BSLS Exec Vacancies

Several positions on the executive committee of BSLS will become available this year.

To nominate a member of the BSLS to serve as Treasurer, Reviews Editor, Member at Large, or Overseas Representative (North America) please e-mail the Chair and the Secretary (candidates should be nominated by two members). Contact Jenni Halpin ( with queries or expressions of interest. Nominations ideally will be received by the end of March and are required prior to the start of the AGM (April 14).

Digestive Modernisms - Spring 2023 Research Seminar Series

Please join us for a series of online talks about modernism and digestion as part of the Digestive Modernisms research network. These events are free and open to all. The talks will be streamed on Microsoft Teams (see links below) and will last approximately 90 minutes, including time for Q&A. Live captioning will be available.


Research Seminar 1 – Wednesday 5th April, 4pm

Microsoft Teams Link:

Genevieve Smart (Birkbeck, University of London) - ‘The Passage to Gender Indeterminacy: F. T. Marinetti’s Guts’

Peter Adkins (University of Edinburgh) - ‘Of Steaks and Suffragettes: The Vegetarian Politics of Virginia Woolf’s Night and Day


Research Seminar 2 – Wednesday 10th May, 4pm

Microsoft Teams Link:

Louise Benson James (Ghent University) - ‘Of course one’s stomach being nearly the whole of one, it is apt to have very large pains’: The digestive system in Radclyffe Hall’s Adam’s Breed (1926). 

Derek Ryan (University of Kent) - 'James Joyce's ‘Lestrygonians’ and the Modernist Gullet'

JLS: Call for Reviewers

The Journal of Literature and Science is once again looking for reviewers to review various articles published in the last year to 18 months in the field of literature and science.


Please find below a number of articles that we would like to offer for review. Its largely first come, first served, so do get in touch with an offer to review a specific article by emailing Michelle at


JLS would also be very happy to receive suggestions for other relevant articles for review that aren’t listed below – please get in touch with Michelle with suggestions. 


Reviews should be 750 words long. For more details, please follow the link: or contact Michelle at to register your interest.



Read the rest of this entry »

Adaptation is a term that bridges the divide between literature and evolution. Texts are adapted to speak to new circumstances as time advances and younger writers, directors, actors, artists, and audiences seek connections to a mutable culture. Likewise, organisms adapt over generations to better suit their circumstance.

Adaptation also presupposes a relationship to an original, a source. In organisms, unchecked replication can lead to distorted text, broken genetic code. In the age of infinite digital reproduction, of Tiktoks, NFTs,  AI-generated images or novels and so on, the concept of adaptation can generate productive conversations on the current role and nature of art. 

Have we irrevocably moved away from the notion of art as belonging to a particular time and space, having a unique context, what Benjamin called “aura”? Lawrence Venuti, who configures adaptation as translation, writes that “the interpretive force of a translation issues from the fact that the source text is not only decontextualized, but recontextualized” (Venuti 93). In nature as well as art, both the monstrous and the exquisite are born from these textual recontextualizations. 

This conference aims to approach adaptation in all its guises: The literary, the evolutionary, the personal. We seek stories of adaptation, criticism that approaches textual or theatrical adaptation, and presentations that explore the juncture between literary and evolutionary space.

Performance Studies, Literature and Science, Literary Adaptation, Genre-bending, Biosemiotics, Ecocriticism, Adaptation and Translation

Keynotes: Stephen O’Neill and John Holmes

Please send Abstracts of 250 words plus a bio in the body of an email by February 28th to and

Epistemic Transformations in Literature, Science and the Arts

Extended Deadline for Abstract Submissions

Conference of SLSAeu

European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts and ELINAS Research Center for Literature and Natural Science

May 18 – 21, 2023

Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg

The SLSAeu Conference 2023 is centered on modes of exchange between discourses and practices of knowledge production, re-presentation and simulation which lead to epistemic transformations in science, literature and arts.

