How does Octavia Butler bring her sensibilities as an African American woman, particularly her personal experience and historical awareness of race and gender dynamics, to the novel Dawn? How does her vision of the alien build upon and differ from mainstream views?
In what ways does the novel comment upon the American legacy of slavery? In what ways does the novel comment on the history of segregation and the illegality of miscegenation?
In what ways can Dawn be read as a critique of contemporary American society? What does it say about anthropocentrism, xenophobia, hierarchies, racism, sexism, and violence? What does the novel suggest about the possibilities or limitations of overcoming the fear and horror of difference? Does the novel have any useful lessons for us?