Book Prize

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The British Society for Literature and Science is pleased to announce the winner of its annual book prize. The prize of £150, for the best monograph or collection of essays published in 2008, has been awarded to George Levine for Realism, Ethics and Secularism: Essays on Victorian Literature and Science (Cambridge University Press). The book prize committee commented as follows:

Levine’s collection of essays on Victorian literature and science will be essential reading for anyone working in the discipline. Brilliantly argued and personally engaging, his essays have implications well beyond their period boundaries. This is true not only for the essay ‘Why Science Isn’t Literature’, which urges us to rethink the implications of constructionist ideas of science, but also of pieces such as ‘In Defense of Positivism’ and ‘The Heartbeat of a Squirrel’. Levine has been central to the shaping of the methodologies of the discipline in the last thirty years, and this collection of essays will continue to guide it in future decades.

The winner was announced at the Society’s annual conference in Reading. For a review, see George Levine, Realism, Ethics and Secularism.

The other shortlisted books were:

  • Armstrong, Isobel. Victorian Glassworlds (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Jackson, Noel. Science and Sensation in Romantic Poetry (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism, no.73) (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • Reiss, Benjamin. Theaters of Madness: Insane Asylums and Nineteenth-Century American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2008)

The prize was inaugurated last year, when it was awarded to Ralph O’Connor for The Earth on Show (University of Chicago Press, 2007). Books are ineligible if written by, or contain contributions by, members of the BSLS’s executive committee or the book prize committee.

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The British Society for Literature and Science is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2008 book prize. The four shortlisted books are:

  • Armstrong,Isobel. Victorian Glassworlds (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Jackson, Noel. Science and Sensation in Romantic Poetry (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism, no.73) (Cambridge University Press, 2008).
  • Levine, George Lewis. Realism, ethics and secularism : essays on Victorian literature and science (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • Reiss, Benjamin. Theaters of Madness: Insane Asylums and Nineteenth-Century American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2008)

The prize of £150 will be awarded to the best book published in 2008 in the field of literature and science. The winner will be announced at this year's conference at Reading University.

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The British Society for Literature and Science is pleased to invite nominations for the annual BSLS Book Prize.

The prize of £150 will be awarded to the best book published in 2008 in the field of literature and science. We therefore invite nominations, including self-nominations, for books to be considered. Monographs, edited volumes, editions, and books of creative writing are all eligible for consideration. The book must be in English and must have ‘2008’ as its publication date.

Please send nominations, including author, title and publisher to Dr Michael Whitworth (book-prize convenor) at michael.whitworth@merton.ox.ac.uk, with ‘BSLS Book Prize’ as the subject heading. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 16 January 2009.

• The book prize was launched in 2007; the winner of the first prize was Ralph O’Connor, for The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856 (U of Chicago P, 2007)

• Nominations are invited from society members and from publishers. The authors or editors of the nominated books need not be members of the society.

• The winner of this year’s prize will be announced at the BSLS’s 2009 conference in Reading

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The committee of the BSLS is delighted to announce that Ralph O'Connor's book The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856 (U of Chicago P, 2007) has been awarded the Society's first book prize. The book is a deeply-researched, ambitious and elegant account of early nineteenth-century literary and scientific writing on geology. It is likely to prove long-lasting and to be informative and stimulating to specialist scholars as well as to a wider readership.

The prize citation for The Earth on Show was written by the President of the BSLS, Professor Dame Gillian Beer:
"Ralph O'Connor's The Earth on Show is at once spectacular and judicious. He demonstrates the ways earth science declared itself to broad audiences during the Victorian period. He does so by exploring the immense variety of visual display, from panoramas to museums to illustrated books and cartoons. Alongside these examples he analyses how writing also can be made to perform discoveries. These two sources of evidence come together in a
richly argued, very readable, and innovative account that shows a new science making itself by making itself known. Chicago University Press has done a brilliant job, and so has the author."

The shortlist for the book prize (see below) was extremely strong: the six books addressed very different topics, demonstrating some of the breadth of this field, but were all based on detailed, wideranging and original research. Congratulations to all six authors, and above all to Ralph O'Connor.

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The committee of the BSLS is delighted to announce the shortlist for the Society's annual prize for the best book on literature and science published the previous calendar year. The prize is awarded for the first time this year, and the winner will be announced at the conference in Keele at the end of March.

Jonathan Adams, Interference Patterns: Literary Study, Scientific Knowledge, and Disciplinary Autonomy (Bucknell University Press)

Gowan Dawson, Darwin, Literature, and Victorian Respectability (Cambridge University Press)

Mark Francis, Herbert Spencer and the Invention of Modern Life (Acumen Publishing)

Elizabeth Leane, Reading Popular Physics: Disciplinary Skirmishes and Textual Strategies (Ashgate Publishing)

James Mussell, Science, Time and Space in the Late Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: Movable Types (Ashgate Publishing)

Ralph O'Connor, The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856 (University of Chicago Press)

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The British Society for Literature and Science is delighted to announce the launch of the first annual BSLS Book Prize.

The prize will be awarded to the best book published in 2007 in the field of literature and science. We therefore invite nominations, including self-nominations, for books to be considered. Monographs, edited volumes, editions, and books of creative writing are all eligible for consideration. The book must be in English and must have '2007' as its publication date. Please send nominations, including author, title and publisher to bsls@arts.gla.ac.uk by 31 December. The winning book will be announced and the prize awarded at the BSLS's conference in Keele in March 2008.

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