Fully-funded three-year AHRC Research and Enterprise in Arts and Creative Technology (REACT) Collaborative PhD Studentship: Thomas Hardy and Heritage

Based at Dorset County Museum and the University of Exeter (Centres for Literature and Archives and for Victorian Studies, College of Humanities), this studentship will be focused on Thomas Hardy and his correspondents. The letters to Hardy (over 4,000) form part of Dorset County Museum's Thomas Hardy Memorial Collection, the largest Hardy collection in the world, selected in 2013 for the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Programme register.

The correspondence reveals Hardy’s involvement in a global network, engaged in social, intellectual and political debates from science and war to education and female emancipation, and includes letters from prominent writers (e.g. Grant Allen, J.M. Barrie, Browning, Havelock Ellis, George Egerton, Gissing, Kipling, T.E. Lawrence, Levy, Meredith, Charlotte Mew, Ezra Pound, Siegfried Sassoon, Swinburne, Wells, Woolf), artists and illustrators (Augustus John, George Du Maurier, Helen Paterson), musicians (e.g. Elgar, Holst), actors, charitable and political organizations, with correspondents from Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, Syria, Tasmania and the USA. The correspondence also sheds light on other historically significant individuals and on perceptions of the writer, and on the social practice of letter writing. The letters remain uncatalogued, unpublished and largely unknown, whereas the letters from Hardy are in print (and have been available online since 2012).

The PhD researcher will be based at Dorset County Museum, with supervision, training, mentoring and additional research taking place both at the University of Exeter and the museum. At Exeter, the student will be supervised by Professors Angelique Richardson and Tim Kendall, with Professor Gabriella Giannachi as the project mentor and Gary Stringer as the technical adviser. Dr Jon Murden, DCM Director, will supervise the student’s DCM activities, offering professional advice and support. The postholder will be granted full access to DCM's facilities, library and archival resources.

The project will enable the student to produce original knowledge, providing new contexts for reading Hardy as well as gaining knowledge of and informing the museum's existing multi-disciplinary software development. Working with Exeter's digital humanities team they will have the opportunity to inform the development of new mobile technology to interpret, entertain and educate, enhancing access to the newly catalogued archive, and allowing visitors to interact directly with the letters. In addition, the student will gain valuable skills providing comprehensive summaries and keywords for an international SPECTRUM standard catalogue, and will be expected to develop and disseminate his/her research, informing the museum’s display programme, public talks and outreach initiatives, and working with schools as well as in conjunction with the learning group of the Thomas Hardy Steering Group (partners include Dorset County Museum, Exeter, The National Trust, Bath Spa University, Dorset County Council, Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Thomas Hardy Society).

Duration and value of award
The PhD will commence in September 2015, for a period of 3 years, dependent on satisfactory progress. UK/EU level fees will be paid as part of the studentship, together with a maintenance grant which will match the standard Arts and Humanities Research Council rate (£13,863 in 2014/15). Please note that this studentship is only open to UK/EU applicants.

Entry criteria
Applicants will normally have an MA or equivalent in a relevant discipline and should be able to demonstrate an interest in Hardy and Victorian literature and new digital technologies. If English is not your native language then you will need to satisfy our English language entry requirements.

To apply
To be considered for this doctoral award you must complete the online application form submitting a copy of your full CV, transcripts of your previous degree results, contact details for two referees, a covering letter outlining your academic experience and interests and your reasons for wishing to undertake this research project, and, if relevant, proof of your English language proficiency, by 26th April 2015.

All application documents must be submitted in English.

Interviews will be held in Exeter on 19th May. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to prepare a ten-minute presentation on the proposed focus of their PhD research.

For further information or informal discussion about the position, please contact Professor Angelique Richardson at A.Richardson@exeter.ac.uk



