Moving Towards Science in the Long Nineteenth Century

12 September 2012, The Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle upon Tyne

Guest speakers:
Dr Peter Garratt (Northumbria University), Professor David Knight (Durham University), and Professor Jennifer Richards and Dr Anne Whitehead (Newcastle University)

The North East Postgraduate Research Group for the Long Nineteenth Century (NENC) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for this postgraduate symposium held on Wednesday 12 September 2012.

The theme of the symposium reflects two parallel ‘moves’ towards science. First, it references the rise of the ‘natural sciences’, the scientific method, and the professional scientist across the long nineteenth century. Second, it recognises moves in contemporary arts and humanities scholarship towards a more nuanced disciplinary relationship with the sciences and the possibility of ‘one culture’. Adopting an exploratory methodology, the day will allow delegates to think widely about how literary culture of the period approached, adapted, and rejected emergent scientific, technological, and medical discourses and methods. More broadly, we will consider how and why literature and science might move together in the contemporary academy.

Ranging across the early modern period to the end of the long nineteenth century in their areas of specialisation, our guest speakers will consider in particular how they have approached or made use of scientific discourses in their own research. This will provide delegates with an opportunity to gain insight into some of the methodological and theoretical benefits and challenges of a turn towards science.

The symposium is free to attend, and all are welcome. To register your place, please email: with your title, name, institutional affiliation, any dietary or access requirements, and whether you would like to reserve a place at the conference dinner, to be held in Newcastle city centre after the event. Registration will close on Saturday 8 September.

The full programme can be viewed on the NENC website:

The symposium will be held at Newcastle upon Tyne's Literary and Philosophical Society, the largest independent library outside of London, which dates from 1825. The Lit & Phil is situated in the city centre, a five minute walk from the central rail station.

The symposium is generously supported by the British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS) and by the three host Universities (Newcastle, Durham, and Northumbria).