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You are warmly invited to attend a symposium celebrating 70 years of applied social sciences work at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, and its distinctive contribution to the development of organisational research, business management studies and consultancy. The symposium takes place at the Conway Hall in central London on Thursday 19th October 2017. It is free to attend but booking is required and can be made as either a full day or a morning or afternoon session here.

 

The symposium forms part of a four day festival celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Tavistock Institute, which is taking place in central London from Tuesday 17th October to Friday 20th October. Full information can be found here on the festival website. These events also mark the launch of the Tavistock Institute’s Archive detailed here at: Wellcome Library. For information on accessing the Tavistock Archive, please take a library tour on Tuesday 17th October (book here) or Wednesday 18th October (book here). To see highlights from the Archive please visit the exhibition, ‘Past, Present & Future: From the Tavistock Institute Archive’, on display at the Swiss Church from 17th to 20th October (detailed here).

 

The Symposium:

The symposium will be opened by Cliff Oswick (Professor in Organisation Theory at Cass Business School; chair of the Tavistock Institute’s Council).

Two morning sessions follow: the first paper, ‘Sites of Selection’ will be presented by Daniel Monninger (Max Planck Institute, Cologne) and Dr Alice White (Wellcome Library); the second, ‘Community Development and Organisational Change: Large scale industrial action research in the 1970s’, will be presented by Elliot Stern (Fellow of UK Academy of Social Sciences; Emeritus Professor, Lancaster University; and Visiting Fellow, Bristol University; formerly Tavistock Institute) and Frances Abraham(Tavistock Institute).

 

The afternoon session will open with a keynote presented by the CEO of the Tavistock Institute, Dr Eliat Aram, ‘On Being an Orphan: An untold story’. It will close with a performance by Dreadlockalien (performance poet at University of Warwick 2015; Birmingham’s Poet Laureate 2005-6; host to BBC Radio 4’s Slam Poetry; and Director of ‘Colour Free Visions’, ‘New October Poets’, and ‘Write Down Speak Up’).

 

THE STATE OF THE UNIONS

What are the relations between literature, science and the arts within our field today? This special double issue marks a unique collaboration between the Journal of Literature and Science and Configurations. The first instalment – JLS 10:1 – was published this year and can be read here. We now invite short papers for the second issue, to be published in 2018.

The aim of the double issue is to enable scholars of all career-stages to debate the nature of the interdisciplinary relations of our field in short and sharp “position” papers of approximately 2000 words. We welcome papers which respond directly to pieces published in JLS 10:1, but we also preserve a more general list of suggested topics from our original call:

1. The meanings of interdisciplinarity in the field
2. The place of the study of literature and science within the academy
3. International variations or international synergies
4. Collaborative work between literature/arts and the scientific community
5. How do we (now) define "literature" in the dyad of literature and science?
6. The relationship between cultural theory and historicism in the field
7. How is literature and science evolving in relation to its own splintering (into animal studies, neuroscience, environmental studies, etc.)?
8. Speculations: what is the future of the field?
9. Reflections: where has the field most profited and where has it gone astray?

The editors also particularly welcome discussion of any of the following with respect to the above topics:

 teaching and pedagogical practice
 material culture and book history
 the corporatization of the university
 the current crisis in the humanities and/or economic pressures on the sciences

Submission information for the second issue:
Length of contribution: 2000 words
Deadline: December 16th, 2017
Send to: Rajani Sudan (rsudan@mail.smu.edu) & Will Tattersdill
(w.j.tattersdill@bham.ac.uk)
(Decisions on inclusion in the second issue by February 2018)

JLS-and-Configurations-Joint-CFP-2

BSLS Winter Symposium: Metaphor in Literature and Science – King’s College London, Saturday November 4, 2017

Keynote speaker: Professor Alice Jenkins, University of Glasgow

The aim of this symposium is to re-examine the role of metaphor in literature and science studies in the light of new developments and questions in the field. The study of metaphor and analogy could prove to have a crucial role in negotiating between historicist and readerly approaches to literature and science. Are metaphors necessarily rooted within a particular historical context, with literary texts employing the scientific metaphors of their time, or is it possible to draw productive analogies between literary and scientific texts from disparate historical periods? How useful is it, for instance, to read the forms and metaphors of modern neuroscience into older texts? We would also like to consider the role of metaphor in emerging fields within the study of literature and science, such as performance studies, medical humanities and animal studies (as well as the connected study of posthumanism). How do metaphors function in texts that extend the boundaries of the human?

