As many of you will recall, we are moving to a quarterly publication of the BSLS newsletter; in hopes that our inaugural Winter Newsletter will be richly more than a masthead followed by filler, BSLS members are invited to submit items suitable for inclusion by Word attachment to jennihalpin@gmail.com. Please direct them to me by Tuesday, January 31. Notices referring to the past three months’ activities are welcomed.

I especially encourage you to send:

  • Notices of new books (including monographs and edited volumes) published by members;
  • Brief reports on science and literature events, seminars, conference panels, keynotes, and symposia organized by (or otherwise participated in by) members;
  • Funding awards in relevant areas;
  • Members’ completed PhDs (with note of title and awarding institution);
  • Festivals, exhibitions, public talks, media appearances, and other public engagement in the field by members; and
  • Forthcoming events to publicise, with CFPs, links, contact information, etc.

Please hold off on announcements of forthcoming books; in the shift to quarterly publication we focus on books members will find available when the Newsletter is published. However, I would like to underscore that a JPEG of a book's cover will look well in the Newsletter and is invited along with the Word document indicating publication information and an abstract.

Be mindful that the Society broadly defines ‘science’ to include areas such as medicine and technology. Hold items under 250 words, please, and note that memberships should be up to date for items to be included in the Newsletter. For details of renewals please contact the Membership Secretary, Jessica Roberts (j.roberts@edu.salford.ac.uk).

Gratefully,
Jenni Halpin, Newsletter Editor

Deadline for abstract submissions: 1 February 2017

Full name / name of organization: Natalie Roxburgh, Jennifer Henke

Contact email: natalie.roxburgh@uni-siegen.de, j.henke@uni-bremen.de

Psychopharmacology and British Literature, 1650 to 1900, an edited volume to be submitted for consideration in the series Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science, and Medicine, is now inviting submissions. This volume’s aim is to bring together multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives on plant-based and/or chemical psychoactive substances that were new to contemporaries. Essays will investigate the time period of 1650 to 1900, the period in which psychoactive drug use, which had always been a part of cultural practice, became intensified partly because of colonial exploration and bio-prospecting but also because of the rise of pharmacological sciences and the advent of synthetic organic chemistry in the eighteenth century.

Rather than focusing on biographies of writers who used drugs as many scholarly inquiries already have done, papers in this volume will emphasize 1) the literary representations of drugs in British literature and 2) the contexts in which they were sold, used, and understood to work on the human brain and body.

We welcome contributions on psychoactive substances ranging from, but not limited to: new types of alcohol, opium, morphine, cannabis, coca, laudanum, tobacco, coffee, tea, chocolate, and sugar.

Possible angles include:

  • the aesthetics of intoxication
  • new approaches to psychopharmacological medicine in literature
  • literature and the history of addiction
  • new contexts for the biochemistry of drugs as represented in literature
  • social attitudes towards drug use as represented in literature

Please submit a 500-word proposal to natalie.roxburgh@uni-siegen.de and j.henke@unibremen.de by 1 February 2017. Acknowledgement of accepted proposals will be given by 1 March 2017. For those invited to contribute to the volume, completed essays of 5000-6000 words will be due by 1 September 2017. Please follow MLA style for in-text documentation and bibliography.

Here are the details of this term's seminars in the Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century series at Oxford:

Wednesday 1 February 2017
Professor Barbara Taylor, Queen Mary University of London
Pathologies of Solitude
5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College
Drinks will be served after the seminar. All welcome, no booking required.
https://diseasesofmodernlife.org/category/events

**

Wednesday 22 February 2017
Dr Helena Ifill, University of Sheffield
Medical Authority, (pseudo)Science and the Explained Supernatural in Late Victorian Female Gothic Fiction
5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College.
Drinks will be served after the seminar. All welcome, no booking required.
https://diseasesofmodernlife.org/category/events

Literature and Science Hub, University of Liverpool, 20th April 2017

An interdisciplinary, one-day conference on the cultural representation, study and conservation of trees and woodlands.

