, Helsinki University, Finland, 18-20 May, 2022.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Living with the Virus: Octavia E. Butler’s Clay’s Ark and Nicola Griffith’s Ammonite
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

After almost two years with SARS-CoV-2, causing COVID-19, we all have experience of living with a virus on a global scale. It has meant changes in how we conduct our everyday lives, at least temporarily. Although this virus can infect all human beings, this pandemic has made glaringly obvious differences concerning age, health, gender, social status, ethnic backgrounds, professions, access to technology, etc. and has reinforced local, national, and global inequalities and injustices based on lack of means, solidarity, and democracy. 

In this paper, I will examine how two women science-fiction writers envision humans living with an extraterrestrial virus in novels written in the 1980s and 1990s: African American Octavia Butler’s Clay’s Ark (1984) and British-American Nicola Griffith’s Ammonite (1992). In Butler’s novel the virus is brought to Earth by a returning astronaut, who tries to keep the virus from spreading; in Griffith’s the virus infects people who try to colonize another planet and kills the men. The remaining women settles the planet, and many years later, which constitutes the present of the novel, the Company sends an expedition to try out a vaccine. Both novels depict newly infected main characters who experience that the virus changes them and ultimately empowers them in certain ways. It also irreversibly changes the conditions under which they live. Drawing on Donna Haraway’s theories, as well as Octavia Butler’s ideas as expressed across her oeuvre, I will discuss the relationship between the human host and the virus in the two novels, and its impact on the individual and society within the imagined worlds. In particular, the paper will highlight issues of gender and sexuality.

Keywords
Octavia Butler, Clay's Ark, Nicola Griffith, Ammonite, Virus
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-89890 (URN)
Conference
Maple Leaf and Eagle conference, Helsinki University, Finland, 18-20 May, 2022
Available from: 2022-05-22 Created: 2022-05-22 Last updated: 2023-06-20Bibliographically approved
Holmgren Troy, M. (2022). Octavia Butler at a Swedish University: Gender, Genre, and Intercultural Encounters. In: Laurence W. Mazzeno ; Sue Norton (Ed.), Contemporary American Fiction in the European Classroom: Teaching and Texts (pp. 47-61). Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Octavia Butler at a Swedish University: Gender, Genre, and Intercultural Encounters
2022 (English)In: Contemporary American Fiction in the European Classroom: Teaching and Texts / [ed] Laurence W. Mazzeno ; Sue Norton, Palgrave Macmillan, 2022, p. 47-61Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this essay is to demonstrate why and how African American science-fiction writer Octavia Butler’s fiction is taught at Karlstad University, Sweden. Over the past twenty years, a number of her novels and short stories have been included in various courses in English at different levels at this university. The essay focuses in particular on why and how Butler’s novel Wild Seed (1980) is integrated into an M.A. course on African American women writers’ novels, which was taught in the springs of 2019 and 2020. This novel is contextualized both in terms of the course as a whole, which includes novels from Frances Harper’s Iola Leroy (1892) to Jewelle Gomez’s The Gilda Stories (1991), and the genres of speculative fiction and the neoslave narrative. The essay also briefly brings up and reflects on student responses to Wild Seed, concerning gender issues and sexuality. It concludes that there are numerous reasons for including this novel in a course on African American women’s novels. In general, Octavia Butler is among the most important and influential American writers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century and her works have much to offer in a contemporary European classroom.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2022
Keywords
Octavia Butler, Wild Seed, speculative fiction, teaching, Sweden
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-89677 (URN)10.1007/978-3-030-94166-6_4 (DOI)2-s2.0-85159016083 (Scopus ID)978-3-030-94165-9 (ISBN)978-3-030-94166-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2022-05-02 Created: 2022-05-02 Last updated: 2023-06-12Bibliographically approved
Holmgren Troy, M. (2022). The Bloomsbury Handbook to Octavia E. Butler, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020; God Is Change: Religious Practices and Ideologies in the Works of Octavia Butler, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2021 [Review]. American Studies in Scandinavia, 54(1), 72-78
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Bloomsbury Handbook to Octavia E. Butler, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020; God Is Change: Religious Practices and Ideologies in the Works of Octavia Butler, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2021
2022 (English)In: American Studies in Scandinavia, ISSN 0044-8060, Vol. 54, no 1, p. 72-78Article, book review (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Odense Universitetsforlag, 2022
Keywords
Octavia Butler, review essay, Good Is Change, Bloomsbury Handbook
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-90250 (URN)10.22439/asca.v54i1.6600 (DOI)000810125800005 ()
Note

Full title of review:

Book review: Gregory J. Hampton and Kendra R. Parker, eds. The Bloomsbury Handbook to Octavia E. Butler, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020, 290 pages. ISBN 978-1-3500-7963-2.Aparajita Nanda and Shelby L. Crosby, eds.God Is Change: Religious Practices and Ideologies in the Works of Octavia Butler. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2021, 242 pages. ISBN 978-1-4399-2112-8.