Following the successful 1st International Conference on Science and Literature, that took place in Athens last year, the International Commission on Science and Literature is happy to announce the Summer School on Science and Literature, which will be held in the Greek island of Andros, from the 22nd to the 26th of June 2015.
The Summer School will be of especial interest to graduate students and early-career researchers working on literature, the sciences and the history of science. It will offer the opportunity for an in-depth presentation and discussion of themes relevant to Science and Literature at large. Each day, a lecture will be given on a specific point of intersection between science and literature. Participants will then work in small groups and prepare their own views on the subject, and discuss how it pertains to their own research. Participants will also have the opportunity to present short papers on their research or on subjects they want to discuss and receive feedback on. Finally, a round table will be organized discussing the future of Science and Literature as an academic field and its possible application in scientific and literary education. The language of the Summer School will be English but there will be an opportunity for presentations in French, German and Greek if there is a relevant interest.
Dr. John Holmes, Chair of the British Society for Literature and Science, Prof. Manuela Rossini, President of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (Europe), Prof. Paola Spinozzi, University of Ferrara, and Prof. Constantin Canavas, Hamburg Technical University, have already confirmed their participation as invited speakers.
Andros island is a picturesque island on the Aegean Sea, about two hours from Attica (Rafina harbor), with several ferries during the day. There is a also a convenient connection between Athens airport and Rafina harbor.
For an overview of Andros island visit http://www.andros.gr/ind_en.htm
The venue of the summer school will be Pighi Sariza Hotel (http://www.pighisarizahotel.gr/index_en.html), with several nice beaches a short distance from the hotel. Participants will have also the chance to participate in several cultural events including visits to the famous Goulandri Museum of Modern Art and the Kaireios Library in Chora, the capital of Andros. The cost of the accommodation will be around 50 euros per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner included). There will also be a registration fee of 140 Euros. Support for a number of young scholars will be provided by a DHST/IUHPST grant.
Those who are interested to participate are invited to send an email to gvlahakis@yahoo.com and/or konstantinos.tampakis@gmail.com by May 20, 2015.

What makes interdisciplinarity work? Crossing academic boundaries in real life.
Ustinov College, Durham University, United Kingdom
Friday and Saturday 10–11 July 2015

Durham University’s Ustinov College now welcomes presentation proposals to its inaugural Annual Conference. The conference seeks to bring together research students and established practitioners to share knowledge and insights on interdisciplinary projects, as well as the advantages and disadvantages experienced on the path from conception to completion.Please see attached the full call for papers:

Ustinov Annual Conference 2015_CfP

To submit a proposal, email ustinov.conference@durham.ac.uk.


The workshop ‘Effects of the Scientific Imaginary’ will take place at the SPH Centre in Bordeaux-Montaigne University on June 11th & 12th 2015.

The workshop aims at discussing the examining the effects of scientific thought-experiments and fantasies from a variety of disciplinary angles. For example: do stories of brain transplantation and swamp-people import conceptual assumptions into the philosophical arguments of which they are a part? How do science fantasies motivate social and political change? For more information about the workshop visit our blog: https://scientificimaginary.wordpress.com

Speakers: Lesley A. Sharp, Simon Bréan, Melanie Williams, Cédric Brun, Pierre Cassou-Noguès, William Tattersdill and A.M. Ferner

To register, email: scientificimaginary@gmail.com
There are limited places, so please register soon to make sure you get a space.

While it is free to register there are, unfortunately, no bursaries available for travel or accommodation.

Several positions on the BSLS Executive Committee will be either vacant or up for renewal this April 2015: Chair, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Book Reviews Officer*, Member at Large and a new role of Member at Large - for a postgraduate or early career researcher without a permanent post*. If you are interested in any of these posts or have questions about them, please do contact me, or any member of the committee. The sections of the Constitution relevant to this process are appended below. (*These are new posts to be recommended by the Executive Committee for ratification at the AGM)

The current position is this. We have had expressions of interest in the posts of Chair, Treasurer, and one of the two posts of Member at Large. Our Membership secretary Jessica Roberts is standing for re-election. We are therefore especially interested in hearing from anyone with an interest in the role of Book Reviews Officer or the new early career Member at Large. If we receive further formal nominations for the posts of Chair, Treasurer, or Member at Large, or more than one nomination for the new posts, there will be an election by secret ballot during the AGM.

Any member of BSLS is eligible for these posts and can propose themselves or someone else. Each proposed candidate will also need two nominations from members of BSLS, and these proposals and nominations should be sent to our current Chair John Holmes (j.r.holmes@reading.ac.uk) and myself, the Secretary (p.middleton@soton.ac.uk).

Could expressions of interest or proposals be sent as soon as possible please, and ideally before April 8, 2015.

Peter Middleton
18. 3. 2015

4.1 There shall be an Honorary President, whose appointment is for an unlimited period.
4.2 There shall be an executive committee, consisting of: Chair; Secretary; Treasurer; Membership Secretary; Communications Officer; and not more than three Members at Large.
4.2.1 The role of the Chair is to oversee the fulfilment of the Society’s aims.
4.2.2 The role of the Secretary is to document meetings and other aspects of the Society’s activities, particularly to prepare minutes of Committee meetings and General Meetings, and to put them forward for approval.
4.2.3 The role of the Treasurer is to be signatory to the Society’s bank account(s); to present accounts for approval at the AGM.
4.2.4 The role of the Membership Secretary is to receive and process membership applications, to obtain fees from existing members, to pass on money to the Treasurer, and to maintain a membership database.
4.2.5 The role of the Communications Officer is to develop electronic resources; to manage and maintain an e-mail list, and to liaise with the Membership Secretary in relation to membership of the list.
4.3 Where it proves impossible to fill posts, one member may hold two, but no more than two posts.
4.4 Signatories for the society’s bank account(s) shall be the Treasurer and any other committee member.
4.5 The membership of the Executive Committee shall be determined by elections held at the annual general meeting of the society. Members wishing to stand for election should be nominated by two members of the society before the start of the AGM. Where there is more than one candidate for any post, election shall be held by a ballot on the basis of a single transferable vote.
4.6 Members of the Executive Committee shall serve three-year terms of office.