Metaphors, models and simulations are epistemic tools for physics, astronomy, climatology, earth system sciences, chemistry, biology, life sciences, medicine and robotics. Model-based reasoning is employed in social sciences, cognitive sciences, computer sciences, archaeology and architecture. While the usual categories for doing scientific research are experiments, theories and their falsifications, which are mainly based on technical equipment and mathematical formalism, recent approaches investigate how models and simulations are embedded in cultural processes, and ask how they are formed or epistemically transformed as parts of material cultures. Moreover, they ask how metaphors, models and simulations receive a certain epistemic agency and autonomy due to their artefactual (Knuutilla), mediation (Morgan/Morrison) and exemplification functions (Goodman/Elgin). Philosophy of science goes so far as to ask about the epistemic functions of fiction in the process of scientific modelling and simulation, and draws parallels between scientific models and fictive characters, objects, or places of literary fiction (Frigg, Nguyen).

The conference is meant to be a platform for this interdisciplinary exchange on epistemic cultures of modelling (Gelfert): How can we explore epistemic relations between models, fiction and simulations? How can we think of literary practices and modelling strategies as specific modes of epistemic inquiry? How can we gain new knowledge through the epistemic use of imagination (Badura/Kind) in literature, the arts and science? What is the epistemic function of aesthetics in scientific modelling practices? What interpretational problems arise due to crossdisciplinary approaches and different textual, diagrammatical, algorithmical and encoding practices?

We invite participants to outline the historical, cultural, and rhetorical formation and transformation of model-based knowledge (Magnani/Bertolotti) at the intersections between science, literature and the arts. We hope for interesting encounters between different communities: the philosophy of science investigates the relationships between models, simulations and theories of fiction as make- believe (Walton, Toon) as well as the artefactual and non-representational dimensions of models (Knuuttila). Cultural semiotics conceptualizes literature and the arts as secondary modelling systems (Lotman), the philosophy of mind explores epistemic uses of imagination (Amy Kind), the philosophy of art investigates ‚exemplification‘ as an epistemic practice in art and science (Goodman, Elgin). Narratology investigates narrative factuality and experientiality (Fludernik, Ryan) and history of science examines narrative strategies of scientific writing (Brandt,  Schickore). But the question posed by Jay Labinger still remains: Where are the scientists in literature and science studies?

The conference seeks to establish and facilitate a dialogue between literary and cultural studies and various interdisciplinary science communities, history of science, philosophy of science, and science and technology studies. We invite papers as well as panels dealing with the epistemological functions of metaphors, models and simulations in literature, the arts, sciences, virtual realities, digital humanities, informatics, brain and cognitive sciences, climate sciences, earth system sciences, life sciences, astronomy, astrophyics. Questions could arise on the epistemic functions of models as mediators between arts and sciences, on the world building functions of models and literary texts, on the artefactual nature of models and simulations, on the epistemic function of aesthetics in modelling and simulation practices, on literary, artistic and scientific imagination in the process of modelling (Thorne), on the epistemic tools of representation – pictorial, mathematical, linguistic, algorithmic, 3-D —  on non-representational accounts of modelling, on the process of epistemic transformation from metaphors to models and simulations, and on the cultural materiality of models and simulations.


Please send 400-word abstracts by the 20th of February 2023 to Aura Heydenreich ( Please include “SLSAeu23” in the email subject line and a brief bio/bibliography, as well as an e-mail address and a postal address. Formats include paper presentations (20-25 minutes), interdisciplinary panels (including participants from three disciplins and a moderator), art events (multimedia, AV format). SLSAeu and ELINAS are committed to supporting young talents to present their work. We invite MA and PhD students to submit their paper. Proposals for interdisciplinary roundtables spanning science/technology, literature, humanities or social sciences, and the arts are especially welcome.

Venue of the Conference

The main venue of the Conference will be the „Kollegienhaus“ and the „Orangerie“ of the Friedrich-Alexander-University (Universitätsstraße 15, 91054 Erlangen) which are located directly at the Erlangen Schlossgarten. The main train station and the University Library are just a stone’s throw away.


Room contingents in different hotels will be pre-reserved for conference participants. Please make your reservation as soon as possible as available rooms are limited.

For further information visit:

Key Dates:

Abstracts due:                                             20 February 2023

Decisions + Program:                                   1 March 2023

Registration:                                                 1 April 2023

Conference:                                                  18-21 May 2023


PD Dr. Aura Heydenreich

German and Comparative Literature

Research Fellow, ELINAS

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

President of the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts

Prof. Dr. Klaus Mecke

Institute of Theoretical Physics



Launching in February 2023, this seminar series will map out relations between the life sciences, critical theory, contemporary literature and the visual arts. Sessions will alternate between academic presentations and informal workshop sessions exploring recent artistic work and research.


