October 2015

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Proposed Panel at the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) Conference, at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Calgary Alberta, 28-31 May 2016.

Museums, Collections, and Memory Objects: Literary Intersections

Call for Papers:
This panel, inspired by the recent intersections of literary and material culture studies, invites proposals that consider literary perspectives on museums, objects, and cultural or personal memory. Museums, as public and private institutions, frequently ask us to re-member – to re-collect – a common past, be it artistic, cultural, social or scientific. They contain collections and individual objects that memorialize the past, or address a broader conception of the past (which may, in fact, be beyond even collective human memory, for example evolution in natural history museums). Museum buildings themselves, in turn, can become monumental testimonies to historical periods and cultural movements. Patterns of collecting and memory objects of other kinds intersect with literary culture in complex and intriguing ways: the ways in which memory is inscribed, literally or figuratively, both reveals and restricts information – and often involves an act of fictionalizing as much as an act of remembering. This panel will explore how memory and representations of the past intersect with literary culture through an engagement with museums, collections, and/or the memory objects contained within them.

Submit proposals to: Sophie Thomas (sophie.thomas@ryerson.ca) and Janine Rogers (jrogers@mta.ca)

When submitting a proposal, please send the following: a file containing a 300 to 500-word paper proposal, without personal identifying marks; a file containing a 100-word abstract and a 50-word biographical statement; a filled-out copy of the 2016 Proposal Information Sheet available on the ACCUTE website.


The Commission on Science and Literature is seeking nominations for the Council Board by Friday 30th October. We have received nominations for President, Treasurer and Secretary, and for the regional officers for Asia, Australasia and South America. We would especially welcome nominations for the Webmaster, the PhD student member of the council, and the regional officers for Africa, North America and Europe. Candidates should be nominated by two members of the Commission, though this may include the candidate herself/himself. Please send nominations and applications (together with a short CV and a photo if possible) to Prof. John Holmes at J.Holmes.1@bham.ac.uk

Science permeates culture at multiple levels, from the technology in our daily lives to our dreams of other worlds in fiction. Working with a distinguished international board, the Journal of Science and Popular Culture aims to create a unique forum in which to analyse, chronicle, and interpret the interrelationship of science and society. Contributions from academics, scientists, communicators, industry professionals, and practitioners with an interest in the interface of science and culture are now invited for this ongoing publication. Any scholarly approaches or disciplines may be used and focus extends across all geographic as well as contemporary and historical contexts. The Journal of Science and Popular Culture strongly reinforces interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, opening up new possibilities for inquiry across and between the humanities and sciences. Each issue will feature 6 to 8 original peer-reviewed research articles, accompanied by other relevant material such as science communication/popularization, interviews, reflective essays, editorials, book and new media reviews, notes, and creative works. Potential topics include (but are not limited to):


  • Representations of science/scientists in television, film, art, print, and other media
  • The cultural influence of science/influences of culture on science and scientists
  • Use of popular culture texts (novels, films, television series, etc.) to argue for or against scientific theories such as evolution and climate change
  • Internet culture and science
  • Science-related cultural artefacts
  • Scientists as celebrities/celebrity advocates of science
  • Science communication, popularisation and education
  • Non-Western cultures and Science
  • Intersections of science and the humanities
  • Use of science in advertising and marketing
  • Science fiction/science and fiction
  • The artistic dimensions of science/science as art
  • Critical examinations of scientifically framed popular beliefs and pseudoscience
  • Public and popular dimensions of scientific debates
  • Moments of conflict between scientific discoveries/knowledge/work and culture
  • Science fandom

Full article manuscripts of 6,000-8,000 words (inclusive of notes, references and other material) or shorter proposals can be submitted directly to editors, Steven Gil and Bill Lott. Accepted submissions will be double blind peer-reviewed and must meet Intellect Style Guidelines. Suggestions for ancillary material are also welcome. If you have something you would like us to review or a review that you would like to write, please send your inquiry to the editors.

For more information, visit: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=250/view,page=0/

We invite the submission of papers for a forthcoming (2017) special issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry on “Investigating public trust in expert knowledge: ethics, narrative and engagement”.

The special issue will be the first of its kind to examine the ethics of public trust in expert knowledge systems in emergent and complex global societies. Through an interdisciplinary approach, it will draw from contributions in bioethics, the social sciences and the medical humanities.

