For this term's Oxford Seminars on Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century, click below:
Conference, Friday 8 June, Birkbeck, London
Experiment can describe both strict testing and speculative ‘trying out’, both proof and exploration; it can also refer to the process, the object, and the material apparatus of these activities. Experiment can have connotations of system or method, as is often prominent in the scientific context, or uncontrolled rule-breaking.
Literature’s relationship to experiment is similarly complex. David Seed has described Science Fiction as a kind of thought experiment, while Amanda Rees has emphasized not the genre’s plots or themes but its logical consistency, both drawing on the sense of rigour that experiment denotes. Struggling to stitch a chapter together, Laurence Sterne’s narrator Tristram Shandy suggests a less controlled process: ‘one would think I took a pleasure in running into difficulties of this kind, merely to make fresh experiments of getting out of ‘em’. In both of these cases, experiment is not only a process of attentive observation—the ‘empirical’ quality valued by many forms of writing—but a directing imaginative and textual force.
Bruno Latour describes experiment as a fundamentally literary technology, or ‘a text about a nontextual situation, later tested by others to decide whether or not it is simply a text’. This conference seeks to elaborate on the association between text and experiment, by examining experiment’s literary forms in the century leading up to the generic delineation of science fiction. As the practices, institutions, and rhetorics of natural philosophy transform through the long nineteenth century into self-identifying disciplines, what power does the notion of experiment exert? What impact did these reorganizations of knowledge have on the imaginative contours of experiment? How did experimental forms aim to facilitate new thoughts, sensations, ideas? In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor confesses an enabling moral suspension crucial to the horror genre: ‘During my first experiment, a kind of enthusiastic frenzy had blinded me to the horror of my employment’. Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species begins with an experiment as literary as it is scientific, explaining evolution by means of the analogy of variation in domestic pigeons. Emily Dickinson’s creation of a private herbarium resembles her ordered collection of her poems in bound ‘fascicles’, a similarity intimated in the floral illustration of the first edition of her Poems. Other experimental forms might be found in the relationship between abandoned experiments and literary fragments such as Coleridge’s partial ‘Theory of Life’, or in hybrid poetic forms which drew on and manipulated contemporary medical and scientific models of experimental knowledge.
How are we to understand experiment in these texts? This may refer to the techniques and styles of scientific writing, whether its desire to speak transparently or to inspire wonder, but also to the textures of experimental literature, which can draw on experiment’s exploratory nature to cultivate difficulty or confusion. In what sense ought we to think of texts—both scientific and literary—as experimental processes in their own right; not as artefacts that records methods or results, but as technologies that create them?
former Chair of BSLS, Martin Willis (Cardiff)
Will Abberley (Sussex)
Jeremy Davies (Leeds)
Katherine Ebury (Sheffield)
Timothy Fulford (De Montfort)
Dahlia Porter (Glasgow)
Register via the Eventbrite page https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/experimental-forms-writing-science-and-medicine-in-the-long-nineteenth-century-tickets-44604422027
The 2018 Science in Public conference is taking place at Cardiff University on December 17-19th, with the theme of Intersecting Science. The CFP is now open, and more details can also be found on the conference website at https://www.sip2018cardiff.com:
We are now accepting abstracts for SiP2018. Abstracts for regular papers should be no more than 250 words. We also welcome proposals for diverse formats of presentation and encourage people to suggest their own panels, practical workshops, roundtables, author-meets-critics events, and other alternative session formats. Please make this clear in your submission.
All abstracts should be submitted by Friday 18th May at 5pm via the submission portal. Click the button to the right to go there now. Some funds may be available to support proposed alternative format sessions. Notification of acceptance is expected to be given by mid-June 2018.
SiP 2018 will be a low-cost conference, with a small number of bursaries available to early career, student or low-income scholars. Delegates will be asked to book their own accommodation (recommendations will be available on the website at https://www.sip2018cardiff.com).
We are committed to ensuring the conference is accessible to everyone. If you have any accessibility needs for attending the conference and/or for presenting, please let us know.
Contact and further Info
Any questions, please contact the SiP team at SiP2018@cardiff.ac.uk. For more information, you can join our mailing list, follow us on Twitter (@SiP2018), or subscribe for email updates below.
- Robert T Tally Jr (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Literature and Space
- Lorna Hutson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700
- Amanda Jo Goldstein, Sweet Science: Romantic Materialism and the New Logics of Life
- Molly Farrell, Counting Bodies: Population in Colonial American Writing
- Alison A Chapman, The Legal Epic: Paradise Lost and the Early Modern Law
- Adriana Craciun, Writing Arctic Disaster: Authorship and Exploration
- Marlene Goldman, Forgotten: Narratives of Age-Related Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in Canada
A list of books for which we are currently seeking reviewers can be found here.Please email Gavin Budge on <G.Budge@herts.ac.uk> if you would like to propose a book for review - anything published from 2016 onwards will be considered.
The Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, invites applications for the three-year position of a Research Fellow in English / Anglophone Literatures commencing on June 1, 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The working hours comprise 25.87 hours a week and the salary is based on the German public service pay scale 13 TV-L (annual base salary currently ranging from EUR 28,641 to EUR 36,781 plus allowances).
