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4-5 May 2018, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Research into the so-called ‘gut-brain axis’ has seen extraordinary growth in the past decade as microbiologists, neurologists and nutrition scientists have discovered new ways in which these supposedly separate parts of the body interact. Whereas our guts, brains, nervous systems, and behaviour were thought to be distinct, increasing evidence shows that the boundaries between them are more porous. Both scientific and popular interest in the topic continues apace, with a constant stream of publications aimed at specialistand lay audiences, and the first international Gut-Brain Axis Summit taking place in San Francisco in December 2017.

Important work has also been undertaken on gastro-psychic connections by researchers from the history of medicine, literature and psychology, but so far, there has been little in the way of a coordinated, targeted contribution to the debate on the gut-brain relationship from the humanities and the social sciences.

This workshop will consider the value of cultural and historical perspectives on the relationship between the gut and the brain, an area of our lives that so emphatically crosses somatic, emotional and psychological experiences. The event will engage with this topic from a critical perspective, not only taking new approaches but also asking:

  • What are the risks or challenges involved in studying the gut-brain relationship from perspectives beyond the strictly biological or the clinical?
  • How can disciplines beyond science contribute to the understanding of this area of human experience? How does a humanities and social sciences approach differ from and / or enrich scientific research on the gut-brain axis?
  • What can a cultural and historical perspective on digestive health achieve?
  • How might different cultural understandings of the gut-brain relationship be communicated to scholars in the sciences, non-academic audiences, and public health practitioners and organisations?
  • Who might the audiences be for this form of research?

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The implications of categories such as race, class, age, or gender on understandings of the gut-brain relationship
  • Variations across nations and cultures in understanding the links between the gut and brain  
  • The history of the gut-brain relationship
  • Shifting definitions of ‘the gut’ and ‘the brain’ according to discipline, nation or time period
  • The construction of the gut-brain relationship through productions such as literature, the visual arts, and film
  • The ways in which links between the gut and the brain might  contribute to our understanding of what it is to be human

Contributions are invited from scholars in any area of the humanities and the social sciences, but preference may be given to papers focusing on the modern period (1800 to the present). Papers focusing on non-Western nations are strongly encouraged, as are proposals from postgraduate and early career researchers.

The confirmed keynote speaker for this event is Professor Elizabeth Williams (Oklahoma State University), who has published seminal articles on psycho-gastric conditions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is currently completing a study of scientific and medical thinking about the appetite for food from the Enlightenment to the mid-twentieth century.

Proposals of 250 words for 15-20 minute papers, along with a 150-word biography, should be sent to manon.mathias@glasgow.ac.uk by 19 January 2018.

 

 

 

First call for papers 

Following the successful two International Conferences on Science and Literature which took place in Athens and Poellau this Conference is the third to be organized under the aegis of the Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST. The third International Conference will be co-organized by the Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 (UPMC) with the technical support of the Hellenic Open University. As was the case with the first two Conferences, the third one does not have a specific theme, as its intent continues to be the creation of an open forum for all scholars interested in Science and Literature, thus bringing into the dialogue multiple perspectives. Nevertheless, the Conference will be organized along thematic sessions, according to the papers which will be accepted by the Scientific Committee.

Proposals for individual papers or panels of three or four papers should be submitted  from 1st December until the 29th of February 2018. They must include the title of the paper (or the theme of the panel), name and affiliation of the author(s), an abstract of no more than 350 words and a short CV of  up to five lines.

Proposals and inquiries about practical matters may be sent to gvlahakis@yahoo.comand konstantinos.tampakis@gmail.com

An international scientific committee will review the submissions and notice of acceptance will be sent within the first two weeks of March 2018.

Prof. Pauline Lescar will be the chair of the Local Organizing Committee and member of the Scientific Committee.

Registration:  1st  February 2018 to May 30th 2018

Registration fees (include coffee, tea, refreshments and Conference material): 100 Euros

Fees for students and early career scholars: 50 Euros

Participants are asked to make their own arrangements concerning their accommodation in Paris, but the Conference organizers will be happy to give any necessary assistance.