The proposed scope of biocriticism is:

a. critical examination of artistic engagement with biological images, discourse and practices

b. critical theory currently engaging with the concepts and discourse of the life sciences

c. art as a space which engages critically with biological theory, technology and rhetoric


The theme for 2023 is "Through the Microscope": we will explore art and theory inspired by microbiological, genetic and epigenetic perspectives. The full programme is now available: 

  • February 24th, 2 pm Central European Time, in person and online


Communication scholar Professor Lisa B. Keränen (Colorado University) will discuss 

Biocriticism as inventional practice: The case of global health security”.

Her respondent will be Literature scholar Professor Catherine Bernard (Université Paris Cité).

NB The first meeting will exceptionally be in person as well as online, in the Salle du Conseil, Maison de la Recherche, 4 rue des Irlandais, Paris.  


  • March 10th, 2 pm Central European Time, online

Theatre director Frédérique Aït-Touati (CNRS) will discuss La Trilogie Terrestre (created with Bruno Latour)


  • April 21st2 pm Central European Timeonline

Professor François-Joseph Lapointe (Université de Montréal) will discuss microbiology in his artistic practice


  • May 12th, 2 pm Central European Time, online

Artist-designer Marie-Sarah Adénis will discuss microbiology in her artistic practice


  • June 9th, 2 pm Central European Time, online

Literature scholar Dr Lara Choksey (University College London) will discuss epigenetics, poetics, and atmosphere


Please contact Liliane Campos for information and links:

BioCriticism is organised with the support of PRISMES EA4398 and the Institut Universitaire de France


The Literary Twilight Zone: Nonfictional Fiction, 1820–1920

The University of Birmingham, Wednesday 28 June 2023

"The mystical student of psychology, who knows the inadequacy of a bare statement of facts for the presentation of psychic incidents, will hardly need an apology for the form in which the narratives are cast."
Mohini Chatterji and Laura Holloway, Man: Fragments of Forgotten History (1885)

Keynote: Dr Tatiana Kontou Senior Lecturer in Nineteenth Century Literature, Oxford Brookes University

Fiction is not always entirely fictional. Indeed, many of the long nineteenth century’s most famous writers – including Edgar Allan Poe, Marie Corelli, and Émile Zola – wilfully blurred the boundary with nonfiction. Scientific and paranormal romances provided unrepentantly literary spaces to contribute to modern thought, while other authors opted for experimental naturalism, impeccably researched historical novels, hoaxes, thought experiments, and truth claims disguised as fiction.

Fascinating scholarship has analysed twentieth-century writings that sit uneasily on the fact-fiction binary, from Charles Fort’s The Book of the Damned (1919) to the space opera origins of Scientology. This work has rarely been linked in detail to its nineteenth-century origins, despite burgeoning research on occult writers like Edward Bulwer Lytton, whose novels were interpreted by some readers as partially true. Scholars of nineteenth-century literature still have much to bring to a conversation which has been flourishing in research on science fiction, esotericism, and popular culture. During this period modern disciplines and literary genres were gestating, as were (fragile) boundaries between the scholarly and the popular, the aesthetic and the scientific, the scientific and the pseudoscientific. What advantages did fiction hold for authors who chose it over nonfiction journalism or scholarly articles? And how did their readers interpret works – from the conventional to the bizarre and avant-garde – that combined Wissenschaft and fantasy?

This one-day academic workshop, hosted by the Nineteenth-Century Centre, brings together scholars interested in fiction’s relationships with the creation of knowledge. Global subject matter is welcomed, and potential topics include:

  • Scientific romance
  • Paranormal narratives
  • Marginalised authors
  • Footnotes and fiction
  • Hoaxes and fraud
  • Generic fluidity
  • Creative nonfiction
  • Pseudoarchaeology
  • Imaginary portraits
  • Semifiction
  • The experimental novel
  • Roman à thèse

Papers can be 20 minutes in length, but we also welcome proposals for alternate formats. The deadline for abstracts of up to 250 words and bios of 150 words is 17 March 2023. Send enquiries to Travel bursaries available on request.