- Academic and administrative duties in the "Fiction Meets Science" research program (www.fictionmeetsscience.org), particularly in the field of "The Anglophone Science Novel and the Global Dimensions of Science".
- Research for the project "Transcultural Mobility of Scientists and Science in the Contemporary Anglophone Science Novel".
- Completion of a Ph.D. dissertation within the period of employment. The results of the project-related research may be used as part of the Ph.D. thesis.
- Master's degree or equivalent Diploma in the field of English / Anglophone Literatures with an above average grade
- demonstrated familiarity with established and current approaches in literary and cultural theory (including specifically discourse theory and postcolonial theory)
- near-native command of English
- a sketch of ideas for a Ph.D. project, relating to "Transcultural Mobility of Scientists and Science in the Contemporary Anglophone Science Novel", to be developed into a thesis as part of the employment
Preference will be given to applicants with the following additional qualifications:
- research interests matching existing research profiles in Oldenburg Anglophone Literary Studies
- demonstrated familiarity with historical and interdisciplinary perspectives on Anglophone literatures
- familiarity with research and approaches in Literature and Science Studies and in (Postcolonial) Science and Technology Studies
- experience doing project work
- experience organising academic workshops or conferences
- a working knowledge of German
The University of Oldenburg is an equal opportunities employer. According to § 21 para. 3 of the Legislation Governing Higher Education in Lower Saxony (NHG) preference shall be given to female candidates in cases of equal qualification. The same applies to persons with disabilities.
The deadline for applications is April 11, 2018. Applications must include a CV, copies of degree certificates, an academic writing sample (maximum of 20 pages), a sketch of ideas for a Ph.D. project, as well as - if applicable - a list of publications and courses taught. Applications should include the keyword "WM-FMS2" in the reference line and should be submitted by e-mail in a single pdf-file to firstname.lastname@example.org(maximum size 40 MB). Alternatively, applications may be sent by post to Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Fakultät III, Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Prof. Dr. Anton Kirchhofer, 26111 Oldenburg.
Please note that applications materials will not be returned to applicants. Please do not submit any original documents or file-folders.
Questions regarding this position may be addressed to Prof. Dr. Anton Kirchhofer (email@example.com).
For the legally binding German version of this advertisement, please see http://uni-ol.de/stellen/65936
The following books have been shortlisted for the BSLS Book Prize for 2017:
The winner will be announced on Friday 6th April 2018 at the BSLS conference at Oxford Brookes.
Mind Reading: The Role of Narrative in Mental Health
18th-19th June 2018
University of Birmingham
Do clinicians and patients speak the same language? How might we bridge the evident gaps in communication? How can we use narrative to foster clinical relationships? Or to care for the carers?
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Dame Professor Sue Bailey, Professor Sally Shuttleworth (Oxford), Professor Femi Oyebode (Birmingham), Professor Brendan Drumm (UCD), and Professor Chris Fitzpatrick (UCD)
This two-day programme of talks and workshops is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, UCD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Diseases of Modern Life and Constructing Scientific Communities Projects at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Together we seek to explore productive interactions between narrative and mental health both historically and in the present day.
Bringing together psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs, service users, and historians of literature and medicine, we will investigate the patient experience through the prism of literature and personal narrative to inform patient-centred care and practice, and focus on ways in which literature might be beneficial in cases of burnout and sympathy fatigue.
A draft programme and link to our online registration site is available here.
If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with Dr Melissa Dickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A provisional programme for the BSLS annual conference 2018 at Oxford Brookes can be viewed here.
deadline for submissions:
April 2, 2018
full name / name of organization:
University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
17-18 July, 2018 – University of Kent
Keynote Speakers:Professor Helen Small, Pembroke College, University of Oxford
Professor Priscilla Wald, Duke University
This conference aims to stimulate a wide-ranging discussion about the interactions between British and American literature, education, and the sciences of the mind between 1850-1950. We welcome paper and panel proposals on any aspect of British or American literature, education and/or the sciences of the mind broadly construed.This conference is part of Dr Sara Lyons’ (PI), Dr Michael Collins’ (Co-I) and Dr Fran Bigman’s (Research Associate) AHRC-funded project, Literary Culture, Meritocracy, and the Assessment of Intelligence in Britain and America, 1880-1920. The project is an investigation of how British and American novelists understood and represented intellectual ability in the period, with a particular focus on how they responded to the rise of intelligence testing and the associated concepts of I.Q. and meritocracy. For additional information, please visit our website: https://research.kent.ac.uk/literaryculture/
• Teaching and Being Taught; pedagogical theory and practice
• Representations of Places of Learning
• Examinations, grades, scholarships, qualifications
• Inequality, Discrimination, and Exclusion in Education
• Academic Success and Failure
• Literacy and Illiteracy
• Intellectuals, Experts, Professionalism
• Autodidacticism, Informal Education
• Varieties of education: aesthetic, classical, moral, religious, scientific, technical
• Learning Styles and Types of Intelligence
• Intellectual ability and disability
As well as literature and:
• Professionalisation/ Institutionalisation of Psychology
• Social Psychology
• Developmental Psychology
• Psychometrics and personality testing
• Physiology and psychology
• Psychological Schools and Controversies
• Psychology and Philosophy
• Experimental Psychology
• Language and Cognition