There are several events coming up in Oxford over the next few weeks connected to nineteenth-century literature and science. Click on the link for the schedule for this term's Science, Medicine and Culture seminars and see the poster for an evening event on Victorian Speed produced by the Diseases of Modern Life project:
CALL FOR PAPERS
The fourteenth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will take place at Royal Holloway, University of London, from Thursday 4 April until Saturday 6 April 2019. Keynote speakers will include Professor Tim Armstrong (Royal Holloway) and Professor Angelique Richardson (Exeter).
The BSLS invites proposals for 20-minute papers, panels of three papers, or special roundtables on any subjects within the field of science (including medicine and technology), and literatures in the broadest sense, including theatre, film, and television. There is no special theme for this conference, but abstracts or panels exploring one of the following topics are especially welcome: (1) how the literatures of Africa, the Americas, Asia, or Australasia address, interact with, or respond to the discourses of science; (2) the digital humanities; (3) the writing, reading, and interpretation of human nature; (4) innovative or progressive models for uniting the sciences and the humanities.
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. The hope is that this format will encourage longer Q&A sessions with more discussion.
Please send an abstract (200 words) and short biographical note (50 words) to the conference organiser, Dr. Mike Wainwright, firstname.lastname@example.org, by no later than 18.00 GMT, Friday 7 December 2018. Include the abstract and biographical note in the body of the email.
All proposers of a paper or panel will receive notification of the results by the end of January 2019.
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.
Information concerning onsite accommodation and local hotels will be forthcoming.
Membership: conference delegates will need to register/renew as members of the BSLS (annual membership: £25 waged/ £10 unwaged).
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 Lara Choksey for her essay “Peripheral Adaptation: Living with Climate Change in Doris Lessing’s The Making of the Representative for Planet 8”.
We offer our congratulations to Lara for what the judges agreed was a striking 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 offers a fascinating reading of Lessing’s The Making of the Representative for Planet 8. It convincingly argues that the novel responds to the post-war neoimperial governance of decolonised African nations through its depiction of a genetically engineered labour force of Planet 8ers, in what amounts to a science fictional representation of the imperial invention of race. Choksey skilfully reads the novel through the lens of epigenetic science, bringing that science into conversation with global political debates about race, capitalism, decolonisation and development. Persuasively contending that Lessing explores the potential of biologically different modes of living in an era of ecological crisis and racist exploitation, Choksey’s essay offers an important and timely contribution to the work of undoing the epistemological and psychological effects of imperial rule, and in so doing opens up new vistas for the study of literature and science.
We would like to thank all the BSLS members who submitted essays for this year's prize. As usual, we were delighted by the high standard of the submissions we received and thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them.
Nominations are now being accepted for the BSLS Book Prize 2018. Inaugurated in 2007, the annual British Society for Literature and Science book prize is awarded for the best book in the field of literature and science published that year. Any book is eligible, but can only be considered if it is nominated either by a member of BSLS or by its publisher. Publishers are very welcome to nominate their own books. Members may nominate their own titles. Please note that individual memberships must be current and the publication in question must be dated 2018 to be eligible. Members of the BSLS committee are not eligible for the Prize. A panel of BSLS executive committee members and scholars will read all submissions, with the winner announced at the next annual conference, in Royal Holloway (4-6 April 2019). Please send all nominations to email@example.com by 31 December 2018.
Free online course (MOOC) starting 29 October 2018 - Open to all
Sign up today at http://www.futurelearn.com/courses/humphry-davy
The MOOC is intended for anyone with an interest in Humphry Davy, or early nineteenth-century literature, science, or history. It will explore some of the most significant moments of Davy's life and career, including his childhood in Cornwall, his work at the Medical Pneumatic Institution in Bristol and the Royal Institution in London, his writing of poetry, his invention of his miners' safety lamp, and his European travels. The course will also investigate the relationships that can exist between science and the arts, identify the role that science can play in society, and assess the cultural and political function of science.
The course will start on 29 October 2018, and will run for four weeks. Learners will typically spend three hours per week working through the steps, which will include videos (filmed on location at the Royal Institution), text-based activities and discussion, and quizzes. Learners will be guided at all stages by a specialist team of Educators and Mentors. It's entirely free to participate, and no prior knowledge of Davy is required.
Venue: the Lincoln Drill Hall, Free School Lane, Lincoln. LN2 1EY
Date: 31st October 2018 (9.30am-4pm)
Keynote speaker: Professor Mark Jancovich (University of East Anglia)
Ticket price: £7.50 (including a light lunch). Available from http://lncn.eu/frank
In celebration of the bi-centenary of the publication of the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the University of Lincoln is holding a public event, to which all are welcome.
The morning session (10am-1pm) comprises a programme of papers, with questions from the audience.
The afternoon session (2-4pm) comprises a work in progress performance by Chamelon 53, followed by a Round Table discussion (with audience participation) titled ‘Frankenstein’s Relevance to the C21st’, chaired by Professor Lucie Armitt (University of Lincoln).
Programme of Papers:
Prof. Mark Jancovich (University of East Anglia): ‘Frankenstein’s Hideous Progeny: Science Fiction, Horror and Political Discourse.’