Guest Editors: Silvia Camporesi (King’s College London), Mark Davis (Monash University), Maria Vaccarella (University of Bristol)


Trust pervades personal, social and political life. Basic trust is seen as the foundation of self, trust figures in the everyday reciprocity of social relations, and governmentality is imbued with questions of trust and distrust. Trust in expert knowledge (i.e. willingness to believe, endorse and enact expert advice) has emerged as a problem for governments seeking to engage and influence publics on matters as wide-ranging as public policy on the environment and economic development, biopolitics, and wellbeing over the life course. The knowledge systems which support climate change policy have been criticized and even refuted, leading to public policy challenges for action on climate. The uptake of vaccines in populations appears to be eroding and scientific/ethical controversies have marked the field. The emerging ‘superbugs’ crisis requires that publics engage with the idea that antimicrobials are no longer available to the extent they once were. Biotechnological interventions in reproductive life and health are subject to changed expectations for expert and consumer rights and responsibilities. The recent explosion of the CRISPR genome editing debate has brought with it socio-technical expectations (e.g. CRISPR technologies as a panacea for a world rid of diseases from birth, and some say even of ageing), together with fears of eugenics and a return to the discourse of designer babies, which now seem a possibility. Public life is marked also by the questions of trust, knowledge and ethics implicated in end-of-life decision making, related controversy over physician-assisted suicide and other questions of life’s limits. Against this backdrop of troubled trust, expert knowledge and changing bio/ thanopolitics, how can governments engage publics? How do public communications take effect? How do experts and publics narrate trust? What are the ethical ramifications of efforts to garner, sustain or regain public trust? As some have argued, are we already post-trust and therefore in alternative modes of public engagement with the idea of collective life?


Contributions are solicited from the above disciplines that look at the role of narratives in the construction and deconstruction of public trust in expert knowledge and at ethical or unethical ways of engaging with the publics on a variety of topics, including but not limited to:

  • sustainability and climate change
  • public policy and economic development
  • vaccination and other biotechnologies
  • emerging infectious diseases, including superbugs
  • reproductive health
  • provider-consumer relations in health care and beyond
  • genetics, including genome editing technologies (e.g. CRISPR/Cas9)
  • race
  • end-of-life decision making


We seek contributions that apply narrative approaches to bioethics, sociology, and medical humanities.

The special issue will consist of 8-10 contributions that employ a variety of methodological approaches for a recommended length of 7,000-7,500 words each.

Instructions for authors for submission to JBI can be found here:


Abstract Submission and Timeline

Extended abstract of 750 words should be submitted to Dr Silvia Camporesi by January 25, 2016. Please clearly state in your abstract the methodology you are employing in your paper, and how your contribution addresses the topic of the special issue ‘‘Investigating public trust in expert knowledge: ethics, narrative and engagement’.

A decision on the abstract will be notified by Feb 15, 2016.

Full papers are expected by May 1, 2016.

Reviewed papers will be returned to authors by August 1, 2016.

Revised papers are expected by October 1, 2016.

The special issue is expected to appear in print in June 2017.

For inquiries contact Dr Silvia Camporesi: silvia.1.camporesi@kcl.ac.uk

The BSLS is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity for postgraduate student members. The Postgraduate Conference Fund will offer two bursaries of £200 for BSLS postgraduate members toward the cost of presenting research papers at conferences (this excludes the BSLS annual conference, which has its own postgraduate bursary scheme). In addition to funding attendance at literature and science conferences, we would like to fund members who intend to give papers on literature and science at conferences which are not specifically focused on this topic, in order to promote the study of our field more widely.


To be eligible applicants must

  • Be a member of the BSLS
  • Be a current research student
  • Be presenting a paper at a conference


Eligible expenses include conference fees, travel and accommodation costs. Applicants must provide an outline of their research paper, justify why the funds are required (i.e. give a break-down of the budget) and state whether they have applied to any other funding sources (and the outcomes of those applications). You should also state why you think the particular conference you have chosen would be valuable, both for your own career and with regard to the wider objectives of the BSLS. Applications should be no longer than 500 words.


Successful applicants will be expected to write a short report on their paper and experience of the conference, which will be published on the BSLS website.


The deadline for applications is 15 January 2016. Decisions will be made by 28 February for conferences running from 1 March 2016.

Please send applications to Josie Gill (Josie.Gill@bristol.ac.uk).

The eleventh annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will take place at the University of Birmingham, from Thursday 7 April until Saturday 9 April 2016.

Keynote talks will be given by Professor Harriet Ritvo (MIT), Professor Sharon Ruston (University of Lancaster), and Professor Alice Roberts (University of Birmingham).

The BSLS invites proposals for twenty-minute papers, or panels of three papers, on any subjects within the field of literature and science.

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. Our hope is that the latter format will encourage longer Q&A sessions with more discussion. If you have a topic or research area which would suit such a discussion, we would also like to hear from you.

Please send an abstract (c.200 words) and short biographical note to the conference organiser, Will Tattersdill (w.j.tattersdill@bham.ac.uk), by no later than 5pm GMT, Friday 4 December 2015. Please include the abstract and biographical note in the body of the email and not in an attachment. All proposers of a paper or panel will receive notification of the results by the end of January 2015.

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.