Further information will be included in the second CfP which will be circulated on 5th January 2016.

There is no First or Last
Only Equality
And who would rule
Joins the majority.

—Mina Loy

Mathematics and Modern Literature is a collaborative, interdisciplinary conference exploring the ways in which writers active between the late nineteenth century and the twenty-first century engage with, represent or reflect upon mathematics in their work.

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speakers for this event will be Dr. Nina Engelhardt (The University of Cologne) and Professor Tim Armstrong (Royal Holloway, University of London). Dr. Nina Engelhardt is a lecturer in English and American Studies at The University of Cologne and has published on the topic of mathematics and science in modernist literature, particularly the works of Thomas Pynchon. Her monograph Modernism, Fiction and Mathematics is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press. Professor Tim Armstrong is based within the Department of English at Royal Holloway, University of London. His recent publications include The Logic of Slavery: Debt, Technology and Pain in American Literature and Modernism: A Cultural History. Professor Armstrong is also the co-editor of the Edinburgh University Press series Edinburgh Critical Studies in Modernist Culture, one of the organizers of the long-running London Modernism Seminar, and a member of the executive committee for the British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS).

On the face of it, few activities, disciplines or modes of thinking seem as disparate or as incommensurable with one another as those of mathematics and literature. If, according to a common, broadly ‘Platonic’ conception of the subject, mathematics insists upon rigor and exactitude in order to discover eternal, objective and universal truths, literature is often imagined as addressing itself to that which is irreducibly human, subjective, particular or contingent. Where the one may be lauded for yielding access to a neutral, unchanging domain of that which is the same forever and for all, the other might be celebrated as the privileged medium of that which differs, or of that which is true or real for us as creatures of material, historical, cultural, intellectual and linguistic change.

Just as this sketch of ‘literature’ will not suffice—failing, as it does, to take account of the significant and often dramatic ways in which our conception of literature and the literary has shifted since the late nineteenth century—so the opposing caricature of mathematics proves inadequate to register the crises and developments that affected the field—and the ways in which mathematicians and others understood it—over the same period.

As historians of mathematics such as Herbert Mehrtens and Jeremy Gray have suggested in recent decades, mathematics at the turn of the twentieth century may be seen to have been in the midst of a critical and pervasive ‘modernist transformation,’ roughly contemporary with the modernist movements in the arts with which we are generally more familiar. Rooted in developments during the nineteenth century, including the invention of non-Euclidean geometries as well as the elaboration of set theory, ‘modern’ or ‘modernist’ mathematics was subsequently characterised by its tendency to trouble or to break with established notions of mathematical truth, representation, intuition and meaning. As their subject became increasingly abstract and axiomatic in its approach, mathematicians laboured through what became known as the subject’s ‘foundational crisis,’ impelled by an anxious sense of the need to devise or discover a new, firmer footing for the science.

By 1931, the foundational crisis in mathematics had largely petered out, while any residual hope of placing mathematics solidly upon a provably complete and consistent set of axioms was dispelled by the work of Kurt Gödel. However, the field of mathematics has continued to experience profound developments since its ‘foundational crisis,’ from algebraic geometry, topology, group theory and category theory to probability, chaos theory, cryptography and computer science. In addition to ‘modernist’ mathematics, then, Mathematics and Modern Literature also sets out to explore how writers have engaged with later developments in the science, up to and including the influence of (big) data, code and algorithmic technologies upon contemporary literature.

How do writers during this period encounter, understand and interact with mathematics, whether basic, elementary or advanced, whether ‘classical’ or ‘modern(ist)’? To what extent do they negotiate contemporary developments within the field of mathematics? How have authors engaged with the the invention of computational machines and computer programming language, and how have interpretive practices, such as digital humanities, shaped the way we read and interpret texts? What is at stake when we read for quantity?  How are mathematical objects, symbols, concepts and ideas invoked, adapted, deployed, emulated, played with or transformed in literary texts? What kinds of meanings, implications or significance—political, philosophical, social, religious, magical, affective or otherwise—do mathematics and mathematical objects, processes and ideas have for writers? To what extent are these meanings, implications and ideas reproduced, subverted or critiqued in their work?