Bysshe Inigo Coffey (University of Exeter): ‘A Study, the Senses and the Soul’
Eleanor Bryan (University of Lincoln) ‘Hideous Progenies: Reimagining Frankenstein’s monster’
Lauren Christie (University of Dundee): ‘Monstrous Legacies: Literary Adaptations of Frankenstein for Young Readers’
Dr Kelly Jones (University of Lincoln) ‘Adaptations of monstrous “liveness” in contemporary theatrical representations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’
‘Locating Health: Regional Historical Perspectives on Human Care 1800-1948’
University of Nottingham, Humanities Building, Friday 11 January 2019, 10.00 – 16.00.
Keynote speaker: Professor Christine Hallett (University of Huddersfield)
For further details see the CfP
Brighten those dreary nights in November with a visit to Edinburgh and the lively Fates of Frankenstein conference: this is a 2-day conference about Frankenstein’s legacies in popular culture. We are thrilled to be hosting keynote speakers Dr Daniel Cook, University of Dundee, and Professor Catherine Spooner, University of Lancaster.
For the full programme and details of registration, please visit https://blogs.napier.ac.uk/the-age-of-frankenstein/
You can contact the organisers, Emily Alder and Sarah Artt, at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter, @200frankenstein
This event will be followed by -
Monday 26 November 2018, public event: Staging Frankenstein: Nick Dear in Conversation https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/staging-frankenstein-nick-dear-in-conversation-tickets-47662235028 Hosted by Surgeons’ Hall Museums and sponsored by the British Society for Literature and Science and Edinburgh Napier University.
Date: Saturday 24th November 2018 (10:00 – 18:00)
Location: Cardiff University
Keynote: ‘Biggish Data: Friedrich Engels, Material Ecology, and Victorian Data’ by John Parham, University of Worcester
The Environmental Humanities have gained momentum relatively recently, contributing to developing theories of the Anthropocene, responding to rapid changes in climate, and addressing our changing relationship with the world around us. They have also raised questions of how we define, shape, protect, and imagine our environments. This symposium provides a space to consider such questions, while also encompassing a wider sense of environment. How do we discuss the environments of literature – its production, dissemination, and reception? How do we understand the environments of science – its construction, its laboratories, its spaces of discourse? In what environments do we engage with Literature and Science as an interdisciplinary field, and in what environments do we teach, research, and encounter interactions between literature and science? These questions are bound up with, and have the potential to greatly impact, the environmental turn in humanities scholarship.
The research environment is under increasing scrutiny with discussions surrounding funding, the future of research, interdisciplinarity and collaboration, the mental health and wellbeing of researchers, and how the infrastructure and shape of research environments will look in the future. Doctoral and research awards focus on interdisciplinarity and collaboration, and the AHRC's four research themes (Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past, Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities, Science in Culture, and Translating Cultures) all provide scope to consider the history of environments, environments of research, and how we interpret our environments. This symposium provides an opportunity for researchers to reflect on the significance of environments to their research at all stages of their careers, with the aim of providing a supportive collaborative environment in and of itself, while simultaneously offering a forum for considering how literature and science scholarship might address the environmental challenges of the present and future.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
- Environments of science, including laboratories, field work, universities, hospitals, theatres
- Science and literatures of the environment and environmental sciences
- Global environments; cultural environments; globalisation, national identities, international identities, regionality; postcolonial environmentalism and postcolonial literature and science
- The natural world; animals in the environment; habitats, habitation and cohabitation; agriculture, food and the environment;
- The urban world; the built environment; the subterranean
- Toxic environments; pollution, contagion, poison, criminality, danger, rebellion, resistance; antagonistic environments; monstrous, sublime, and frightening environments; the ecogothic
- What environments best enable the staging, performance, adaptation, re-imagining, or re-working of literature and science?
We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to email@example.com by Monday 15th October 2018, accompanied by a short biography (60 – 100 words). We welcome proposals for panel presentations, as well as for poster presentations to be held during the lunch break.
- Paul Stephens, The Poetics of Information Overload: From Gertrude Stein to Conceptual Writing
- Bennett Zon, Evolution and Victorian Musical Culture
- Robert Lanier Reid, Renaissance Psychologies: Spenser and Shakespeare
- Julie Holledge, Jonathan Bollen, Frode Helland, and Joanne Tompkins, A Global Doll’s House: Ibsen and Distant Visions
- J Andrew Hubbell, Byron’s Nature: A Romantic Vision of Cultural Ecology
- Margrit Pernau, Helge Jordhem et al., Civilizing Emotions. Concepts in Nineteenth-Century Asia and Europe
- Michael Jonik, Herman Melville and the Politics of the Inhuman
- Matthew Wickman, Literature After Euclid: The Geometric Imagination in the Long Scottish Enlightenment
- N. Katherine Hayles, Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious
- Wendy Wheeler, Expecting the Earth: Life, Culture, Biosemiotics
- Kirsten Strom, The Animal Surreal: The Role of Darwin, Animals, and Evolution in Surrealism
- Nicholas Roe (ed.), John Keats and the Medical Imagination
- Claire Hansen, Shakespeare and Complexity Theory