University College London is launching a new series of Science and Literature talks this term with the following talk:

Tuesday, 4th November, 5.30-7.30 pm

Reading and Reception Seminar – Science and Literature Series

G24, Foster Court, University College London,

Malet Place, WC1

Prof Sally Shuttleworth (Oxford)

‘Animal instinct and whispering machines: Science in the Victorian periodical’

KCL seminars

The Department of English at King’s College London is running a series of research seminars on literature and science this term. For details, click on the link below:

Dept research seminar 201415

There are still some places left for non-presenting delegates. To register please visit


18 TO 21 JUNE, 2015

Nicosia, Cyprus

HOST:                  Centre for Visual Arts and Research (CVAR) with the support of the Cyprus College of Art 

VENUE:                The Centre for Visual Arts and Research, Nicosia, Cyprus 

THEME:                Mediterranean and cross-cultural influences upon Margaret Cavendish’s writings. 

The theme may include topics such as:

  • Cross-cultural influences in relation to trade, art, literature, piracy and captivity 
  • Classical (Greco-Roman) identities, philosophy, literature, art and culture 
  • International conversations in science and philosophy including botany, animal husbandry general agriculture, mathematics, etc. 

Early modernists and modernists from all disciplines (e.g. art history, social history, history of science, literature, ecofeminism, political theory etc) are invited to submit proposals for papers related to the theme of the conference.


20-minute papers are invited on topics related directly or indirectly to the theme of the conference. 

ABSTRACTS of 150 to 200 words should be emailed to the conference organizers. 

For more information and to register please visit the website:

or e’mail Professor James Fitzmaurice at

For those not going to the NAVSA conference in London, Ontario, you can hear Professor Gillian Beer’s lecture ‘ “Are you animal – or vegetable – or mineral” Alice and Others’ in London, UK, on 16 October, at QMUL: click here for more information.

British Society for Literature and Science
Symposium on Teaching

University of Westminster, Regent Street, London – 8th November, 2014

CALL FOR PAPERS AND PARTICIPATION – REMINDER DEADLINE 10th OCTOBER (open registration details to follow)

Literature and Science is currently gaining popularity amongst undergraduates, but opportunities for discussing how – and why – to teach it remain thin on the ground. This one-day symposium, led by the British Society for Literature and Science with support from Westminster’s Centre for the Study of Science and Imagination, is designed to help further that discussion.

We are keen to hear from as many different perspectives as possible, and therefore invite contributions from anyone with experience as a teacher, postgraduate teaching assistant, student, or administrator of an undergraduate course on (or containing elements of) Literature and Science, broadly defined.

For this event, we have adopted a different format from the standard academic twenty-minute conference paper, and will ask speakers to present in a more informal tone and for different lengths of time depending on the session. These shorter, less formal presentations will minimise preparation time for speakers as well as increasing discussion time for all participants.

With this low-preparation, discursive format in mind, we warmly solicit expressions of interest (not more than 200 words, including a brief biography and details of experience with Literature and Science teaching) from potential speakers. These should be sent to Dr. Will Tattersdill ( not later than October 10th 2014. Subjects we are anxious to discuss include, but are not limited to:

Why Literature and Science is worth teaching to undergraduates (and why it might not be)
Reflections on how, if at all, Literature and Science needs to be taught differently from other undergraduate programmes.
Particular difficulties encountered in convening a Literature and Science course, be they conceptual, administrative, logistical, or pedagogical.
Experiences collaborating with academic staff from other disciplines, including the sciences.
Student reactions to Literature and Science material, positive and negative.
We are committed to inviting contributions from those teaching literature and science across all historical periods, working across international educational contexts as well as within the British higher education system. There will be invited speakers as well as this open call, and current undergraduates will hopefully be among the delegates.

Many of us teach literature and science on our own initiative, coping individually with both the joys and challenges raised by the endeavour. This is an important chance to consolidate those experiences and build strategies – and collegial networks – which will continue to drive the field forward at its grass roots: undergraduate teaching.

