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CALL FOR PAPERS

The thirteenth annual conference of the British Society of Literature & Science will take place at Oxford Brookes University, from Thursday 5 April until Saturday 7 April 2018.

Keynote talks will be given by Professor Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (University of Oxford), Professor Alex Goody (Oxford Brookes University).

The BSLS invites proposals for 20-minute papers, panels of three papers or special roundtables on any subjects within the field of science, and literatures in the broadest sense, including theatre, performance, film and television. There is no special theme for this conference but abstracts or panels exploring Frankenstein in its bicentenary year are especially welcome as are those in the contemporary period, theatre and performance.

In addition, we are hoping to put together sessions with looser, non-traditional formats, and would welcome proposals from any person or persons interested in making presentations of approximately ten minutes from notes rather than completed papers. Our hope is that the latter format will encourage longer Q&A sessions with more discussion. If you have a topic or research area which would suit such a discussion, we would also like to hear from you.

Please send an abstract (c.200-250 words) and short biographical note to the conference organiser, Dr. Carina Bartleet, c.e.bartleet@brookes.ac.uk, by no later than 5pm GMT, Friday 8 December 2017. Please include the abstract and biographical note in the body of the email and not in an attachment. All proposers of a paper or panel will receive notification of the results by the end of January 2018.

The conference fee will be waived for two graduate students in exchange for written reports on the conference, to be published in the BSLS Newsletter. If you are interested in being selected for one of these awards, please mention this when sending in your proposal. To qualify you will need to be registered for a postgraduate degree at the time of the conference.

Please note that those attending the conference will need to make their own arrangements for accommodation. Information on local hotels will be made available soon.

Membership: conference delegates will need to register/renew as members of the BSLS (annual membership: £25 waged/ £10 unwaged).

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

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

The Journal of Science and Popular Culture will be publishing its first issue in 2018. Please click on the link below to read the call for papers:

Science and Popular Culture CFP 2

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/

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