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2nd INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP IN THE FRAMEWORK OF “HERMOUPOLIS SEMINARS”,
SYROS, 5-8 JULY 2016
“Beyond Nature in Science and Literature”

The International Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST, the Hellenic Open University and the Institute of Historical Research/ National Hellenic Research Foundation organize a two-days’ workshop to study “Beyond Nature in Science and Literature”. The CoSciLit workshop is a new addition to the prestigious Hermoupolis Seminars which have been organized for more than 30 years every July on Syros Island.
This workshop follows the successfull 1st workshop organized in 2016 on the theme of "Nature(s), Humans and God(s) in Literature. Representations" and it will be part of series of workshops which will be organized with a specific theme every July.

The venue of the workshop will be the “Historical Archives of the State” in the Town Hall of Hermoulis. Hermoupolis was once the capital of Greece and a city of great cultural, scientific and industrial heritage. Syros Island is very close to Piraeus by boat and an ideal place for a high quality, inexpensive summer visit.

Those who are willing to participate in the workshop with a presentation may ask further information and/or submit an abstract of max. 200 words sending an email to gvlahakis@yahoo.com until 15 May 2016.

Languages: English, Greek, French, German

For participants giving a paper there will be a modest fee of 50 Euros and for those who will attend without a paper a fee of 40 Euros to cover administrative expenses. There will be some hotels with reduced prices on offer for the participants but there are plenty of places, in Hermoupolis or close by, at very convenient prices.
Coffee and refreshments will be offered.

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.

The graduate journal Pulse is seeking book reviewers and research papers. Further information on reviewing is available here and on the call for papers here.

University of Leeds

Tuesday 4th – Thursday 6th July 2017

Confirmed speakers: Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin (Leeds); Professor Nigel Clark (Lancaster); Professor Alexandra Harris (Liverpool); Professor Mike Hulme (King’s College London); Dr Adeline Johns-Putra (Surrey); Professor Toby Miller (Loughborough); Professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood (Illinois)

Our experience of climate change is always mediated. Its effects are encountered through changing weather patterns, including the storms, floods, and droughts that afflict communities across the world. They are also encountered through different forms of representation: a novel imagining a desiccated future Earth; a television documentary about coral bleaching; a graph of rising global temperatures. Researchers increasingly understand climate change as a cultural and political issue, and are concerned with the ways in which it is mediated in different contexts, and to different audiences.

This major environmental humanities conference will cross disciplines and periods to analyse the ways in which human beings have tried to make sense of climate change. What difficulties are there in representing climate change? How has it been debated in the past? What new ways of exploring and mediating climate change are emerging as we face an uncertain future?

We welcome proposals of around 250 words for twenty-minute papers suitable for an interdisciplinary audience. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of climate change in literature, film, the media, and the arts
  • Climate change and cultural theory (e.g. posthumanism, new materialism)
  • Historical constructions of climate change
  • Climate change and the Anthropocene
  • The mediation of climate science
  • Scales of mediation/climate modelling
  • Climate change as a culturally mediated and contingent concept
  • The construction of climate change within academic discourse
  • Climate change and consumerism (e.g. greenwash)
  • The psychology of climate change (e.g. disavowal, denial, scepticism, affirmation, optimism)
  • Climate change in political discourse
  • Climate change and the ethics of representation
  • Mediation and climate change activism

We also welcome proposals for complete panels and for presentations/panels using non-standard formats. The deadline for proposals is 15 January 2017. Please use the conference email address for all correspondence and proposals: mediatingclimatechange@leeds.ac.uk

Conference organisers: David Higgins and Tess Somervell

Conference advisory team: Jeremy Davies, Dehlia Hannah, Graham Huggan, Sebastien Nobert, Chris Paterson, Lucy Rowland, Stefan Skrimshire, Kerri Woods

This conference is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through a Leadership Fellowship awarded to Dr Higgins.

 

For further details, visit http://romanticcatastrophe.leeds.ac.uk/conference/

Panel session at the 12th Annual Conference of the British Society for Literature and Science

6-8 April 2017, University of Bristol

 

In Imagined Communities (1983) Benedict Anderson famously argued that the idea of the nation, and national belonging, first developed with the rise of news periodicals and new ways of story-telling in novels. Readers and writers of these enacted a sense of national collectivity through the simultaneous and repetitive adoption of a shared outlook of the world. In Anderson’s framework, nations are communities imagined by literary means.

 

Our panel seeks to apply this approach to various learned collectives - the communities which scholars and scientists have considered themselves to be part of, such as the Republic of Letters, international science, the intelligentsia, academia, schools of thought within specific disciplines, etc. We want to consider how such groupings may have been called into being through the various forms of belles-lettres in writing, publishing, correspondence, and other means of literary communication. We will also examine how the use of literary techniques and genres within a learned discourse supported the visibility and shaped the identity of specific scholarly communities, sometimes facilitating their institutionalization.

 

Relevant issues include: how have specific literary tools, such as analogy, metaphor, and narrative sequencing of material, contributed to creating an idealized projection of learned discourse and hence community? How were non-verbal and emblematic means employed for mental and visual portrayal of guilds and corporations of knowledge? How was the imagining of learned communities involved in the global transfer of epistemic values, in synchronic and diachronic perspective? How have narrative ways of self-description helped learned groups to define their relations to national, political, religious, economic, and other environments? Using Ian Hacking’s “dialectical realism”, how have the invented categories of community induced patterns of behavior and thus contrived new ways of being?

