Agustí Nieto-Galan, Professor of History of Science at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, sends word of a new call for participation in an edited volume on Flammarion in Latin America. The full call - in Spanish - is here.

The full programme for this year's Extinctions and Rebellions symposium - to take place on Nov 16th 2019 at the University of Liverpool - can now be downloaded here!

If you'd like to attend, tickets are still available. They are free, but you need to sign up at this link.

More details about our annual symposium can be found on this page.

Tuesday 29 October, 7-8.30pm
The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS

In autumn 1933, Albert Einstein found himself living alone in an isolated holiday hut in rural England. There, he toiled peacefully at mathematics while occasionally stepping out for walks or to play his violin. But how had Einstein come to abandon his Berlin home and go ‘"on the run"? Andrew Robinson tells the story of the world’s greatest scientist and Britain for the first time, showing why Britain was the perfect refuge for Einstein from rumoured assassination by Nazi agents.

For tickets (£7-16) and more info, please click here.

Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th April 2020

Kelvin Hall, University of Glasgow, Scotland

https://phpiglasgow.wixsite.com/website | @phpi_glasgow

Deadline for abstracts: midnight Friday 29th November 2019

Public Health, Private Illness is a two-day interdisciplinary medical humanities conference for early career researchers and postgraduate students. 

We live in a climate of public health crises. Debates rage over the future of the NHS. Vaccination has become politicised. Concerns are mounting about emerging infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance in an age of globalisation. At the same time, new ways of conceiving of health and illness at an individual level have emerged. Neoliberal policy focuses on individual risk and lifestyle interventions. Social movements like neurodiversity, mad pride or body positivity challenge medical discourses and rework difference as identity rather than pathology. 

We want to interrogate the public/private distinction within health, medicine and wellbeing, and to examine the many and complex intersections between public health ideals and the individual experience of health, illness, body and mind. We are particularly interested in debating marginalised and non-traditional perspectives on what can sometimes be a well-trodden debate.

Alongside panels, the conference includes a number of optional and less formal sessions on the conference theme. These include: a book-making workshop; a zine handling and discussion workshop, a creative writing workshop, and museum object-handling session, and a death cafe discussion. 

We are also hosting a poetry and fiction reading event on the Wednesday evening (venue TBC). This event is open to the public and will allow us to explore creative responses to the conference theme in a more informal, non-academic context. More information to follow soon for those interested in reading their work at this event.

Keynote Speaker: Dr Chisomo Kalinga, University of Edinburgh - ‘No man is an island’: Understanding Indigenous and African perspectives of personal wellbeing within Global Health Studies

Possible topics: We are open to proposals from a variety of backgrounds and time periods from scholars whose work concerns issues of health, illness, medicine and care. This includes cultural, literary, historical, linguistic, philosophical, theological and political approaches as well as practice-based responses to the theme and humanities work from within medical and veterinary science and practice. All approaches are welcome.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • public health campaigns and social health movements, including those which challenge medical discourses
  • conceptions of health, fitness and wellbeing
  • body, mind, and (inter)subjectivity
  • issues of conformism and resistance within medicine
  • health inequalities and stigma
  • nursing and other modes of care; the role of allied health care professionals
  • mental health, madness and psychological disorder
  • dying, death, hospice and end-of-life care

Abstracts: We welcome modes of presentation beyond conventional 20-minute papers including readings, performances, displays and posters as well as less formal 10-minute papers as provocations for discussion. Proposals for 20-minute papers or 10-minute provocations should include a 250-word abstract and a 100-word biography with contact information. Proposals for other formats should include a title, brief description and 100-word biography and contact details. Please do not feel constrained by the conventions of your discipline. All submissions and enquiries should be sent to PHPIGlasgow@gmail.com by midnight on Friday 29th November 2019.

Cost: This conference is free to attend. In addition, a limited number of travel bursaries are available. If you wish to be considered for a bursary, please include a 100-word justification with your proposal, outlining how you will be travelling to the conference and how attending is relevant to your studies/career. 

Venue: The conference will be held at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow’s West End, minutes away from the University of Glasgow. It is easily accessible: the Kelvin Hall travel guide includes detailed information about travel by bus, car, foot, bicycle, train and subway.

Accessibility: Kelvin Hall is fully wheelchair accessible. There is a hearing assistance system for the lecture theatre and step free access to the speaker's area. There is an onsite quiet room, a parents’ room and accessible changing room. Please view the Kelvin hall floor plan or the Accessable guide (which includes detailed information and photographs) for more information. Contact us at PHPIGlasgow@gmail.com if you would like to discuss your accessibility needs further.

Organisers: This conference is organised by the Medical Humanities ECR Group at the Medical Humanities Research Centre, University of Glasgow. It is generously funded by the University of Glasgow’s College of Arts and the British Society for Literature and Science.