This conference invites papers on topics that might include, but are not limited to:

  • mathematics and politics
  • mathematics and gender
  • biopolitics / (big) data / code / algorithms
  • digital humanities and the implications for reading / interpreting texts
  • the concept of universality / objectivity / neutrality in literature and mathematics
  • mathematics, literature and affect
  • mathematics and the everyday / extraordinary.
  • mathematics and pedagogy
  • mathematics and the concept of genius / amateurism
  • ‘modernist’ mathematics and its relations to literary and artistic modernism(s)
  • mathematics and form
  • mathematics and style
  • mathematics, literature and truth / proof or measurement / verification
  • mathematics and magic / mysticism
  • the relations between quality and quantity
  • representations of mathematicians and the institution of mathematics
  • mathematics and experimentation
  • mathematics as language / language as mathematics
  • mathematics and poetic meter / rhythm
  • the meanings and aesthetics of mathematical symbols
  • methodologies of literature and mathematics studies

The conference also welcomes contributions that address mathematics in painting, sculpture, music, dance and architecture—in addition to or alongside literature—during the same period.

Please send proposals (250-300 words) for fifteen-minute papers to mathmodlit@gmail.com by 5th February 2018. Please include a short (100-150 word) biography with your abstract. Notification of decision will be made by 19th February 2018.

Panel submissions will also be considered and should be 45 minutes in length. Please send 750-800 word abstract for panel submissions plus individual biographies. Please note that all male panels will not be accepted.

Lunch, refreshments and a wine reception will be provided on both days. Further details will be released in due course, and registration will open in February 2018.

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Friday 29 June 2018, Saturday 30 June 2018, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln

(Conny Stuart Hall Building)

The Monster Conference is a two-day, interdisciplinary conference, hosted by Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, celebrating the afterlife and reception of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in the year of the 200th anniversary of its publication.

Confirmed Keynoters: Angela Wright (Professor in English Literature, University of Sheffield), Marc Hanheide (Reader in Computer Science, University of Lincoln)

The continuing fascination with all things Monsters is partly due to the critical and popular reception of Shelley’s creature, termed a “new species” by its ambitious but over-reaching creator who thinks of himself as a scientist. The creature’s life is bodged from the start. The goal of this conference is to examine the legacy of Shelley’s novel as well as the different incarnations of monsters in contemporary research and teaching contexts. Attempting to explain the appeal of the story offers a unique opportunity to promote dialogue between disciplines.

The title of this conference is deliberately left ambiguous to allow for an interdisciplinary exploration of monstrosity and the monstrous. These concepts apply, in the first instance, to social and cultural threats; i.e. to behaviours and (visual) qualities which are deemed socially and culturally unacceptable because they are perceived as amoral or unimaginable. The afterlife and reception of Frankenstein not only brings many opportunities for academic research to intersect with popular culture, but also brings into focus pertinent theoretical and methodological challenges relating to how monstrosity and the monstrous get taught at universities and in schools.

The organisers welcome proposals for papers (20 minutes) and panels (three 20-minute papers) as well as teaching workshops (30 minutes) from a range of disciplines. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Gothic Studies
  • Reception Studies (afterlife of Frankenstein)
  • ‘Monsters’ as a metaphor (Monstrosity, the Monstrous)
  • Monsters in Literature written for children and/or young adults
  • Monsters in visual culture and performance art
  • Horror Movies for adults and/or for children and/or young adults
  • The Post-human, technology and robot-human interaction
  • Disability Studies
  • Wellbeing
  • ‘Monsters’ in teaching contexts
  • Popular Culture

Abstracts of up to 300 words along with a short biographical note (100 words in the same Word document) should be sent to sibylle.erle@bishopg.ac.uk by 31 January 2018. Ideas for poster presentations are also welcome, particularly from postgraduate students. All proposals will be anonymously peer-reviewed.

