The British Society for Literature and Science is very pleased to announce the shortlist for its annual book prize.  Nominations were sought from publishers and members of the BSLS; books published by current members of the BSLS executive committee are not eligible. Alphabetically by author, the four books are:

We had intended to announce the winner at the BSLS's annual conference in Sheffield. In the light of the cancellation of the conference, the judges will be conferring in the next few days to confirm the timetable for the announcement.

A list of past winners and shortlisted books is to be found here.

 

Our 2020 annual conference at the University of Sheffield has been cancelled, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BSLS executive committee and conference organisers know this will be very disappointing, but given ‘social distancing’ measures, international travel restrictions and, above all, concern for the health of our members, this is a necessary step for us to take.

The BSLS exec is deeply appreciative of the careful planning and many, many hours of work carried out by Katherine Ebury, Helena Ifill, and the rest of the conference committee, and we thank them for their efforts in putting together what would have been a wonderful programme.

We will endeavour to host the AGM (and book prize announcement) online in some way, and will announce the details of this soon.

We are currently investigating whether parts of the programme might be repurposed – perhaps hosted online, or transposed to our Winter Symposium or 2021 annual conference at Edinburgh Napier University. Please send any suggestions you might have to Fran Kohlt (franziska.kohlt@york.ac.uk), our book reviews editor, and these will be discussed at the online AGM.

Refunds for conference registration can be obtained by emailing the University of Sheffield’s online shop: Onlinestore@Sheffield.ac.uk.

The executive committee recognises that some delegates (particularly the unwaged and those not affiliated to institutions) may be unable to reclaim some of their expenditure, and may not be covered by travel insurance. More fortunate members might wish to donate their reclaimed registration fees to a hardship fund - they can do so here: https://justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bsls2020. If you cannot reclaim expenditure and wish to apply to the hardship fund, please email relevant receipts to our Communications officer, Will Tattersdill (w.j.tattersdill@bham.ac.uk), by 15th April.

Wishing you all the very best at this difficult time, and hoping we can all meet again soon,

Greg Lynall (Chair of BSLS)

14 March 2020

There is understandably a great deal of concern about the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The advice we have received is that the risks of holding the event are low: this is a comparatively small event (100 people) being held during the Easter Break at the time when the university campus is quiet. There are currently no warnings against travel to or within the UK.

The local organisers and the BSLS exec are monitoring the situation very closely, but there are currently no plans to postpone or cancel the conference.

If the conference were to be cancelled because of a sudden change in government policies, the Online Store would be able to refund any fees, and attendees should be covered under their travel insurance.

We would also understand if attendees with concerns preferred to withdraw from the event and would hope to hear from them promptly about this. The deadline for registration is 1st April, which gives some time for everyone to consider.

Statement on coronavirus

Industrial Action

Many members of the BSLS work at institutions affected by the current industrial action over pay, workload, and learning conditions in higher education. These issues affect the research output of the entire society.

Until the striking period ends on the 13th of March, this website will not post updates or recirculate CFPs or job offers. Such news as is in the communication secretary's email after that date will be posted then, if still relevant.

We thank international members, and members from non-striking institutions, for their patience.

This year's literary and visual landscapes [fb] symposium at Bristol will be held on the theme of 'Emotional Landscapes'. Proposals are invited from current postgraduates and early-career researchers at any institution, as well as independent researchers and non-academic practitioners (e.g. writers, artists, musicians). The deadline is 10th April 2020.

A flyer with more information on can be downloaded here [PDF].

CFP: The Eco-Georgic

From Antiquity to the Anthropocene.

The journal Ecozon@ is soliciting manuscripts of 6-8000 words for a forthcoming issue about 'The Eco-Georgic'. The submission deadline is January 15 2021, but they advise prospective contributors to get in touch with them informally ahead of time. Full details on the Ecozon@ website or on this PDF.

What do we talk about when we talk about extinction? As a concept, a process, and a specific event, as something troublingly natural and social, as both an observable but mostly unrecorded phenomenon, “extinction” carries competing and contradictory meanings. Yet in the current conjuncture, extinction operates as an emergent keyword of public life. Charged with new immediacy by the cascading effects of climate collapse, mobilised by the collective power of street movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Ende Gelände, and theorised by the nonhuman turns of the environmental humanities, Anthropocene, and multispecies studies, extinction can no longer be contained within the cabinets of natural history museums – if indeed it ever could.

Abstracts are now being solicited for a two-day symposium on the subject of Extinction in Public, to be held at Manchester Museum, October 15-16 2020. The CFP deadline is 10th March, and full details of the event can be read here.

Word reaches us that there are still some places left on this midwifery symposium which is coming up on the 28th of February in Newark, Lincs. Registration is free! If you're interested, please see this page on eventbrite for full details.

Richard Bates has asked us to spread word of this vacancy at Nottingham, finishing out an interdisciplinary AHRC grant on the life and work of Florence Nightingale.

"The role will suit a candidate with a PhD in post-1800 literature or history, social geography or digital humanities with an interest in applications to understanding health, gender or the rise of industry."

The post is fixed term until 28 Feb 2021 and pays £30,942 to £33,797 per annum pro-rata to 25 hrs per week. The deadline for applications is 28 Feb 2020. More details on jobs.ac.uk!

 

In 2020, the Cardiff ScienceHumanities group partners with the Fiction Meets Science Program, to host the summer school at their home base in Germany. The theme for 2020 is “Energies.”

Click to enlarge the flyer!

The ScienceHumanities Summer School features a week of workshops with leading scholars who have trained in a diverse array of disciplines—literature, history, philosophy, sociology, environmental science—and are doing research at the cross-section of the humanities and sciences. Students have the opportunity to engage with experienced researchers and a select cohort of peers from around the world, attending workshops on current research topics and career issues (publishing, professional network-building, etc). Professor Heidi Hutner (Stony Brook) will give the keynote address and teach one of the workshops.

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 also incorporates a cultural programme focussed on the rich heritage of Bremen and the region.

The Summer School is open only to doctoral students located in universities and research centres worldwide. There are only 12 places available.

It is free to attend, but participants must be able to meet the cost of their own transport, accommodation and part of their subsistence during their stay at the HWK Institute for Advanced Study (Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg),  Delmenhorst. Advice will be given on accommodation and transport and meals will be included during the Summer School.

Two bursaries of £400 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. Full details of the programme are here.

The closing date for expressions of interest is 19 February, 2020. Applications must be submitted by 28 February, 2020 and decisions will be communicated by 13 March, 2020. Participating doctoral students must be able to commit to the full 5 days of the Summer School.

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