Cian Duffy (St. Mary’s)
Allyson Purcell-Davis (St. Mary’s)
Janine Rogers (Mt. Allison)
Will Tattersdill (Birmingham)
Martin Willis (Westminster)

There will be three sessions of the Oxford Literature and Science seminar this coming term. All are welcome.

Monday 20 October, 2pm (St Cross Building SCR): Jay Labinger (California Institute of Technology), “Metaphoric vs. Literal Uses of Science: Entropy as Time’s (Double-Headed) Arrow in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia and other Recent Literature.”

Friday 14 November, 2pm (St Cross Building, Seminar Room B): Michael Whitworth (Merton), “Science and Poetry in the 1920s and 1930s.”

Friday 28 November, 2pm (St Cross Building, Seminar Room B): Madeleine Geddes-Barton (Cambridge), “Scientific Structuralism and the Ithaca chapter of Ulysses.

Talks are planned for the Spring and Summer terms by Natalia Cecire (Sussex), Charlotte Sleigh (Kent), Ralph O’Connor (Aberdeen), John Holmes (Reading), and Christopher Pittard (Portsmouth), as well as two sessions of papers from current Oxford graduate students. The exact schedule is still to be confirmed, but the dates will be Fridays 6 Feb, 20 Feb, 6 March, 20 March, 1 May, 15 May, and 22 May at 2 p.m..


Oxford University’s Literature and Medicine Seminar is returning this Autumn. To see the programme of events, click here.

A new seminar series is starting at Oxford on science, medicine and culture in the nineteenth century. Here is the programme for this term.

Wednesday 22nd October 2014


David Trotter, King Edward VII Professor of English Literature, University of Cambridge

Signalling Madly: Telegraphy and Obsessive Behaviour in Late-Nineteenth Century Fiction

5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College


Wednesday 12th November 2014


Pietro Corsi, Professor of History of Science, University of Oxford

Across Boundaries: The Business of Scientific Periodicals in Early Nineteenth Century Europe

5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 5, St Anne’s College


Wednesday 3rd December 2014


Dr Susannah Wilson, Department of French Studies, University of Warwick

Decadents, Innocents and Medical Men: Morphine Addiction in Fin-de-Siècle France

5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

For more detailed, visit the Diseases of Modern Life website.

Scientiae Toronto 2015

27-29 May 2015, Victoria College, University of Toronto

Keynotes: Anthony Grafton (Princeton) & Peter Dear (Cornell)

The CFP for Scientiae 2015 (Toronto, 27-29 May) is now available online. Paper, panel, and round-table proposals are invited for the fourth annual international conference on the emergent knowledge practices of the early-modern period (1450-1750). The major premise of this conference is that knowledge during the period of the Scientific Revolution was inherently interdisciplinary, involving complex mixtures of practices and objects which had yet to be separated into their modern “scientific” hierarchies. Our approach, therefore, needs to be equally wide-ranging, involving Biblical exegesis, art theory, logic, and literary humanism; as well as natural philosophy, alchemy, occult practices, and trade knowledge. Attention is also given to mapping intellectual geographies through the tools of the digital humanities. Always, our focus must be on the subject-matter at hand, rather than on the disciplinary performances by which we access it. Although centred around the emergence of modern natural science, Scientiae is intended for scholars working in any area of early-modern intellectual culture.

Abstracts for individual papers of 20 minutes should be between 250 and 350 words in length. For panel sessions of 1 hour and 30 minutes, a list of speakers and chair (with affiliations), a 500-word panel abstract, and individual abstracts from each speaker are required. Newly at Scientiae 2015, we also invite proposals for a limited number of topic-based roundtable sessions. These should feature brief presentations from 2 or 3 knowledgeable speakers on a defined but broad issue in early-modern intellectual history, with the intention of opening up multilateral discussion from the floor—the main business of the session.

All submissions should be made by 17 November 2014 using the online form here.

For any questions, please contact the conference convenor, James A.T. Lancaster (

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