July 2013

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2013.

'The Common Denominator', 20-22 March 2014, University of Leipzig

A postgraduate conference in mathematics and culture

** Call for papers extended until 24 July 2013 **

Focusing on the wider British context, the aim of this three-day interdisciplinary conference is to bring together researchers from diverse academic and professional disciplines. By establishing mathematics as the common denominator between the individual panels, the links between mathematics and Cultural Studies are brought into focus. The conference will explore the reception and representation of mathematical concepts in Britain and the Commonwealth across such diverse fields as popular culture, literature and linguistics.

For full details click here.


Musicolepsy - new poetry collection

In case members of the BSLS were interested, I thought I'd let you know about this: my poetry collection, Musicolepsy, from which I read excerpts at the recent BSLS Conference 2013 in Cardiff, has now been published by Shoestring Press in Nottingham.

The book features poems on cosmological, neurological and musical themes and images, and includes a series of poems written for (and first published by) NASA Chandra X-Ray Observatory. There are also poems about Johannes Kepler's "Mysterium Cosmographicum," the Supernova of 1054, the sound made by black holes, thermodynamic equilibrium, and, of course, New Brighton. You can see more details, and read a sample here:


and the publisher's website is here:


Three of the NASA Chandra poems are here:


and here:


and here:


Thanks! Best wishes, Jonathan


An International Two-Day Conference at the Humanities Research centre, University of York, UK

26 and 27 September 2013 (pdf CFP)

The ordinary and the everyday are intuitively self-evident, yet notoriously elusive. Efforts to define "ordinary language" or "everyday practice" have preoccupied thinkers across many disciplines: philosophers, historians, sociologists, political theorists, geographers and critics of literature and the visual arts. And these subjects demand more attention from scholars working on race, class, gender and sexuality, as well as food studies and the digital and medical humanities. Yet existing efforts have rarely engaged in dialogue with their counterparts in other disciplines. We call for papers from scholars in all these fields to join in a spirited dialogue at an international, two-day conference to be held at the University of York, 26 and 27 September 2013.

Scholars in all disciplines are invited to to ponder, celebrate, and critique the quotidian, ranging from the furtive pleasures of pop to the dubious delights of junk: "Does it glow at the core with personal heat, with signs of one's deepest nature, clues to secret yearnings, humiliating flaws? What habits, fetishes, addictions, inclinations? What solitary acts, behavioral ruts?"

Confirmed events include keynote addresses by:

  • Prof. John Roberts (History of Art, Wolverhampton)
  • Dr. Jennifer Baird (Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck)
  • Dr Bryony Randall (English, Glasgow)

It will culminate in a colloquium chaired by Prof Ben Highmore (Cultural Studies, Sussex) and featuring:

  • Prof. Michael Sheringham (French, All Souls Oxford)
  • Dr. Holger Nehring (History, Sheffield)
  • Dr. Rupert Read (Philosophy, UEA)
  • Dr. Michael White (History of Art, York)
  • Dr. Neal Alexander (English, Nottingham)

What do the terms everyday, ordinary and quotidian mean at the beginning of the twenty-first century? This conference will confront head-on the challenges and opportunities presented by the interdisciplinary nature of such an enquiry.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to oeqyork2013@gmail.com by 16 August; general enquiries are also welcome.

Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK

Edited by Russell Jones


Blasting into the future, across alien worlds and distant galaxies, fantastic technologies and potential threats to humanity, Where Rockets Burn Through brings science fiction and poetry together in one explosive, genre-busting collection.

Discover an array of poems by more than forty contemporary UK writers, including Edwin Morgan, Jane Yolen, Ron Butlin, WN Herbert, Ken MacLeod and Kirsten Irving, plus an exclusive essay on Sci-fi poetry by Steve Sneyd and an introduction from Alasdair Gray.

Jump in, strap up and switch on the photon cannon…


You can listen to five sci-fi poems from Where Rockets Burn Through in the Nature Podcast Extra.

Find out more about the contributors, reviews of the book, and buy a copy of Where Rockets Burn Through here: http://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/index.php/2012/10/where-rockets-burn-through-2/


CFP: ‘Neo-Victorian Experiments’

Special Issue of Victoriographies

(Edinburgh University Press, Autumn 2014)


If the nineteenth century has been characterised by the important scientific discoveries made at the time, it is hardly surprising that these innovations shaped the imagination of writers and artists of the period. What is perhaps less easy to understand is the persisting fascination that these nineteenth-century scientific developments hold for the present. Why do the scientific figures, facts and phenomena which came to prominence in the Victorian age continue to inspire authors in the twenty-first century? This special issue of Victoriographies focuses on contemporary representations of nineteenth-century scientific discourses and ideas through the lens of neo-Victorian appropriation, and seeks to shed light on the forms these returns to the past take, and the functions they serve. To what extent can we read the ideological concerns of the present in those fictional re-imaginings of Victorian science? More generally, in what ways does this scientific past enable a critical reflection on contemporary culture’s broader relationship to its Victorian heritage?


Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Test and contest: nineteenth-century science in neo-Victorian culture
  • Darwinian adaptation and neo-Victorian evolution
  • Science and empire in the neo-Victorian text
  • The figure of the nineteenth-century explorer, naturalist, cartographer, surgeon and anthropologist in neo-Victorian fiction
  • Neo-Victorian spectacle: re-imagining the nineteenth-century museum and scientific exhibition
  • Misguided theories and controversial experiments: class, gender and race in the neo-Victorian novel
  • Neo-Victorian returns to the age of ‘progress’
  • Strange science: experimenting with the scientific ‘bizarre’ in the neo-Victorian text
  • On science’s boundaries: the freak show and the fair in the neo-Victorian novel


Articles should be of between 5000-7000 words (inclusive of endnotes) and should be sent to the guest editor Dr Elodie Rousselot (Elodie.Rousselot@port.ac.uk) by 6 January 2014 at the latest. Authors should include a title page, detailing their name, title and current affiliation. Please also provide an abstract of about 100-150 words, a short biographical note, and 5-6 keywords (preferably not words used in the title). Please do not submit a manuscript that is under consideration elsewhere. Further guidance on the journal style is available at: http://www.euppublishing.com/page/vic/submissions