The programme for next term's seminars on Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century at Oxford University has been announced. The speakers are Lee Macdonald, Matthew Paskins and Rachel Bowlby. Click on the link below to see who is speaking when:


3-5 July 2015, University of Portsmouth 


Keynote Speakers:
Professor Joanne Lukitsh (Massachusetts College of Art and Design)

Professor Marion Wynne-Davies (University of Surrey)

Professor Lindsay Smith (University of Sussex) 


The 2015 bicentennial anniversary of Julia Margaret Cameron’s birth is a timely opportunity for a reappraisal of the interdisciplinary significance of her work. The last twenty years have witnessed growing art-historical and literary interest in this pioneer of Victorian photography, yet much remains to be said about the range and import of her cultural influences, as well as her participation in Victorian debates surrounding the arts and sciences, religion and philosophy.
While scholarship on the interrelations between Victorian visual and verbal cultures has flourished in the past two decades, Julia Margaret Cameron’s contribution to this paradigm has received relatively little attention. With the exception of her photographic illustrations of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, her engagement with biblical, classical and literary narratives has been overlooked. Similarly, the critical focus on Cameron’s photographic portraiture has occluded her participation in wider Victorian artistic, scientific, philosophic and religious discourses.

This conference aims to generate renewed interest in Cameron’s intellectual and aesthetic exchanges with Victorian artists, theorists, writers, and scientists. Planned to coincide with the 2015 bicentenary celebrations of her birth, it aims to debate the importance and legacy of her cultural contribution; to emphasise the interdisciplinary appeal of her photography; and to examine her significant engagement with key aspects of Victorian technical and cultural innovation.

The conference will include an evening performance of Virginia Woolf’s Freshwater: A Comedy on Friday 3 July and an organised tour on Sunday 5 July to Dimbola Museum and Galleries, Julia Margaret Cameron’s home in Freshwater, Isle of Wight.


Topics are not limited to but might include:

  • Cameron and Victorian celebrity
  • The Freshwater Circle
  • The Little Holland House Circle
  • Victorian women photographers
  • Cameron and the literary muse
  • Cameron and aesthetic/religious philosophy
  • Cameron, Herschel and scientific innovation
  • Virginia Woolf and the Cameron family
  • Cameron and the Pre-Raphaelites
  • Cameron in contemporary fiction


Please send abstracts of 300 words and a brief biographical note by Friday 3rd April 2015 to Patricia Pulham and Charlotte Boyce at jmcbicentenary@port.ac.uk

SLSAeu conference in Malta, 15-18 June 2015, extended CFP. Please visit www.scale2015.com

Registration now open:

Biological Discourses
The Language of Science and Literature around 1900

The decades around 1900 are a crucial period for the impact of biological thought on the intellectual cultures of the western world. The impulses of Darwinism were taken up by intellectuals, writers and artists from the 1860s onwards, and both Darwinian and anti-Darwinian currents of thinking exercised a powerful influence on the intellectual climate of the early decades of the twentieth century. It was a period that saw major developments in cell biology and the establishment of genetics as we know it, the movement of medical science and psychiatry beyond mechanistic conceptions of illness, and the emergence of psychoanalysis and sexology as new disciplines. “Biological Discourses”, a student-led conference to be held in Cambridge on 10-11 April 2015, is part of a collaborative venture between the Cambridge Department of German & Dutch and the Institute for Modern Languages Research, London, investigating the interplay and the forms of mediation between literary and biological discourses in that period.

Please see the link (http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/german/postgraduates/conferences) for registration, programme and further details, or click below:

Biological_ Discourses Prg (Final)

The English department at the University of Bristol invites submissions for a 1-day conference to be held on the 29th of June, 2015, on the subject of ‘Romanticism and the South-West’.

The conference aims to explore the importance of the South-West for Romantic writers, with a particular emphasis on the following topics: 1) ecologically aware writing and protoenvironmental thought; 2) the role of the South-West in an era of scientific development and discovery; 3) the South-West as a centre for reform movements and radical politics, as well as a region connected to slavery and imperialism; and 4) Romantic afterlives in the South-West. For more information see Romanticism and the South-West

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