Our keynote speaker will be Professor Fiona Stafford (Somerville College, Oxford), author of The Long, Long Life of Trees (2016)

Trees are sites of natural, cultural and personalised memory. Their life-spans can encompass decades of human encounters, experiences and narratives, and this has long made them objects for scientific study and imaginative engagement.

Whilst their rings record generations of arboreal and human co-existence, even today we are still learning about the importance of these entities on a national and global scale.  Research continues on the ‘Wood-Wide-Web’, and we are still shaping our awareness of how trees communicate and support one another via root-systems, and what this could mean for our perception and treatment of them in the future.

In 2017, The Charter for Trees, Woods and People will launch across the UK, on the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest. This charter was signed in 1217 and it aimed to protect the rights of the people to access the Royal Forests. In the coming months, multiple institutions, environmental and cultural partners are coming together to celebrate the beauty and utility of these entities, to consider the memorial value of trees and woods in the public consciousness, and to create a charter that puts these valuable spaces at the heart of decision-making. This new tree charter aims to share the public and personal memories of trees and woodlands, and reinforce their continuing importance in everyday life.

From root-tip to the upper-most branches, trees are at once single entities and part of a much wider community and environment. This one day conference aims to bring together current and different strands of research that focus on trees and woodlands. This event will explore how we shape the ongoing memory of trees, and how trees continue shape our own identity too.

Proposals from any discipline or context are invited. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Representations of trees, forests, or woodland ecologies in Literature or the Visual Arts (of any period or context).

The Wood-Wide-Web: trees and communication.

Woodland and forest ecologies.

Trees, conservation and climate change.

Dendrochronology and woodlands of the past.

Ancient trees, historical and cultural memory.

If you are interested in presenting at this event, please submit a 200-word paper proposal and a short biographical note by 1st March 2017 to Anna Burton at hsaburto@liv.ac.uk General expressions of interest or questions about the event are also welcome. The registration fee is expected to be £20, and will include lunch and refreshments.

Reviews that have appeared on the British Society for Literature and Science website in December 2016

A list of books for which we are currently seeking reviewers can be found here.

Please email Gavin Budge on <G.Budge@herts.ac.uk> if you would like to propose a book for review  - anything published from 2013 onwards will be considered.

This is a list of books that are currently in the process of being reviewed.

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The newly founded research training group “Life Sciences – Life Writing” (GRK 2015/1), starting April 1, 2017, is advertising Doctoral Fellowships in Medicine and the Humanities (m/f), Reference 797/16. As part of the German Research Foundation (DFG) funded research training group “Life Sciences, Life Writing: Experiences at the Boundaries of Human Life between Biomedical Explanation and Lived Experience” (GRK 2015/1), the University of Mainz and the Mainz University Clinic are jointly inviting applications for 3 doctoral fellowships.

http://obama-institute.com/doctoral-fellowships-in-medicine-and-the-humanities/

The graduate journal Pulse is seeking book reviewers and research papers. Further information on reviewing is available here and on the call for papers here.

Research Studentships

Three Quintin Hogg Trust PhD studentships in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities is delighted to offer three fully funded Quintin Hogg Trust PhD studentships beginning in September 2017 for projects using the University of Westminster Archive. The Archive holds a wide collection of material on the history of the University and its predecessor institutions from 1838 to the present. The Studentships will be awarded to projects making excellent use of the University Archive, and to applicants demonstrating commitment to the promotion of the Archive both within the University and externally and to the development of the University’s research student community.

The three Scholarships will be awarded across the following broad areas:

Creative Writing based on material in the Archive

Performing science in the 19th century

Leisure, religion and mobility: Quintin Hogg and the Regent Street Polytechnic

Photography and/as pedagogy

It is strongly recommended that candidates contact the Archive and arrange to visit and speak to an archivist before applying. Please contact Anna McNally at the Archive: a.mcnally@westminster.ac.uk.

Full details on how to apply are available.

Applications are now invited for the next round of both competitions, each with a deadline of 1st March 2017.

BSLS Small Grants Scheme

Applications are invited for BSLS small grants of up to £400 to promote the study of literature and science. We are open to all sorts of proposals other than personal conference expenses. Examples of activities for which the awards might be used are expenses for a visiting speaker, a seminar series, or a symposium. Applications for support to stage special BSLS panels at appropriate conferences (other than the BSLS 2017 conference) will be considered.

