Travels and Travelers

Syros, Greece July  1–3, 2019

The International Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST, The School of Humanities of the Hellenic Open University and the Institute of Historical Research/National Hellenic Research Foundation organize a three-days’ workshop to study “Travels and Travelers” in a multidisciplinary perspective within Science, Philosophy and Literature. . The CoSciLit workshop is already an established part of the very prestigious “Hermoupolis Seminars” which have been organized for more than 30 years every July on Syros Island.

This workshop aims to discuss various views for the role and presence of travels and travelers in science, philosophy and literature. The conference offers an open forum for all scholars interested in this growing research field, thus bringing into the dialogue multiple perspectives and different disciplines in order to build communication and cooperation bridges between science, philosophy, and literature.

Confirmed speakers: David Fairer (Leeds), Greg Garrard (British Columbia), Sue Edney (Bristol)

Including a reading of poetry and prose with Simon Armitage, Helen Jukes, and Jack Thacker

The influence and spirit of ‘georgic’, as a genre or mode – named for Virgil’s Georgics, the primary classical model – can be seen across western art and culture: from medieval and early modern almanacs to eighteenth-century formal georgic poems, from pre-Raphaelite social paintings to the new nature writing of the twenty-first century. Writers and artists have used the georgic mode to explore a broad range of significant themes, including nationhood and empire, industry, the experience of war, the cultivation of the self, and humans’ relationships with the natural world. The importance and richness of georgic as a genre or mode is increasingly recognised by researchers, but it is difficult to define something that has been reworked in so many ways: does georgic have to be didactic? does it have to be about labour, about nature, about agriculture? how is it different from pastoral?

This will be the first conference to focus on post-antiquity uses and adaptations of the georgic mode. It will bring together researchers working across periods and disciplines to analyse how and why georgic has been worked and reworked so extensively, and to develop and celebrate this growing field of study. 

We welcome proposals of around 250 words for twenty-minute papers or for presentations in other formats. We also welcome proposals for pre-formed panels of three or four papers. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Definitions and limitations of the term ‘georgic’ 
• Georgic’s relation to pastoral and other genres 
• Agriculture in literature and the arts, e.g. agricultural life writing
• The political, social, and scientific contexts of georgic 
• Ecocritical approaches to georgic 
• Global georgics and postcolonial readings of georgic 
• Queer georgic and feminist georgic 
• Georgic in the visual arts, film, and other media 
• The reception of classical models for the georgic 

The deadline for proposals is 30th April 2019.

Please send proposals, and any enquiries, to georgic@leeds.ac.uk

Conference organisers: Tess Somervell and Pippa Marland Conference website: https://georgic.leeds.ac.uk/conference/

This conference is supported by the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust. 

Oxford University's series of seminars on Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century continues this term:

Tuesday 29 January 2019 (Week 3)
Prof Anne-Julia Zwierlein, University of Regensburg
Monstrous Voices: (Female) Speaking Automata, Mind Science and Mass Mediation in Late-Nineteenth-Century British Fiction
5.30—7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

Tuesday 12 February 2019 (Week 5)
Dr Ushashi Dasgupta, University of Oxford
Dickens’s Loneliness
5.30—7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

Wednesday 27 February 2019 (Week 7)
Professor Gowan Dawson, University of Leicester
‘A Monkey into a Man’: Thomas Henry Huxley, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and the Making of an Evolutionary Icon
5.30—7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

Drinks will be served after each seminar. All welcome, no booking required.

Next year's Nordic STS Conference will be held at Tampere University, Finland, on 13–14 June 2019, with a pre-conference workshop for junior researchers on 12 June. The call for papers includes a specific call on Literature, Culture and Science with particular reference to Digital Cultures and the Medical Humanities. The deadline for abstracts is 18 January 2019. 

INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY, UK

MONDAY 20 MAY – FRIDAY 24 MAY 2019

Keynote Speaker: Professor Sally Shuttleworth (University of Oxford)

A free, international, postgraduate summer school

In 2019 Cardiff University’s ScienceHumanities research group will host the second week-long International Summer School dedicated to the examination of the relations between the humanities and the sciences and funded by Wellcome. This year the Summer School will have the theme of “Populations”. The Summer School will have as its keynote speaker Professor Sally Shuttleworth (University of Oxford), and will also feature workshops from leading scholars in literature and science, and the histories of science and medicine, from across the UK and Europe.

The Summer School will not only give participants access to significant researchers in the field, but will also offer professional development opportunities on publishing, public engagement, and archival research. In addition, you will have the opportunity to share ideas, concepts and methods with other doctoral students and begin to build a network of global contacts.