 
19-20 March 2018
Weetwood Hall, University of Leeds, UK
 
In recent decades, global research activity around ageing and the life course has grown exponentially. Work in the clinical sciences, and in the established field of gerontology, has explored the challenges and opportunities of ageing through investigations focusing on biological and biosocial elements. More recently, scholars in the humanities and the social sciences working in the field of ageing studies have been turning their attentions to the topic, offering interdisciplinary cultural and social analyses that are theoretically, politically, and empirically engaged. Within this category, a number of scholars across academic disciplines including history of medicine, philosophy, film studies, literature, law, sociology, psychology, and anthropology – and in the cross-disciplinary field of medical humanities – are united by a shared interest in historical perspectives on youth, ageing, and old age.
 
This two-day conference will bring together scholars whose work engages with the past, to share new perspectives on the role and value of historical approaches to ageing across disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences. Several key questions will frame the event:
 

 

  • What can historical research on ageing and the life-course in the humanities and social sciences offer that is distinctive from modes of enquiry in these areas in the clinical sciences?
  • To consider ageing in historical contexts is to encounter issues of disciplinary boundaries and hierarchies, dominant histories, and canonicity. What is the specific nature of these challenges, and how might they be navigated?
  • Is it enough to reconstruct historical, socio-cultural contexts of ageing? Or should historical projects also develop innovative approaches that will address present-day issues?
  • How might scholars in the humanities and social sciences whose work includes historical approaches work together across disciplinary boundaries?
  • Who are the audiences for historical research in ageing? How might we communicate effectively with the academic sciences, with non-academic audiences, and with policy-makers and public-health organisations?
  • What are the broader implications of this kind of work for developing further knowledge and understanding of the role of historical approaches to the study of human health, disability, disease, minds, and bodies?

 

 
We invite contributions in the form of 20-minute papers from scholars at any career stage, and from any discipline in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, broadly construed. Proposals from doctoral and early-career researchers are particularly welcomed. To submit a proposal, email an abstract of 250-300 words, together with a brief biographical note of no more than 150 words to Dr Catherine Oakley (C.M.C.Oakley@leeds.ac.uk), by 30 November 2017.
 
Papers might engage with the questions outlined above from a particular disciplinary perspective. Further topics could include, but are not restricted to:
 

 

  • Senescence and old age
  • Rejuvenation and anti-ageing
  • Childhood, adolescence, and youth
  • Ageing and scientific technologies
  • Families and intergenerational relationships
  • Age and demographic change
  • Ageing in visual and material cultures
  • Ageing, gender, sex and sexuality
  • Work, retirement, and pensions
  • Ethics of ageing
  • Age, ageing, and youthfulness in popular culture
  • Global perspectives on age and ageing

 

 
Confirmed keynote speakers include Dr Hyung Wook Park (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) whose recent book Old Age, New Science posits a close relationship between the emergence of gerontology and changing social perspectives of ageing in the first half of the twentieth century.
 
The conference is being organised as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project “Endless Possibilities of Rejuvenation: Defying Ageing, Defining Youth in Britain, 1919-1948”, led by Dr James Stark at the University of Leeds.
Maritime Animals
Telling stories of animals at sea
 
 
Two-day international conference
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, UK
 
 
April 26-27, 2019
 
Keynote speakers
Thom van Dooren      
William Gervase Clarence-Smith
 
 
In maritime narratives of humans, ships and the sea, animals are too often absent, or marginalised in passing references, despite the fact that ships once carried, and were populated by, all kinds of animals. Horses, mules and other ‘military’ animals crossed the sea to their battlefields, while livestock were brought on-board to be killed and eaten. Sailors and passengers kept animal companions, ranging widely from cats and parrots to ferrets and monkeys. Animal stowaways, such as rats, termites and shipworms, did tremendous damage to ships’ structures and stores, especially during the age of sail. Rats also emerge from the archives as seafarers, ‘colonisers’ and explorers alongside their human counterparts. Moreover, countless animals – seabirds, dolphins, porpoises, etc. – would visit and accompany ships, filling many sea narratives with the wonder of oceanic animal encounters.
 