ISI for The Bloomsbury Handbook to Octavia E. Butler: 000810125800005

ISI for God Is Change: 000810125800008

Available from: 2022-06-10 Created: 2022-06-10 Last updated: 2022-07-01Bibliographically approved
Holmgren Troy, M. (2022). The Chronotope and Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation. In: : . Paper presented at The Fantastic in Cultural History-Inventorying a Growing Research Field, Linnaeus University, Växjö, 20-21 June 2022.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Chronotope and Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the 1990s, I analyzed science-fiction writer Octavia Butler’s 1979 neoslave narrative Kindred by employing Bakhtin’s concept of the chronotope, which focuses on how time and space are fused together in literature: time “becomes artistically visible; likewise, space becomes … responsive to the movements of time, plot and history” (Bakhtin 84). The chronotope, moreover, “defines genre and generic distinctions,” as well as shaping the constitution of characters and the meaning of narratives (85, 250). In Butler’s novel, African American Dana, who is its first-person narrator and protagonist, is repeatedly thrown back in time from her house in Pasadena, California, in 1976, in order to save her white ancestor’s life in Maryland in the early 1800s. In the process, she has to adapt to a time and place where she is regarded and treated as a slave.

This paper will focus on Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (2017) by Damian Duffy and John Jennings. The chronotope has proven to be productive in scholarly discussions on the relatively new genre of the graphic novel, and I will briefly address the specific relations between time and space in graphic novels in general compared to the comic book, the novel, and film, before presenting how time, space, and time travel are depicted in this graphic novel adaptation of Butler’s novel in terms of the chronotope. Different aspects of history, as well as cultural history, are obviously important to this speculative neo-slave narrative from the 1970s and its adaptation almost 40 years later.

Keywords
Octavia Butler, Kindred, chronotope, graphic novel, adaptation
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-90877 (URN)
Conference
The Fantastic in Cultural History-Inventorying a Growing Research Field, Linnaeus University, Växjö, 20-21 June 2022
Available from: 2022-06-26 Created: 2022-06-26 Last updated: 2022-06-28Bibliographically approved
Holmgren Troy, M. (2022). Time Travel and Adaptation: Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred (1979) as 21st-Century Graphic Novel. In: : . Paper presented at Nordic Association for English Studies (NAES), Stockholm University, 11-13 May, 2022.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Time Travel and Adaptation: Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred (1979) as 21st-Century Graphic Novel
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the 1990s, I analyzed science-fiction writer Octavia Butler’s 1979 neoslave narrative Kindred by employing Bakhtin’s concept of the chronotope, which focuses on how time and space are fused together and form a whole in literature. In Butler’s novel, African American Dana, who is its narrator and protagonist, is repeatedly thrown back in time from her house in Pasadena, California, in 1976, in order to save her white ancestor’s life in Maryland in the early 1800s time and again. In the process, she has to adapt to a time and place where she is regarded and treated as a slave.

This paper will focus on Kindred: a Graphic Novel Adaptation (2017) by Damian Duffy and John Jennings. How are time and time travel depicted in this graphic novel adaptation of Butler’s novel? How is Butler’s story adapted by Duffy and Jennings with 21st-century readers in mind almost 40 years after the novel was published? Does it make sense – and in that case how – to employ the chronotope in a reading of the graphic novel? As these questions indicate, my work on the graphic novel adaptation of the novel is still at a very early stage but I hope to be able to present some pertinent answers addressing time in this graphic novel at the conference.

