October 2011

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The British Society for Literature and Science invites proposals for papers and panels to be delivered at its seventh annual conference, to be held at the English Faculty, University of Oxford, 12-14 April 2012. The deadline for receipt of proposals is Monday 5 December 2011; we anticipate that announcements about acceptances/rejections will be issued 9 January 2012.

Plenary speakers will include Professor Jonathan Sawday (St Louis University), author of The Body Emblazoned: Dissection and the Human Body in Renaissance Culture (1995) and Engines of the Imagination: Renaissance Culture and the Rise of the Machine (2007), among other works.

There is no theme for this year’s conference, and we hope to receive a wide range of proposals covering a wide range of historical periods. Those unfamiliar with the BSLS may wish to look at past conference programmes and at the short-listed titles in successive book-prize competitions. We would particularly welcome papers that reflect on the state of the field. This might include the state of the field in relation to particular kinds of literature and historical periods; the differences in critical practices in relation to different kinds and periods; differences between British, continental European, and North American approaches; forms of historicism; and the relation of literature and science to neighbouring fields, such as literature and medicine, ecocriticism, evocriticism and other forms of criticism inspired by evolutionary biology.

In addition to regular panels, we would like to hold a series of workshops on the state of the field. Possible topics are: poetry; fiction; drama; teaching literature and science; historicism; dialogues between practitioners in different historical periods. We seek short (ten-minute) position papers defending or criticising particular approaches, or raising larger questions. If you are interested in offering such a paper, please contact the conference organiser by Monday 21 November. Within the workshop segment we also hope to have panel or panels on teaching literature and science: again, if you wish to offer an account of your teaching practice, please contact the conference organiser.

Thanks to a generous donation, there will be a bursary of £150 awarded to a graduate student on the basis on the paper proposals. The student must be registered for a masters or doctoral degree on 9 January 2012.

Proposals for papers of 15-20 minutes, and for panels, should be sent in the body of the email text (no attachments, please), to bsls.2012@yahoo.co.uk. They should consist of: the title; a proposal of no more than 300 words; the title again; the name, postal address, and email address of the proposer; and, if you are applying for the graduate student bursary, the email address of your supervisor or other person who will be able to confirm that you are a registered student.

Accommodation: please note that those attending will need to make their own arrangements for accommodation. As in previous years, we anticipate that the conference will begin at about 1pm on the first day and conclude at about 2pm on the last.

Membership: in order to attend the conference, you must be a paid-up member of the BSLS for 2012. We anticipate that it will be possible to pay the £10 annual membership fee when paying the conference fee online.

Proposals and other enquiries should be sent to the conference organizer, Dr Michael Whitworth, on bsls.2012@yahoo.co.uk.

Society of Literature, Science and the Arts Europe

Exhibition Road Cultural Group London

Supersonix Conference

Exhibition Road

London SW7

21 to 23 June 2012




A partnership between Exhibition Road Cultural Group and SLSA EU the Supersonix conference will present new theoretical, scientific and artistic works and experiments that explore the complexity of sound, thinking about sound, and capturing sound. The conference is intended for practitioners from the arts, curatorial studies, the sciences, humanities and social sciences interested in an interdisciplinary approach to the study of sound and sonification.

Call for Papers

We are looking for proposals for papers, panels and workshops exploring and experimenting with sound and sonification from the angle of noise – sound as submitted to informatic coding and transmission; signal and interference; musical noise, timbre; noise pollution; literary metaphorics of noise – and for proposals concerning the significance of human and non-human sound in the history of science, technology and culture. Papers and workshops should reflect the latest debates in the field, be theoretically grounded and talk to the topic.

Please submit an abstract of max. 250 words and a short biography of max. 100 words by e-mail no later than 30 November 2011 to Grace Heggs, grace@exhibitionroad.com

Applications and papers must be written in English. Invitations for presentations will be sent out on 25 January 2012.

Selection committee: Yves Abrioux (Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis), Bergit Arends (Curator for Contemporary Art, Natural History Museum London), Tim Boon (Head of Research and Public History, Science Museum, London), Bruno Clarke (Department of English, Texas Tech University), Sher Doruff (Rietveld Academy of Art and Design, Amsterdam), Helen Frosi (SoundFjord London), Hannah Redler (Head of Arts Projects, Science Museum London), Manuela Rossini (Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, University of Bern) and others

Confirmed speakers include: Barry Blesser (architect), Bernhard Leitner (architect/sound artist), David McAlpine (Director, University College London Ear Institute), Sophie Scott (Professor at the Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London), Jonathan Sterne (media historian), David Toop (artist, writer and curator), Jana Winderen (artist)

About Society for Literature, Science and the Arts - EU

The European Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSAeu) fosters the inter-and transdisciplinary exchange between the arts, sciences, medicine and technology. The Society welcomes practitioners from the arts, including curatorial studies, sciences, the humanities, and social sciences. SLSAeu has grown out of the US SLSA, which has staged a biennial international conference since 2000 in major European cities.

Exhibition Road Cultural Group (ERCG)

The Exhibition Road Cultural Group is made up of 16 national and international cultural and educational organisations, along with two local councils. Together, the members comprise the most popular tourism destination in Britain, every year attracting more than 24m physical visits, as well as 520m hits on their websites. ERCG champions the collective view of the area, devises large-scale collaborative arts and science projects, free for the broadest audiences, and plays a lead role in restoring the area’s profile as the world’s most concentrated and diverse cultural quarter. Supersonix is ERCG’s headline project for London’s 2012 Olympic year.

A one-day meeting “Science in Fiction: British Voices” will take place in Paris on Monday October 17th, 2011 from 10 am to 4.00 pm, at Maison des Sciences de la Communication, 20, rue Berbier-du-Mets, Paris 75013, France.

This is the second meeting of the international seminar series organised by the “Science en Fiction” research group, with the support of the ISCC. The group, directed by Marie Musset (IFE – ENS, Lyon), aims at exploring the relationship between science and fiction, and the use of fiction in science communication. A first meeting was organised in Paris in September 2011. Future meetings are planned for November in Strasbourg and December in Lyon.

This second meeting aims at discussing recent work by British scholars. The sessions will be chaired by Melanie Bayley (Kingston University) and Amirouche Moktefi (University of Strasbourg). Participants must register by sending a message to: marie.musset@ens-lyon.fr. There are no registration fees.

10.00-11.00: Alice R. Bell (Imperial College, London), Science through sequential art: The rise of popular non-fiction comic books.

11.00-12.00: Alice Jenkins (University of Glasgow), Induction, deduction, and storytelling.

14.00-15.00: Melanie Keene (University of Cambridge), Fiction and facts in fairyland.

15.00-16.00: Stella Pratt-Smith (University of Oxford), Science in fiction versus science fiction: Issues of narrative choice, credibility and authority.