The conference seeks to shed fresh light on maritime history by placing animals centre stage. Papers are sought which uncover all aspects of animals’ involvements (and entanglements) with ships and their activities. For instance, what roles did animals play in famous maritime episodes? What were the experiences of animals on board ships, and to what extent is it possible to recover them?  In what ways were managing, sharing with, and caring for, animals important concerns of ships’ crews? What were the policies and procedures regarding keeping animals on board, and how did the presence of animals affect maritime practices?  Moreover, the conference will explore the impact of sea-faring animals – whether political, economic, cultural, or environmental – as maritime activities have knitted the world ever more closely together. What roles have animals played in colonial encounters and voyages of discovery, for instance? And how have animals functioned as cultural agents as well as commodities?
 
Liza Verity’s Animals at Sea (2004), a collection of animal photographs from the National Maritime Museum, has demonstrated that pets and animal mascots, affectionately regarded as shipmates, played a significant role in bringing a ship’s human community together. The conference will build on this book, while also going beyond a focus on the role of animals in mediating human shipboard communities to explore animal and human relationships at sea more widely. We call upon the power of story-telling to repopulate maritime history with animals, by telling, and listening to, surprising stories about them.
 
Papers are invited on (but not limited to) the following topics:
 
·         Methods for recovering the shipboard experiences of animals
·         Animals on-board ship (pets, ship’s mascots, vermin, livestock, etc.)
·         Animal explorers: animals and expeditions by sea
·         Animal sightings and encounters: sea birds, dolphins, and other animalvisitors
·         Politics and ethics of human-animal interactions at sea
·         Sea travellers’ tales: animal encounters in diaries, journals and ships’ newspapers 
·         Visual representations of maritime animals (paintings, carvings, scrimshaw, etc.)
·         Sailors as natural historians or zoologists at sea
·         Animals and animal products for trade
·         Ports and dockyard animal stories
·         Whaling, sealing and fishing
·         Ships and animal-borne disease
·         Animal shipwreck stories
·         Animals and ships’ technologies and structures
·         Environmental impact of animals travelling by sea
·         Ship ecology and interspecies relationships
·         Animal superstitions, stories and myths
·         Differing approaches to animals across global seafaring cultures
·         Animals at sea in literature
·         Maritime animals today
 
Please send a short abstract (200-300 words) for a 20 minute paper to Kaori Nagai (K.Nagai@kent.ac.uk ) by May 15, 2018. 
 
Call for stories
In relation to this conference, we are soliciting maritime stories and anecdotes from members of the public, as well as from writers, artists and scholars. If you have any interesting stories of animal encounters on ships or other memorable maritime animal stories, from oral history, the archives, or elsewhere, please drop a line to K.Nagai@kent.ac.uk ; we would be excited to hear from you. Also, we’d be grateful if you could forward this call for stories to those of your friends who have experience of life at sea. We are hoping to create an online forum to share your stories. 
 
 
Conference Organiser:
Dr. Kaori Nagai
School of English
University of Kent
CT2 7NX, UK

The Journal of Literature and Science http://www.literatureandscience.org is once again looking for reviewers to review various articles in the field of literature and science published in the last year to 18 months.

Please find below a number of articles that we would like to offer for review in the JLS. The list is by no means definitive; there’s such a lot of fascinating work out there, so please do let me know if there’s an article not on the list that you’d like to review.

It’s largely first come, first served, so do get in touch with an offer to do a specific article m.geric@westminster.ac.uk

Reviews should be 750 words long. For more details please follow the link: http://www.literatureandscience.org or contact Michelle m.geric@westminster.ac.uk to register your interest.