Keywords
Octavia Butler, Adapatation, Graphic Novel, Time
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-89889 (URN)
Conference
Nordic Association for English Studies (NAES), Stockholm University, 11-13 May, 2022
Available from: 2022-05-22 Created: 2022-05-22 Last updated: 2023-01-12Bibliographically approved
Holmgren Troy, M. (2021). Reading Octavia Butler’s speculative neoslave narrative Wild Seed (1980) after #MeToo. In: : . Paper presented at Specfic 2021: Time and History.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reading Octavia Butler’s speculative neoslave narrative Wild Seed (1980) after #MeToo
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

African American science-fiction writer Octavia Butler’s fiction has been one of my research interests since the mid-1990s, and I have taught a variety of her short stories and novels over the last two decades. Her dystopian short story “Speech Sounds” (1983) has served as an excellent first literature text for first-term students, as it deals with the loss of language and communication and is an exemplary short story. In co-taught thematic M.A. courses, I have used Parable of the Sower (1993) in the Dystopia and Apocalypse course and “Amnesty” (2003), “Bloodchild” (1984), and Dawn (1987) in the SF and Intercultural Encounters course. 

In this paper, I will focus on Butler’s novel Wild Seed (1980), partly in the context of an M.A. course on African American women’s novels from Frances Harper’s Iola Leroy (1892) to Jewelle Gomez’s The Gilda Stories (1991), which I have taught in the spring terms of 2019 and 2020. Wild Seed is a kind of neo-slave narrative and deals, albeit in speculative fashion, with American history. I chose it both for the course and this paper, rather than Butler’s neo-slave narrative Kindred (1979), for several reasons: its immortal protagonist’s and antagonist’s perspectives are wide-ranging both in terms of time and geography; while Kindred and the Parable novels have been the focus of an avalanche of scholarly articles in the twenty-first century, Wild Seed is still a relatively under-researched novel that deserves more attention; and the student engagement with this novel is current. In this paper, I will briefly touch on how Wild Seed deals with the transatlantic slave trade and American slavery, before moving on to how Butler’s depiction of sexuality in this novel appears to be even more disturbing today, after #MeToo, than it was in the historical context when it was first published.

National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-87667 (URN)
Conference
Specfic 2021: Time and History
Available from: 2021-12-06 Created: 2021-12-06 Last updated: 2021-12-29Bibliographically approved
Holmgren Troy, M., Svensson, F. & Nyström, A. (2020). Foreword. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(4), i-iii
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Foreword
2020 (English)In: Nordic Journal of English Studies, ISSN 1502-7694, E-ISSN 1654-6970, Vol. 19, no 4, p. i-iiiArticle in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Foreword to the Special Issue Past Imaginings: Studies in Honor of Åke Bergvall

Keywords
past imaginings
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-81505 (URN)10.35360/njes.598 (DOI)
Available from: 2020-11-26 Created: 2020-11-26 Last updated: 2021-06-14Bibliographically approved
Holmgren Troy, M. (2020). Imagining Gender in Nineteenth-Century Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Richard Henry Stoddard. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(4), 61-84
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Imagining Gender in Nineteenth-Century Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Richard Henry Stoddard
2020 (English)In: Nordic Journal of English Studies, ISSN 1502-7694, E-ISSN 1654-6970, Vol. 19, no 4, p. 61-84Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fairy tales have often been controversial, and today much of the controversy appears to revolve around gender issues. With a focus on gendered appearances and relationships, this article examines Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘Tommelise’ and ‘The Snow-Queen’ as well as Adventures in Fairyland (1853), a book of fairy tales written by one of Andersen’s admirers and promoters in nineteenth-century USA, Richard Henry Stoddard. Depictions of female characters in these tales are varied, with protagonists not always adhering to the feminine beauty ideal. The portrayal of both girls and boys are sometimes influenced by the notion of the Romantic child, which seems to tone down gender differences in descriptions of characters. Some of Stoddard’s fairy tales have a masculinist bias, but on the other hand his tales often go beyond the happily-ever-after ending. Indeed, a few of his fairy tales are remarkably explicit about adult erotic love, physical attraction, and sexual desire. So, when viewed through the lens of gender, both Andersen’s and Stoddard’s nineteenth-century literary fairy tales offer a twenty-first-century reader quite a few surprises and much food for thought and discussion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of Languages and Literatures, University of Gothenburg, 2020
Keywords
nineteenth-century fairy tales, gender, the Romantic child, Hans Christian Andersen, Richard Henry Stoddard
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-81504 (URN)10.35360/njes.602 (DOI)2-s2.0-85097591043 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-11-26 Created: 2020-11-26 Last updated: 2022-12-01Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-7640-0639

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