 

We would like to address these and other related questions over a wide range of historical contexts, and invite proposals for twenty-minute papers to become part of the panel. Please send an abstract of 200 words and short biographical note to the panel conveners Maria Avxentevskaya (mavxentevskaya@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de) and Geert Somsen (gjs2141@columbia.edu) by 7 December 2016. All enquiries concerning the 12th Annual Conference of the British Society for Literature and Science can also be sent to Ros Powell (bsls-2017@bristol.ac.uk). Please see the full CFP at https://www.bsls.ac.uk/2016/10/cfp-the-british-society-for-literature-and-science-annual-conference.

An interdisciplinary workshop, 26-27 May 2017, University of Aberdeen

Gut health has become a buzzword in contemporary culture. Ground-breaking research is pointing to potential links between the gut and such diverse areas as our mood, weight, and thought processes. The current debates on the digestive system and our physical and mental health, however, are not without precedent. The stomach occupied a central place in the development of medicine in the nineteenth century and the number of medical, literary and popular publications on digestion proliferated from this period onwards. With the exception of anorexia and obesity, however, few scholars have examined the cultural significance of the gut in the modern period, confirming the lowly status the abdomen has endured in the Western intellectual tradition.

This workshop aims to develop a new understanding of gut health in modern history by establishing a dialogue between different scholars on this aspect of the body. The preoccupation with guts and the bowels in the Early Modern period developed a new urgency in the nineteenth century through the rapid progress of medicine and the increased concern with the stomach as a site of self-fashioning. The obsession with the gut during this period was a highly cosmopolitan phenomenon crossing many fields of experience, and the workshop aims to bring together scholars from a range of specialisms, including English studies, Modern Languages, History, History of Medicine, Anthropology, Philosophy, Visual Studies, Religious Studies and History of Science.

Applications from postgraduate and early career scholars are particularly welcome.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The history of psycho-gastric conditions
  • The history of nutritional physiology and metabolism
  • (In)digestion as a metaphorical framework
  • Literary portrayals of digestion, constipation and defecation
  • Digestive and excretory labours and authorial identity
  • Visual portrayals of the digestive system
  • The gut as a site of self-fashioning
  • Digestion and nationhood
  • Digestion and public health
  • Gut-brain connections
  • Digestion and modernity
  • Digestion and constipation in philosophical thought
  • The role of digestion in social relations
  • Digestive health as spiritual practice

Interdisciplinary approaches and international comparisons are strongly encouraged.

Contributors will be invited to submit developed papers for consideration for publication after the event.

Proposals should be no more than 300 words in length and a short biography should also be included. Please send to m.mathias@abdn.ac.uk by 31 January 2017.

This two-day workshop is funded by the University of Aberdeen School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture; the Society for French Studies; the British Society for the History of Science; and the British Society for Literature and Science.

As the third millennium progresses, science and technology more than ever govern human lives, and the topic of science and/in fiction shows no signs of decline, neither in terms of artistic production nor as an area of critical inquiry. As several critical accounts of the field of 21st century literature note, writers address contemporary issues such as environmental catastrophes and international conflicts, the proclaimed turn to precarity and the future of the planet and of humanity. Yet, at the same time, writers also appear disposed to look back, continuing to make the past and issues of time, history and temporality dominant concerns. But the question arises of what this turn to the past means in view of our narrative engagement with technology, projections of the future and its place in human life today and in times to come: (how) can it be that literature set in the 19th and 20th centuries imitates earlier styles and techniques and engages with technologies that once had a frightening impact but have become part of our reality long ago? How do these trends relate to the typically speculative view of science fiction? What happens to the characteristic orientation towards futuristic science and settings and, on the other hand, to conceptions of realism? Considering, for instance, the booming genres of Neo-Victorian fiction, adaptations and re-tellings, (how) can it be that upon entering the new millennium, writers seem to find greater imaginative stimulus in the past than in the present and the future?

The edited collection of essays aims to address current directions in fictional science narratives in different media. It brackets questions of scientific accuracy and the well-trodden path of the ‘two cultures’ debate to explore what modes, forms, and genres emerge and dominate in the 21st century. Aside from tracing new and old boundaries between kinds of knowledge, modes of narration and perceiving reality, and between facts and fiction, the ethical dimension of the question ‘can it be’ might include narrative representations of risk, fear, and cultural assumptions about scientists and the research enterprise.

We invite contributions that address 20th century developments from a 21st perspective, as well as theoretical reflections on new trends and movements, surveys and close readings of narratives, including novels, drama, film, young adult fiction, and graphic fiction.

Papers may deal with (but are of course not limited to) the following topics and interrelations:

 

  • Science and genre, e.g. the historical novel, thriller, satire, fantasy, dystopia, transrealism, and life-writing
  • Science and ethics
  • Science and religion, secularism
  • Science and/as terror
  • Science and (post)human identity
  • Science – still between fascination and fear?

Please send 300-500 words abstracts to Dr Nina Engelhardt (nina.engelhardt@uni-koeln.de) and Dr Julia Hoydis (julia.hoydis@uni-koeln.de).

 

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 01.02.2017.

Notice of acceptance: 01.03. 2017.

Deadline for submission of papers (7000 words): 01.01.2018

 

University of Bristol, 6-8 April 2017

ONE MONTH LEFT TO SUBMIT YOUR ABSTRACTS!

The twelfth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will take place at the University of Bristol, from Thursday 6 April until Saturday 8 April 2017.

Keynote talks will be given by Professor Havi Carel (University of Bristol), Professor Robert Mitchell (Duke University), and Professor Ralph O’Connor (University of Aberdeen).

The BSLS invites proposals for twenty-minute papers, or panels of three papers, on any subjects within the field of literature and science.  Please send an abstract (c.200 words) and short biographical note to the conference organiser (Ros Powell bsls-2017@bristol.ac.uk) by no later than 5pm GMT, Friday 9 December 2016. Please see the full CFP at www.bsls.ac.uk

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