SUGGESTED ARTICLES

E. L. Johnson, “‘Life Beyond Life’: Reading Milton’s Areopagitica through Enlightenment Vitalism.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 49.3 (2016): 353-370.

Rachel Trubowitz, “Reading Milton and Newton in the Radical Reformation: Poetry, Mathematics, and Religion.” ELH 84. 1 (2017): 33-62.

E. K. Kelly, “‘Experience has not yet learned her letters’: Narrative and Information in the Works of Francis Bacon.” Configurations 24.2 (2016): 145-171.

Paul Gilmore, “Charles Brockden Brown’s Romance and the Limits of Science and History.” ELH 84. 1 (2017): 117-142.

Matthew Landers, “Anatomy, the Brain, and Memory in Tristram Shandy: A Forensic Examination of Sterne's Narrative Structure.” Configurations 25. 4 (2017): 397-414.

Gowan Dawson, “Dickens, Dinosaurs, and Design.” Victorian Literature and Culture 44. 4 (2016): 761-778.

Margaret S. Kennedy, “A Breath of Fresh Air: Eco-Consciousness in Mary Barton and Jane Eyre.” Victorian Literature and Culture 45. 3 (2017): 509-526.

Daniel A. Novak, “Caught in the Act: Photography on the Victorian Stage.” Victorian Studies 59. 1 (2016): 35–64.

Kate Holterhoff, "Egyptology and Darwinian Evolution in Conan Doyle and H. Rider Haggard: The Scientific Imagination." English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 60. 3 (2017): 314-340.

Eleanor Dobson, “Gods and Ghost-Light: Ancient Egypt, Electricity, and X-Rays”. Victorian Literature and Culture 45.1 (2017): 119-35.

L. Wilhelm, “The Utopian Evolutionary Aestheticism of W. K. Clifford, Walter Pater, and Mathilde Blind.”Victorian Studies 59. 1 (2016): 9-34.

Tyson Stolte, “‘The Infinite within the Finite’: Victorian Prosody and Orthodox Theories of Mind.” Victorian Poetry 54. 3 (2016): 245-274.

Veronica Alfano, “Technologies of Forgetting: Phonographs, Lyric Voice, and Rossetti’s Woodspurge.” Victorian Poetry 55. 2 (2017): 127-161.

Matthew Rebhorn, “Billy’s Fist: Neuroscience and Corporeal Reading in Melville’s Billy Budd.Nineteenth Century Literature 72. 2 (2017): 218-244.

J.L. Lieberman & R. R. Kline, “Dream of an Unfettered Electrical Future: Nikola Tesla, the Electrical Utopian Novel, and an Alternative American Sociotechnical Imagery.” Configurations 25. 1 (2017): 1-27.

A. Caracheo, “The Measurement of Time: Mann and Einstein’s Thought Experiments.” Configurations 25. 1 (2017): 29-55.

Heather A. Love, “Cybernetics Modernism and the Feedback Loop: Ezra Pound’s Poetics of Transmission.” Modernism/Modernity 23. 1 (2016): 89-111.

Kirsty Martin, “Modernism and the Medicalization of Sunlight: D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, and the Sun Cure.” Modernism/modernity 23. 2 (2016): 423-441.

Michael Allan, “Re-Reading the Arab Darwin: The Lewis Affair and Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace of Desire.” Modernism/modernity 23. 2 (2016): 319-340.

Joseph Darlington, “A Non-Euclidean Novel: Christine Brooke-Rose’s Such and the Space-Age Sixties.” Journal of Modern Literature 40. 2 (2016): 147-164.

Christopher D. Kilgore, “Bad Networks: From Virus to Cancer in Post-Cyberpunk Narrative.” Journal of Modern Literature 40. 2 (2016): 165-183.

We are delighted to announce that the British Society for Literature and Science and Journal of Literature and Science prize for an essay by an early-career scholar has been won by Kimberley Dimitriadis for her essay “Telescopes in the Drawing-Room: Geometry and Astronomy in George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss”. We offer our congratulations to Kimberley for what the judges agreed was an outstanding and original essay. The essay will be published in the next available issue of JLS, and its author will also receive a prize of £100.

