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Freshman Summer Colloquium: Home

2015-2016 Selection

Parable of the Talents

Di you enjoy Parable of the Sower? If so, you may want to consider reading the sequel, Parable of the Talents.

PS3552 .U827 P38 @NYUADLibrary

Freshman Summer Colloquium

Date: 8/24/2015

From: David A. Scicchitano, Dean of Science and Chair of the Summer Colloquium Book Selection Committee 

Re: Freshmen Summer Colloquium

Welcome to New York University Abu Dhabi! I’d like to tell you about the Freshmen Summer Colloquium for 2015, an event that will be held during Marhaba Week and is organized especially for you, a member of the Class of 2019. The focus of the colloquium involves a text that we ask all members of the incoming freshman class to read. You will join your classmates, and NYUAD faculty and staff, to read, discuss, and write about the book together, generating a springboard for intellectual engagement and introducing you to the NYUAD scholarly community. This summer colloquium is one of the many ways we want to introduce you to our unique liberal arts experience before the semester begins.  

The committee for the Freshmen Summer Colloquium for 2015 has selected Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler as the text. Published in 1994 and winner of the 1994 Nebula Award for best novel, the story is summarized as follows. 

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister's young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny... and the birth of a new faith.

( March 3, 2015)

The novel raises challenging questions of class struggle, access to resources and political corruption. And yet the novel is filled with hope as the protagonist Lauren Oya Olamina discovers her own philosophy about hardship, crisis and faith.

During Marhaba 2015, The Summer Colloquium will occur on August 27, 2015 at 9:00 AM.  Additional events related to the Freshmen Summer Colloquium will be scheduled in the next few months: We will keep you abreast of all additional events.  

Many faculty, staff, and students have been planning the Colloquium for Marhaba. I’d like to thank those individuals who are enthusiastically helping with the program: Mary Barnes, Bill Bragin, Julie Brookes, 

Janna Kiseeva, Debra Levine, Nils Lewis, Alex Matters, Nahal Mustafa, Ken Nielsen, Nikos Nikiforakis, Nathalie Peutz, Mallory Roberts, Rafael Song, Rosy Tahan, Nia Wilson, and Marion Wrenn.

We hope you will feel increasingly excited to join our intellectual environment with this shared project of reading and discussing a great book.


Welcome to the Freshman Summer Colloquium subject guide. This guide is intended to help readers gain a better understanding of Parable of the Sower.

Please use the tabs above to locate information about Octavia Butler, discussion questions, read-a-likes, library resources, and colloquium events.

Parable of the Sower

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