Please direct any questions to PHPIGlasgow@gmail.com

The Centre for Global Knowledge Studies at the University of Cambridge are launching a new book series on Global Epistemics, published by Rowman & Littlefield International, in Cambridge on 29 October 2019. Follow the links to read more about the series and to book a place at the launch.

Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) will be publishing a special issue on Artificial Intelligence and its Discontents, edited by Colin Shunryu Garvey (Fellow, Human-Centered AI Institute, Stanford University). To read the call for papers, click below:

Next year's conference of the Commission on Science and Literature will be held in Girona in Spain on 2-4 July. Here is the preliminary call for papers:

CoSciLit 2020 Call for Papers

The fifteenth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will be held at the University of Sheffield from Wednesday 15 April until Friday 17 April 2020.

Keynote speakers will be Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell (Oxford), Professor Martin Willis (Cardiff), and Professor Angela Wright (Sheffield).

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.

The conference will include a visit to the Alfred Denny Zoological Museum (pictured), and the Turner Museum of Glass will host a keynote lecture and the wine reception.

Please send an abstract (200 words) and short biographical note (50 words) to Katherine Ebury and Helena Ifill at shefbsls2020@gmail.com by no later than 18.00 GMT on Thursday 12th of December. Please include the abstract and biographical note in the body of the email.

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 registration fees 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).

CFP: Randomness

Queen's University, Belfast
15-17 September 2020

Keywords
Accidental, arbitrary, incidental, slapdash, hit-or-miss, unplanned, unintended (e.g. consequences), unexpected, unanticipated, unpredictable, contingent, volatility, excitement, wonder, fantasy, imagination, creativity, serendipity.

Chance encounters, unforeseen opportunities, and impulsive decisions play a bigger role in our life and work than we wish to acknowledge. Is reading not always random to some extent? It is only retrospectively, in shifting scale from the individual to social or perspective from reading to interpreting, that randomness becomes regularity and can get explained away as purpose and design.

Randomness and chance play a leading role in historical accounts, in narratives of war and battles, victory and defeat, in biographies and travelogues, in narratives of arrivals, encounters and departures. They resurface in stories, setting characters onto a course or hurtling them into the great unknown, towards their fate. People’s bookshelves, readers’ memories, and second-hand bookshops can produce a similar, puzzling – even dizzying – sense of randomness.
 
Fortunes of literary works and theory are not immune to the dictates of chance. What are the forces that get literary works published, translated, circulated locally or internationally, and nominated for and winning literary prizes? When do managed search algorithms fail and serendipitous connections appear? How do chance encounters with a literary work, a theory, or lead to translations or adaptations, new creative adventures, or additional and alternative theories?
 
Artists and writers can be more comfortable with randomness than scholars; they break away from the space of the familiar and the already-known and place trust in the process of the work itself. Critics are driven by institutional pressures to present their work as an execution of purpose, design and method. But randomness persists even in grand geo-political schemes. Randomness overcomes censorship and solutions are always found to circulate books without the support of publishers or the state. Randomness happens despitecontrol, and may be the more attractive for it. It is often random finds that are the most treasured with a sense of delight. Random encounters excite imagination and creativity.
 
Randomness is also openness; it stands more often at beginnings and turns of the road of many literary and critical careers. How do we cultivate a sense of wonder and open up our critical discourses and theories of comparative literature and world literature to more inclusive and elastic modes of thinking and writing? Can we use randomness in and outside texts and oeuvresproductively, to our advantage? 
 
We seek panels that will work with the idea of randomness, particularly in relation to:
 
  • Encounters with literary works, theories and cultural others
  • Adaptations, new writings, performances, visualizations within the same literary/cultural field, or outside.
  • Representing randomness through visualisations and digital interfaces.
  • Multilingualism, heterolingualism, plurilingualism, translanguaging
  • Performance, performativity
  • Politics of the literary/cultural market, including publication, translation, circulation, literary prizes and literary festivals (and book fairs)
  • Critiquing randomness in the age of search algorithms
  • Unpredictable futures
  • Ecocritical approaches to randomness and unpredictability
  • Translation and translation studies, choice of work and language, choice of method and style
  • Theories and Methods of Comparative Literature and World Literature
 
Deadlines: 15 November 2019 for Panel proposals and 15 December 2019 for paper proposals.
Submit your proposal to: randomness2020bcla@gmail.com or through the conference website https://randomness2020.wordpress.com/call-for-papers/

A special issue of Romanticism on the Net, edited by Martin Priestman and Louise Lee, has just been published on 'The Two Darwins'. To read the introduction and the articles, click here. Because of a hiatus in publication, the issue has been backdated to 2016 and published under the journal's then title Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net

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