The judging panel wrote: “This year’s prize-winning essay was, in the view of the judges, a model example of the original research that literature and science scholarship can achieve. By offering an entirely fresh reading of George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, Dimitriadis has added a rich new perspective to an already very full critical view. Her rendering of that novel’s interrogation of Victorian astronomy showed a subtle understanding of the history of astronomical work in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century as well as an ability to see that work creatively transformed and reassessed through Eliot’s own particular interests in women’s education and contribution to knowledge.”

There was an exceptionally strong field this year and the judges were especially impressed by two other entries to which they would like to give honourable mentions: Catriona Livingstone for “Experimental Identities: Quantum Physics in Popular Science Writing and Virginia Woolf’s The Waves and Richard Fallon for “Literature Rather than Science: Henry Neville Hutchinson (1856-1927) and the Literary Borderlines of Science Writing”. The authors will be invited to submit their essays too for publication in JLS.

On Catriona’s essay the judges wrote: “This excellent reading of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves via quantum physics not only offers valuable insight into Woolf’s reading of popular physical texts of the period but also offers a method of understanding the relationship between literature and science as a feedback loop in which both disciplines inform one another. This balancing of methodological concerns with the specifics of a closely argued historicist reading is the essay’s strength, and the analysis of method that Livingstone offers is likely to be not only debated further but employed as a useful tool for thinking through the relationship between other texts, authors and sciences.”

On Richard’s essay the judges wrote: “This stylishly-written essay offered up some fascinating insights into Victorian debates on the categorisation of, and relationships between, science writing and popular science writing. As Fallon shows through a detailed case study of science populariser, Henry Neville Hutchinson, there were real concerns in scientific communities about what constituted science and what skills and practices were needed to be called a scientist. In revealing the contexts and specificities of these debates the essay tells us a great deal about the emerging relationship between literature and science and provides further nuance to our understanding of the two cultures.”

We would like to thank all the BSLS members who submitted essays for this year's prize. We were delighted by how many submissions we received and thoroughly enjoyed reading them. Between them, they covered a tremendous range of topics, from the early modern to the contemporary, with a broad range too of methods and approaches. Together, the articles admirably demonstrated the vibrancy of the literature and science community and its scholarship.

 

 

Registration now open for

2017: A Clarke Odyssey
A Conference Marking the Centenary of Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK
Saturday 9 December 2017

Keynote Speakers:
Stephen Baxter
Professor Charlotte Sleigh (University of Kent)

Sir Arthur C. Clarke is one of the most important British sf writers of the twentieth century – novelist, short-story writer, scriptwriter, science populariser, fan, presenter of documentaries on the paranormal, proposer of the uses of the geosynchronous orbit and philanthropist.

We want to celebrate his life, work and influence on science fiction, science and beyond.

Professor Charlotte Sleigh will open proceedings by looking at Clarke as an sf fan in the interwar years in London and how this intersected with his interest in science and its communication. Award-winning author Stephen Baxter will round out the event with an examination of Clarke’s non-fiction and how this positioned him as a significant public figure.

Our international conference speakers will address novels such as Childhood’s End2001: A Space Odyssey (book and film) and Imperial Earth, looking as issues such as transhumanism, Buddhism, terraforming and sexual politics. They will make connections to sf writers including Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Olaf Stapledon and Liu Cixin, plus Star Trek. We will also discuss the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Cost: Waged: £65
Unwaged and students £50
(Including lunch and refreshments)

 

https://2017aclarkeodyssey.wordpress.com/

Applicants for the NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology may be of any nationality and will have achieved distinction in the field of philosophy, history, religion, astrobiology, astronomy, planetary science, the history of science, paleontology, Earth and atmospheric sciences, geological sciences, ethics, or other related fields.

For more information, please go to http://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/fellowships/NASA-astrobiology.html 

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