The symposium will incorporate, though not necessarily be limited to, the following topics:

  • How metaphors are passed from one discipline to another (domaining)
  • The use of models and analogies within science writing
  • The role of ‘field’, ‘matrix’, ‘two-way traffic’ and other metaphors within the theory of literature and science: what political assumptions lie behind our critical use of metaphor?
  • Metaphor and the body: how do metaphors, particularly technological and animal metaphors, help to construct different versions of the body?
  • Political metaphor: how can metaphors be used to construct or challenge particular social formulations? What are the political implications of the use of metaphors in illness narratives and case histories, for example?

While we welcome traditional papers, we also encourage contributors to experiment with non-traditional formats: speakers could present their work as a short film, or as a ‘biographical’ paper in which they reflect upon their own academic and theoretical trajectories. We also particularly invite papers by women, people of colour, and other groups that are underrepresented within science studies. The conference will be inclusive and gender-balanced, with at least fifty percent women speakers, and no all-men panels.

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words long, and should be emailed to bslswinter2017@gmail.com by October 1, 2017. Selected participants will be notified by October 7.

Call for Papers

A one-day international and cross-disciplinary conference exploring the intersections of the work of J.G. Ballard and the sciences.

25 November 2017
LAB 109, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Key Note Speaker: Christopher Priest

Hosted by the Anglia Ruskin Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF)

"Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute." J.G. Ballard

From The Drowned World’s early meditations on ecology, to the provocative prosthetics of Crash, through to the psychopathologies at work (or rather play) in Cocaine NightsSuper-Cannes and Kingdom Come, the writings of J.G. Ballard are in constant dialogue with the discourses of science and technology. As a result, his novels and short stories function as vast indexes of scientific innovation and enquiry, immersing the reader in the complex yet often beautiful languages of biology, chemistry, zoology, medicine, botany, neuroscience, bioethics, anatomy, biotechnology and psychology, to name just a few.

Papers are invited on all aspects of the intersections between J.G. Ballard and science. Proposals are welcomed from researchers at all stages of their career, including postgraduate students, independent scholars and creative writers.

Please send proposals or abstracts of up to 300 words along with a short biography to Jeannette Baxter by 31 August 2017.

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 Journal. 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:

K. Kelly, “‘Experience has not yet learned her letters’: Narrative and Information in the Works of Francis Bacon.” Configurations24.2 (2016): 145-171.

L. Johnson, “‘Life Beyond Life’: Reading Milton’sAreopagiticathrough 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.

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

S. Thomasen and H. K. Sørensen, “The Irony of Romantic Mathematics: Bridging the Historiographies of Literature and Mathematics.”Configurations24.1 (2016): 53-70.

Sari Altschuler, “From Empathy to Epistemology: Robert Montgomery Bird and the Future of the Medical Humanities.” American Literary History 28. 1 (2016): 1-26.

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

Franziska E. Kohlt, “‘The Stupidest Tea-Party in All My Life’: Lewis Carroll and Victorian Psychiatric Practice.” Journal of Victorian Culture 21. 2 (2016): 147-167.

Jim Endersby, “Deceived by Orchids: Sex, Science, Fiction and Darwin.” The British Journal for the History of Science 49 (2016): 205-229.

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

Clare Stainthorp, “Activity and Passivity: Class and Gender in the Case of the Artificial Hand.” Victorian Literature and Culture 45. 1 (2017): 1-16.

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.

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.

Cassandra Laity, “Eco-Geologies of Queer Desire: Elizabeth Bishop’s Love Poetry and Charles Darwin’s Beagle Geology Travel Narratives.” Contemporary Women's Writing 10. 3 (2016): 429-450.

Jeffery Blevins, “Absolutism, Relativism, Atomism: The ‘small theories’ of T.S. Eliot.”  Journal of Modern Literature 40. 2 (2016): 94-111.

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.

Cedric Van Dijck, “Time on the Pulse: Affective Encounters with the Wristwatch in the Literature of Modernism and the First World War.” Modernist Cultures 11. 2 (2016): 161-178.

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.

Though Émile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Georg Simmel are generally regarded as the “founders” of sociology as a discipline, sociological theory was actually rooted in nineteenth-century culture as intellectuals and scientists attempted to make sense of the political, economic, and social dislocations brought about by the Industrial and French Revolutions. Auguste Comte (who coined the term “la sociologie” in 1838), John Stuart Mill, Harriet Martineau, George Henry Lewes, Karl Marx, Henry Mayhew, Herbert Spencer, and Charles Booth were among the primary exponents of “the scientific study of society” during the Victorian era; significantly, their work often responded to or was informed by myriad literary authors and forms.