#ColeEx: A Twitter Exhibition of Twentieth-Century Natural History and Zoology at the Cole Museum of Zoology, UK

This upcoming exhibition is based on a collaborative mini-project between the University of Reading’s Museums and Special Collections (@UniRdg_SpecColl), the Cole Museum of Zoology (@ColeZoology), and the Centre for Collections-based Research. The project involved the creation of a pre-catalogue by PhD student Verity Burke, comprising documents spanning around 100 years of Cole Zoology departmental life, including letters between departmental staff and students who would go on to work with a range of institutions (including the Natural History Museum, UK), field trip photographs, course material and specimen catalogues.

The exhibition will run from Monday 19th to Wednesday 28th October 2015, with media tweets being released around 8.30am and 4.30pm GMT daily. You can follow along via the #ColeEx hashtag and the tweets will be sent by @VerityBurke_ - you don’t have to be a Twitter user to view the tweets, but will need to hold an account to respond on Twitter.

Although the exhibition is discursive and aimed at a general audience, the underlying questions are of interest to a range of researchers, including those in the disciplines of history, literature, biology and zoology, as well as archival and museum practice. Some of these questions will be addressed further at the BSLS Winter Symposium, ‘Science in the Archives’ (more on the symposium here: http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/science-in-the-archives-bsls-winter-symposium-tickets-18860410997).

What are the intersections between museums, archives and departments? How and where do architectural, literary and pedagogical structures meet? How can we locate literature and science in archival material?

Interaction from any and everyone is highly encouraged, and a Storify will be composed of #ColeEx material and selected responses.

Position Title:

Tenure-track Assistant Professor Cognitive Literary Studies


University of California Santa Barbara

Job Description:

We invite applicants for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in cognitive literary studies and/or neuroaesthetics who specializes in any period of British or American literature. The ideal candidate would be able to teach a range of courses that focus on intersections between literary-cultural studies and mind studies and would contribute to the departmental specialization in Literature and the Mind.

We seek a colleague who will contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service. Please visit the UCSB English website for further information about the department's centers and programs (https://www.english.ucsb.edu/).

Position is effective from July 1, 2016. Ph.D. expected at the time of appointment. To ensure full consideration, complete the online application process by October 30, 2015. Please submit your letter of application, CV, writing sample (25pp or less), and at least 3 letters of recommendation to: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/apply/JPF00541 (link is external).

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Application Deadline:

Friday, October 30, 2015

Books recently sent in for review include:

Shelley Trower, Rocks of Nation: the Imagination of Celtic Cornwall, Manchester University Press

John Seamon, Memory & Movies: What Films can Teach Us about Memory, MIT Press

Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Theatre and Evolution from Ibsen to Beckett, Columbia University Press

Patrick Parrinder, Utopian Literature and Science, Palgrave


Please contact Dr Gavin Budge on <g.budge@herts.ac.uk> if you are interested in reviewing any of these.

The full list of books for which reviewers are currently being sought can be found here.

Interdisciplinary Conference 18 June 2016

Newcastle University

Call for Papers

‘Sciences we now retrospectively regard as heterodox or marginal cannot be considered unambiguously to have held that status at a time when no clear orthodoxy existed that could confer that status upon them’ (Alison Winter, 1997). The nineteenth century witnessed the drive to consolidate discrete scientific disciplines, many of which were concerned with the body. Attempts were made to clarify the boundaries between the ‘scientific’ and the ‘pseudoscientific’, between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’. This conference asks what became lost in separating the orthodox from the heterodox. What happened to the systems of knowledge and practice relating to the body that were marginalised as ‘pseudoscience’? Was knowledge and insight into the human condition lost in the process? Or is it immortalised within the literature of ‘pseudoscience’?

This interdisciplinary conference considers how different discourses of the body were imagined and articulated across a range of visual and verbal texts (including journalism, fiction, popular science writing, illustration) in order to evaluate how ‘pseudoscience’ contributed both to understandings of the body and what it is to be human and to the formation of those disciplines now deemed orthodox.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Acting on the body – the body as a site of experimentation and scientific contestation
  • Pseudoscience and the gendered body
  • The entranced body as the conduit for knowledge of the self
  • The ‘scientifically’ prescribed body – an attempt to rationalise the irrational?
  • ‘Pseudoscience’ and the speculative nature of ‘science’
  • Scientific disciplines – a move towards self-authentication and professionalization or a loss of universal truth?
  • Pseudoscience and abnormality
  • The discourse of gender in the séance room
  • Visual interpretations of the ‘pseudoscientific’
  • Victorian periodicals / popular science journals and ‘pseudoscience’ of the body
  • Reading the body – fiction immortalising the pseudoscientific
  • The attraction of the ‘pseudoscientific’ for C19 poets and novelists
  • Visual interpretations of the ‘pseudoscientific’


Please submit a 250 to 300 word abstract, together with a brief biography, by 31 January 2016 to p.beesley@ncl.ac.uk

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