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All Organizing is Science Fiction

Cover of Octavia's Brood

Educator, writer, public scholar and spoken word artist Walidah Imarisha will explore the history of sci-fi and social change, sharing tools for using science fiction as a practice ground for social justice strategizing and vision. Imarisha is co-author with adrienne maree brown of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. 

Free and open to the public. Book signing to follow.

The Student Union is located in the central part of campus, nearby the UMass Parking Garage (1 Campus Center Way, $1.75/hr). Free parking is available in many staff parking lots after 5:00 pm. More information: bus schedulecampus map with the Student Union and nearby parking indicated.

The Student Union Ballroom is wheelchair accessible. More information: accessible parkingcampus accessibility map.

Young people of all ages are welcome at this event and all Feinberg Series events. There will be coloring books and crayons available for children. Stipends are available to support transportation for bringing groups of young adults to the event. Contact outreach@history.umass.edu for details.

If you need directions or additional assistance to plan your visit, or to request specific accommodations, please contact the History Department's communications assistant, Adeline Broussan, at communications@umass.edu.


Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, public scholar and spoken word artist. She has co-edited two anthologies including Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements. Imarisha’s nonfiction book Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption won a 2017 Oregon Book Award. She is also the author of the poetry collectionScars/Stars, and is currently working on an Oregon Black history book, forthcoming from AK Press. For six years, she presented statewide as a public scholar with Oregon Humanities' Conversation Project on topics such as Oregon Black history, alternatives to incarceration, and the history of hip hop.Imarisha has taught in Stanford University’s Program of Writing and Rhetoric, Portland State University's Black Studies Department, Oregon State University's Women Gender Sexuality Studies Department, and Southern New Hampshire University's English Department. 

About Octavia's Brood Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought twenty community organizers and activists together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. The visionary tales of Octavia’s Brood span genres—sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism—but all are united by an attempt to inject a healthy dose of imagination and innovation into our political practice and to try on new ways of understanding ourselves, the world around us, and all the selves and worlds that could be. The collection is rounded off with essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a preface by Sheree Renée Thomas


The 2018 Feinberg Series theme is Another World Is Possible: Revolutionary Visions, Past and Present. Series events and initiatives will explore the radical imaginations of intellectuals, artists, political leaders, renegade thinkers, community organizers, and everyday people who have worked to make another world possible. All events are FREE and open to the public. The Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series is offered every other academic year by the Department of History at UMass Amherst and made possible thanks to the generosity of UMass history department alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg ’67 and associates.

Visit the Feinberg Series webpage for more information about the series.

Feinberg Series Co-sponsors and Community Partners: Amherst College: Department of American Studies and Department of Anthropology and Sociology. Hampshire College: Ethics and the Common Good and Hampshire College Art Gallery. Mount Holyoke College: Department of English. Smith College: Department of History and Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program. UMass Amherst: Anthropology Department, Center for Research on Families, Civic Engagement and Service Learning, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Commonwealth Honors College, Communications Department, English Department, Fine Arts Center (keynote), Graduate School (keynote), Institute for Social Science Research, James Baldwin Lecture, established by Allen Davis '68 (keynote), Labor Center, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, Massachusetts Society of Professors, Office of Equity & Inclusion (keynote), Office of the Provost (keynote), Political Science Department, Public History Program, Prison Abolition Collective, Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Social Thought and Political Economy Program, Student Affairs and Campus Life (keynote), Student Government Association, University Museum of Contemporary Art, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. Community Organizations: Arise for Social Justice, All Hamptons Reads, Collaborative for Educational Services, David Ruggles Center, Great Falls Books Through Bars, Historians for Peace and Democracy, International Socialist Organization Western Mass, Massachusetts Peace Action, Northampton Committee to Stop the Wars, Out Now, Pa’lante Restorative Justice, Pioneer Valley Democratic Socialists of America, Pioneer Valley Workers Center, Racial Justice Rising, Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, Springfield No One Leaves, Western Mass Jobs with Justice, Western Mass Prison Abolition Network, and Western Mass Showing Up for Racial Justice.