Recent events supported by the scheme include: conferences on ‘The Body and Pseudoscience in the Long Nineteenth Century’ at the University of Newcastle, and on ‘Doing Science: Texts, Patterns, Practices’ at the University of Cologne; EXEWHIRR, a public-engagement event on ‘The Human-Technology Relationship through the Ages’ at the Bike Shed in Exeter, and; a symposium on ‘Biomedical Science and the Maternal Body’ at the University of Southampton organised by the Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network.

Applicants should be current members of BSLS and should apply by making a case for how the award will contribute to the development of literature and science, with a brief outline of costs of the project. Applications should be no longer than 500 words. Where funding is sought for BSLS panels a clear indication of the scope of the panel, and of its contribution to the understanding of literature and science, should be included. Recipients of small grants are asked to acknowledge BSLS sponsorship appropriately in publicity for events and to provide a brief report on events for the BSLS newsletter and website.

Applicants may apply for any amount up to £400; in some instances a proportion of the amount applied for may be awarded. International members of BSLS are welcome to apply for the awards, but should note that they will be distributed in the form of bank cheques made out in pounds sterling. Serving members of the BSLS Executive Committee are not eligible to apply for the awards. We cannot enter into correspondence about the decisions of the Committee.

The application should be e-mailed, as a Word attachment, to the BSLS Secretary, Greg Lynall (g.j.lynall@liverpool.ac.uk) by 1st March 2017. Please put 'BSLS small grant' in the subject heading of your email. Applications will then be considered by the BSLS Executive Committee, with successful applicants informed by the end of March. Queries about the scheme should be directed to Greg Lynall.

 

BSLS Postgraduate Conference Fund

Applications are invited for bursaries of £200 for BSLS postgraduate student members toward the cost of presenting research papers at conferences (this excludes the BSLS annual conference, which has its own postgraduate bursary scheme). In addition to funding attendance at literature and science conferences, we would like to fund members who intend to give papers on literature and science at conferences which are not specifically focused on this topic, in order to promote the study of our field more widely.

To be eligible, applicants must

  • Be a member of the BSLS
  • Be a current research student
  • Be presenting a paper at a conference held after 1st April 2017

 

Eligible expenses include conference fees, travel and accommodation costs. Applicants must provide an outline of their research paper, justify why the funds are required (i.e. give a break-down of the budget) and state whether they have applied to any other funding sources (and the outcomes of those applications). You should also state why you think the particular conference you have chosen would be valuable, both for your own career and with regard to the wider objectives of the BSLS. Applications should be no longer than 500 words. Successful applicants will be expected to provide a brief report on their paper and experience of the conference, for the BSLS newsletter and website.

International members of BSLS are welcome to apply for the awards, but should note that they will be distributed in the form of bank cheques made out in pounds sterling. Serving members of the BSLS Executive Committee are not eligible to apply for the awards. We cannot enter into correspondence about the decisions of the Committee.

The application should be e-mailed, as a Word attachment, to the BSLS Early Career Executive Committee Member, Ros Ambler-Alderman (rsaa1e09@soton.ac.uk) by 1st March 2017. Please put 'BSLS PG conference fund' in the subject heading of your email. Applications will then be considered by the BSLS Executive Committee, with successful applicants informed by the end of September. Queries about the fund should be directed to Ros Ambler-Alderman.

 

University of Bristol, 6-8 April 2017

ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT TO SUBMIT YOUR ABSTRACTS!

The twelfth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will take place at the University of Bristol, from Thursday 6 April until Saturday 8 April 2017.

Keynote talks will be given by Professor Havi Carel (University of Bristol), Professor Robert Mitchell (Duke University), and Professor Ralph O’Connor(University of Aberdeen).

The BSLS invites proposals for twenty-minute papers, or panels of three papers, on any subjects within the field of literature and science.  Please send an abstract (c.200 words) and short biographical note to the conference organiser (Ros Powell bsls-2017@bristol.ac.uk) by no later than 5pm GMT, Friday 9 December 2016. Please see the full CFP at www.bsls.ac.uk

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