This event is hosted by the Nineteenth-Century Centre at the University of Birmingham, which provides a collaborative network for scholars working across traditional disciplinary, national, and temporal boundaries. They host regular events of interest to members and mobilise the rich resources of the local area to support both research and teaching.

This event is funded by grants from the Leverhulme Trust and the British Society for Literature and Science.

Disruptive Imaginations 

Joint Annual Conference of SFRA and GfF

TU Dresden, Germany, August 15-19, 2023

The societies invite papers on all forms and genres of science fiction and the fantastic in relation to the paradigm of disruption, including but not limited to literature, music, film, games, design, and art. Presentations may be held either in English or German. They strive for a diversity of voices and perspectives from any and all disciplines and career stages. While papers on any subject in SFF are welcome, they especially encourage topics that resonate with the overall conference theme and that engage disruptive imaginations along axes that include but are not limited to:


  • SFF imagination under conditions of disruption, e.g., energy crisis; toxicity; climate disruption; war; colonialism; dis/ability and ableism; trauma; white supremacy
  • SFF imagination against disruption, e.g., resilience; worldmaking; utopia; decolonization and restitution; cultural healing; kinship; critical and co-futurisms (African and Afro-futurisms, Indigenous Futurisms, Queer and Trans Futurisms, Crip Futurisms, LatinX Futurisms,…)
  • SFF imagination in need of disruption, e.g., SFF and systems of oppression; the energy unsconious of SFF; transhumanism and eugenics; SFF tropes/histories/conventions of white supremacy, colonialism, heteropatriarchy, and technological solutionism
  • SFF imagination as a force of disruption, e.g., SFF in/as activism; emancipatory forms of SFF publishing (e.g., Destroy! Series); the cultural/bodily/social/political/aesthetic/ecological impact of SFF; SFF as medium of political subversion and agitation; alt-right utilization of SFF rhetoric
  • SFF imagination of disruption, e.g., ruptures of space and time; geoengineering; gene editing; hacking; revolution; border crossings, unsettling of hierarchies, chimeras and hybrids, creative technologies and alternative communication media


Proposal for individual presentations, panels, or non-traditional formats (roundtable, artistic research, participatory formats, etc.) are welcome, in English or German. For individual presentation, we ask for an abstract of 300 words and a short bio (150 words). For preformed panels we require a proposal (single file) that includes a 300 word summary of the panel topic, abstracts of 200 words for each contribution, and bio notes (150 words) for all participants. Please send all submissions to by March 1, 2023. Options for limited hybrid participation will be available. More information will be supplied soon on our conference website


Both organizations give out a limited number of travel grants to help students, PhD candidates and non-tenured participants with their expenses: SFRA members are eligible to apply for travel grants of up to 500$; the GfF offers four travel grants of 250€ each, membership not required. Please indicate your interest upon submitting your abstract.



The 2023 conference for the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK and Ireland (ASLE-UKI) will be hosted by the Literature and Science Hub at the University of Liverpool, 29 August to 1 September. ASLE-UKI welcomes participation from scholars, readers, and creative practitioners interested in the relationships between literatures, environments and cultures – past, present, or future – from anywhere in the world.

The theme of the 2023 conference is “Transitions“. Keynote speakers include: Brycchan Carey, Nandini Das, Caroline Edwards, Graeme MacDonald, Chris Pak, and Craig Santos Perez. 

n addition to relatively traditional academic formats we wish to encourage experimental modes of presentation including creative proposals. Possible formats include:

  • individual scholarly or creative-critical papers of 20 minutes
  • preformed panels comprising three or four papers/dialogues/conversations/performances
  • round table discussion panels with three to five participants

Please submit proposals via the following links. Include contact details, brief bios, and an abstract of up to 300 words by 1st June 2023.

Visit the conference website for further details.

Theatre about Science: Theory and Practice9-11 November, University of Coimbra, PortugalFollowing the fantastic meeting we had last year, we invite you to meet again in Coimbra next year, for the Theatre About Science Conference 2023.We welcome contributions ranging from the performing arts to the communication of science, and of diverse nature - from academic to practical research and performance. We also welcome contributions exploring connections of theatre with formal, natural, health and social sciences.We encourage participants from all over the globe, with the aim of mapping and expanding the network of people working in this interdisciplinary field.You can find more detailed information, as well as submit your proposals, in the following link:


« Older entries