The Summer School is open only to doctoral students located in universities and research centres worldwide. There are only 12 places available. BSLS Members very welcome to apply! It is free to attend, but participants must be able to pay for their own transport, accommodation and part of their subsistence during their stay in Cardiff. Advice will be given on accommodation and transport and some meals will be included during the Summer School. Two bursaries are available for students from nations with limited resources.

To express initial interest and receive an application form please email Professor Martin Willis on willism8@cardiff.ac.uk. The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 25thJanuary 2019. Applications must be submitted by Friday 1stFebruary 2019 and decisions will be made by 15thFebruary. Participating doctoral students must be able to commit to the full 5 days of the Summer School.

To see what last year’s participants gained from the Summer School watch the short video at: https://cardiffsciencehumanities.org/summer-school/

In honour of John Ruskin’s bicentenary, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History will be hosting a one-day conference on Ruskin, Science and the Environment on Friday 8th February 2019 from 9.30 until 6. Speakers will include Kate Flint (Southern California), Mark Frost (Portsmouth), Peter Garratt (Durham), Sandra Kemp (Director of the Ruskin Research Centre, Lancaster), Francis O’Gorman (Edinburgh), John Parham (Worcester) and Marcus Waithe (Cambridge). There will also be a brief introduction to Ruskin Land from John Iles and a tour of the museum by John Holmes (Birmingham). At 6 in the evening, the conference will be followed by a public lecture by Fiona Stafford (Oxford) on ‘Ruskin’s Trees’.

Registration for the conference on Ruskin, Science and the Environment costs £20 (full-price) or £10 for students and other unwaged delegates. To register, please click here

Fiona Stafford's public lecture on 'Ruskin's Trees' is free of charge. To register, please click here

If you would like to attend both events, please register for each of them separately. 

For further information, please email Catherine Charlwood at catherine.charlwood@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Sally Shuttleworth (Oxford) and John Holmes (Birmingham)

A special issue of Humanities

Deadline for submissions: 31 August 2019

For further information and to submit a manuscript, visit the special issue website: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/environmental_humanities 

‘Environmental Humanities Approaches to Climate Change’ investigates the various ways in which we experience climate change. ‘Climate,’ writes Mike Hulme, ‘is weather which has been cultured, interpreted and acted on by the imagination, through story-telling and using material technologies’ (Weathered: Cultures of Climate). Whereas weather can be experienced directly, climate and climate change are inevitably mediated and remediated through cultural forms: particular narratives, vocabularies, images, objects, and symbols. This presents a considerable opportunity for scholars in the humanities and social sciences, who are well placed to analyse how climate change is understood, represented, and communicated in relation to specific socio-political contexts and within specific ethical and epistemological frameworks. However, it also presents a significant challenge. How can we be attentive to climate change as story without supporting the idea that it is a mere fiction? How can we move from understanding climate change as politically and culturally produced to imagining ways in which it might be mitigated? How does an understanding of climate change’s mediations remain alert to the brute facticity of environmental forces?

The special issue will bring together researchers whose work does not necessarily fit into traditional disciplinary silos. Its purpose is to explore and demonstrate the insights offered by the humanities into the cultural forms that climate change takes, and therefore to argue for the important contribution that the environmental humanities can make to climate change studies. It will be an opportunity to reflect on the broader question of the relationship between the fine-grained analytical work practised in the environmental humanities and the more instrumentalised approach to ‘climate solutions’ in the natural sciences and ‘hard’ social sciences; a relationship that it is important to address given that the problem of climate change is partly a problem of communication and imagination.

‘Environmental Humanities Approaches to Climate Change’ will build upon the groundbreaking work of scholars such as Julie Doyle (Mediating Climate Change) and Mike Hulme, who have emphasised the political, cultural, and communicative dimensions of climate change. A special issue on the subject of the cultural forms of climate change will be able to address the diversity of these forms across time and space and beyond the scope of a single-author study. It will also be an intervention in the ongoing debate around the Anthropocene (e.g. Bonneuil and Fressoz, The Shock of the Anthropocene; Davies, The Birth of the Anthropocene). One of the key problems with the concept is that it can be used to suggest a monolithic species-wide agency that not only exaggerates human power but also glosses over the considerable inequalities that generate climate change and to which it contributes. A more nuanced notion of the Anthropocene requires a nuanced analysis of the diverse ways through which climate change can be understood in relation to human discourse and practice, rather than seeing it simply as a measure of what ‘we’ do in a purely physical sense to an environment that is imagined as somehow external to us. Therefore, the special issue also relates to the recent development of ‘new materialist’ environmental philosophy (e.g. Bennett, Vibrant Matter; Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway) which similarly aims to complicate ideas of anthropogenic agency and to understand the ‘culturing’ of climate change as a process in which human and nonhuman actors/actants are entangled.

