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The winner of the 2016 Book Prize is Ursula K. Heise's Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species (University of Chicago Press). This remarkable, lucid examination of how contemporary culture produces understandings of imperilled nature breaks new ground in its thinking about environmental crisis -- local and global -- and, particularly, the terms in which we see species loss. This original undertaking brilliantly connects multiple fields of enquiry, philosophical, literary, scientific, political, and investigates genres such as the elegy, the database, and speculative fiction. On matters such as global warming, biodiversity, conservation, non-human justice and the anthropocene, Heise's thesis is challenging, nuanced and elegantly reasoned, and Imagining Extinction looks set become a celebrated reference point while revealing new directions for the study of culture and biology, literature and science.

This trans-Atlantic, 2-panel event pairs a panel at the British Society of Literature and Science (BSLS) in Bristol in April 2017 with a roundtable at the annual conference of the Association of Community College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) at the Congress of Learned Societies in Toronto in May 2017.

 

Four papers were presented at the BSLS, and were video recorded and will be the impetus for discussion at the ACCUTE panel. You are welcome to view the BSLS papers here, and participate in the respondent discussion at the ACCUTE Annual Conference. The ACCUTE panel will be on Monday May 29th from 8:45-10:15 am at Ryerson University, Victoria room 104. It is open to the public.

 

Link to video:

https://vimeo.com/212704472?utm_source=email&utm_medium=vimeo-cliptranscode-201504&utm_campaign=28749

 

Verity Burke, (Start: 3:45) Doctoral Candidate in English, University of Reading, "The Intermedial Museum in the Nineteenth Century.” [Presentation slides (PDF)]

John Holmes, (Start: 20:15) Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture, University of Birmingham, Poetry and Architecture in the Natural History Museum” [Presentation Handout (PDF)]

Janine Rogers, (Start: 36:05) Professor of Medieval and Sixteenth-Century Literature, Mount Allison University, “Cultural History as a Resource for Science Museumship and Outreach.” [Presentation slides (PDF)]

Sophie Thomas, (Start: 56:10) Associate Professor of English Literature, Ryerson University, “The House-Museums of John Hunter and John Soane (a comparative anatomy).” [Presentation slides (PDF)]

Discussion (Start: 1:10)

A workshop at The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh

29th May 2017

Keynote: Professor Peter Middleton, University of Southampton

'Poetry at the Frontiers of Physics'

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nuclear-nature-interdisciplinary-approaches-to-theorising-the-anthropocene-after-quantum-physics-tickets-33614562060?aff=ampmlt 

The following books have been shortlisted for the BSLS Book Prize for 2016:

 

Gowan Dawson, Show Me the Bone: Reconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America (Chicago)

 

Devin Griffiths, The Age of Analogy: Science and Literature between the Darwins (Johns Hopkins)

 

Ursula K. Heise, Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species (Chicago)

 

David Thorley, Writing Illness and Identity in Seventeenth-Century Britain (Palgrave)

 

The winner will be announced on Friday 7th April at the BSLS conference in Bristol.

The full programme for the BSLS 2017 conference at the University of Bristol is now available here.

For further details, please see the conference website.

Date: 20th April 2017

Timings: 9.30am - 5.30pm

Venue: School of the Arts Library, University of Liverpool, 19-23 Abercromby Square, L69 7ZG

Registration is now open for ‘The Memory of Trees’, an interdisciplinary, one-day conference with the Literature and Science Hub on the cultural representation, study, and conservation of trees and woodlands.

Our keynote speakers are Professor Fiona Stafford (Somerville College, Oxford), author of The Long, Long Life of Trees (2016), Dr Hugh McAllister (Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool), author of The Genus Sorbus (2005), and Matt Larsen-Daw (Project lead on The Charter for Trees, Woods and People).

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.

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 to shape our own identity too.

If interested in attending, we would kindly ask that you register by Monday 10th April.

For programme and registration details, please visit:

https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/literature-and-science/events/trees/

Registration includes refreshments, lunch, and a wine reception to take place after the conference.

We acknowledge the generous contributions of the University of Liverpool and The British Society for Literature and Science in the facilitation of this event.

The Little Atoms radio show is looking for academics to interview about Victorian literature and the subconscious.

Please get in touch with Caroline Christie (caroline@89up.org) if interested.

Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (ISR) is a quarterly journal that aims to set contemporary and historical developments in the natural and social sciences, engineering and technology into their social and cultural contexts and to illumine their interrelations with the humanities and arts.

 

On behalf of Interdisciplinary Science Reviews allow me to issue this call for proposals, in the first instance on the topic of engineering with the emphasis on knowing through making and on world-building. Computationally orientated contributions would be welcome, but the aim should be to include a wide range of philosophical, historical, biological and anthropological disciplines. Hands-on, embodied, motile, experimental and exploratory perspectives would be most welcome.

 

Whatever our academic paymasters may say, editing such an issue offers a significant opportunity -- as well as a not insignificant amount of work. Experience suggests, however, that such burdens are light.

 

ISR is completely booked until late 2019, so there is time to find contributors, negotiate with them and manage their submissions. If you are interested please write to me: willard.mccarty[at]mccarty.org.uk. A proposal should be no more than 2 pages in length. Kindly include a c.v. or URL. I will answer preliminary enquiries promptly.

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.

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.

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