 

This volume represents the first collection of essays to illuminate the historically and intellectually complex relationship between literary studies and sociology in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain. As Samuel Kerkham Ratcliffe noted in a December 1909 paper read before London’s Sociological Society, “Sociology and the English Novel,” the “difficulty is not to discover sociology in fiction, but to find anything therein that is without sociological value and meaning.” This point has been more recently amplified by Wolf Lepenies, in Between Literature and Science: The Rise of Sociology, and Krishna Kumar, in “Sociology and the Englishness of English Social Theory,” who both have sought to account for Britain’s relatively slow professionalization of sociology before 1950 by citing the fact that “for the English their poets, novelists, and literary critics seemed to be doing a more than adequate job of analysis and criticism of the novel problems of nineteenth-century industrial society” (Kumar 55). With these observations in mind, we invite essays that will help to address some key questions.  How, precisely, did Victorian and Edwardian literary texts did help to develop and formalize the discipline of sociology? How did emergent sociological discourses and practices shape the literature of the nineteenth- and early-twentieth century?  To what degree were literature and sociology offering competing systems for analyzing the society they purported to represent?

 

We welcome papers that consider the sociological provenance of specific Victorian and Edwardian cultural objects and practices or papers that explore how various social theories and theorists were inherently tethered to or inspired by the literary. We especially encourage submissions that explore problems in and of the social through the “contact zones”  of literary studies and sociology. Essays might examine one or more specific examples of “the scientific study of society” and consider the degree to which these proto-sociological texts are themselves amenable to rhetorical, ideological, formal, historical or other permutations of “literary” analysis.  Contributors might discuss how specific literary works represent persons, institutions, or methods of thought associated with sociological theory and practice, and/or whether such literary works contributed to an emergent sociological discourse (or discourses). We also invite papers that explore how nineteenth- and early-twentieth century literary texts contributed to the expansion of sociology as a discipline and/or anticipated the later theoretical interventions of Erving Goffman, Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, etc.  In addition, sociological accounts of the role of literature in the formation of national identities, classes, or class fractions in Victorian or Edwardian England would be welcome.  This list is meant to be suggestive rather than exhaustive.

 

We are currently soliciting proposals (300-500 words, plus one-page CV) for essays of roughly 6000-8000 words. Proposals should be sent to apionke@ua.edu by or before December 15, 2017.

 

Maria K. Bachman, Professor and Chair

Department of English

Middle Tennessee State University

 

Albert D. Pionke, Professor

Department of English

University of Alabama

BSLS members will remember Professor Sharon Ruston’s excellent plenary lecture on Davy at our 2016 conference in Birmingham.  Sharon’s new 4-week MOOC, Humphry Davy: Laughing Gas, Literature, and the Lamp, starts on 30 October.  The course draws on her research as co-editor of Davy’s Collected Letters and her work on Romantic-era literature and science, and is free.  For more information and to register interest, see https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/humphry-davy

*Reminder*

Following the success of the JLS/BSLS essay prize in previous years, The JLS and the British Society for Literature and Science would like to announce the 2017 prize for the best new essay by an early career scholar on a topic within the field of literature and science.

Essays should be currently unpublished and not under consideration by another journal. They should be approx. 8,000 words long, inclusive of references, and should be send by email to both Josie Gill, Communications Officer of the BSLS (josie.gill@bristol.ac.uk), and Martin Willis, Editor of the JLS (willism8@cardiff.ac.uk), by 12 noon on Friday, 11th August, 2017

The prize is open to BSLS members who are postgraduate students or have completed a doctorate within three years of this date.

(To join BSLS, go to http://www.bsls.ac.uk/join-us/).

The prize will be judged jointly by representatives of the BSLS and JLS. The winning essay will be announced on the BSLS website and published in the JLS. The winner will also receive a prize of £100.

Read previous prize winning essays in the JLS: www.literatureandscience.org

 

Applications are now invited for the next round of both competitions, each with a deadline of 1st September 2017.

For more information on how to apply and on past awards, please visit our funding page.

Free tickets are still available for this special event at Brighton's Booth Museum of Natural History on Thursday evening, which marks the opening of a new exhibition on birds in literature.

'Flying off the Page: Birds in Literature, Victorian Era to the Present' will explore how birds have been depicted in literature and culture over time.

Please book your place for the event here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/flying-off-the-page-birds-in-literature-victorian-era-to-the-present-tickets-33427602860

The event is one in a series planned over the summer, funded by the AHRC as a part of a collaborative project on the history of British Nature Writing. See here for more details: https://landlinesproject.wordpress.com/

 

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