Dr. David Higgins
Dr. Tess Somervell
Prof. Nigel Clark
Guest Editors

CALL FOR PAPERS (deadline Friday 7 December)

The fourteenth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will take place at Royal Holloway, University of London, from Thursday 4 April until Saturday 6 April 2019. Keynote speakers will include Professor Tim Armstrong (Royal Holloway) and Professor Angelique Richardson (Exeter).

The BSLS invites proposals for 20-minute papers, panels of three papers, or special roundtables on any subjects within the field of science (including medicine and technology), and literatures in the broadest sense, including theatre, film, and television. There is no special theme for this conference, but abstracts or panels exploring one of the following topics are especially welcome: (1) how the literatures of Africa, the Americas, Asia, or Australasia address, interact with, or respond to the discourses of science; (2) the digital humanities; (3) the writing, reading, and interpretation of human nature; (4) innovative or progressive models for uniting the sciences and the humanities.

In addition, we are hoping to put together sessions with looser, non-traditional formats, and would welcome proposals from any person or persons interested in making presentations of approximately ten minutes from notes rather than completed papers. The hope is that this format will encourage longer Q&A sessions with more discussion.

Please send an abstract (200 words) and short biographical note (50 words) to the conference organiser, Dr. Mike Wainwright, mike.wainwright@rhul.ac.uk, by no later than 18.00 GMT, Friday 7 December 2018. Include the abstract and biographical note in the body of the email.

All proposers of a paper or panel will receive notification of the results by the end of January 2019.

The conference fee will be waived for two graduate students in exchange for written reports on the conference, to be published in the BSLS Newsletter. If you are interested in being selected for one of these awards, please mention this when sending in your proposal. To qualify you will need to be registered for a postgraduate degree at the time of the conference.

Information concerning onsite accommodation and local hotels will be forthcoming.

Membership: conference delegates will need to register/renew as members of the BSLS (annual membership: £25 waged/ £10 unwaged).

 

30-31 May 2019: British Institute of Florence

Keynote lectures by Carolyn Burdett and Christa Zorn. The conference will also include a private performance of Lee’s pacifist work, The Ballet of the Nations, staged at her Florentine home, Il Palmerino.

‘Vernon Lee 2019’, an international conference organised by the University of Surrey and the University of Oxford in collaboration with the Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino, marks the centenary of Vernon Lee’s return to her Italian home, Villa Il Palmerino, after enforced exile during WW1. Lee emerged as a significant writer in the heady atmosphere of late nineteenth-century aestheticism and decadence, but she published extensively throughout the first three decades of the twentieth century. As the new century dawned, she became politically active; in the years leading up to WW1, she produced polemical pacifist articles for the periodical press and an important anti-war morality play, Ballet of the Nations (1915). She also took criticism in exciting new directions, focusing on the emerging field of ‘psychological aesthetics’ in Beauty and Ugliness (1912) and The Beautiful (1913), and experimenting with literary analysis in The Handling of Words (1923).

Writing in 2003, Vineta Colby commented that, at that time, only ‘a small company’ read the work of Vernon Lee (Violet Paget, 1856-1935). In the fifteen years that have elapsed there has been a major expansion of academic interest in Lee’s oeuvre, which has generated scholarly work, biographies and international conferences. Since then, access to Vernon Lee’s work in published and digitised form has increased dramatically, introducing her to a whole new generation of readers and students, and prompting scholarship not only on her fiction but on the full variety of her interests.

Despite this surge in critical response, however, much of Lee’s large and extremely wide-ranging oeuvre has yet to receive full scholarly attention, especially those writings she produced in the twentieth century. Between 1900 and her death in 1935, she published a wealth of new material including a musical drama, travel writing, novels, philosophical and aesthetic treatises, literary criticism, compilations of supernatural fiction and an important musicological study, Music and Its Lovers (1932).

We welcome proposals for scholarly papers that explore all aspects of Lee’s writings and her literary and artistic connections, with a special focus on her twentieth-century writings. Topics may include but are not limited to the following areas:

• Essays and Fiction
• Travel writing, place and space
• Criticism (aesthetics, musicology, art history, literary criticism)
• Natural and Social Sciences
• Politics, Pacifism, Cosmopolitanism
• Theatre
• Letters
• Circles and Networks

Please send 300-word abstracts, by 15 January 2019, to: VernonLee2019@gmail.com.
Conference organisers: Patricia Pulham, Stefano Evangelista, Elisa Bizzotto, Federica Parretti, Serena Cenni, and Sally Blackburn-Daniels

See the full CFP here

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