January 2016

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An Interdisciplinary Two-day Conference at the University of Warwick

6th and 7th May 2016

Keynote speakers:

Prof Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Comparative Literature, Stanford University)

Author of Atmosphere, Mood, Stimmung: On a Hidden Potential of Literature (2012), Production of Presence: What Meaning Cannot Convey (2004) and After 1945 - Latency as Origin of the Present (2013).

Prof Giovanna Colombetti (Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology, University of Exeter)

Author of The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind (2014) and co-editor of Emotion Experience, a 2005 special edition of the Journal of Consciousness Studies.

Mood is an affective phenomenon located at the intersection of philosophy, aesthetics, musicology, psychology and sociology. It is as central to our experience of the world and of art as it is difficult to grasp theoretically. Bringing together scholars from various disciplines, this two-day conference will foster an interdisciplinary discourse about the nature of mood and its significance for human and aesthetic experience. As an emerging topic in literary criticism, mood has been problematised in a number of recent publications, in which critics have turned to other disciplines, especially psychology and musicology, in order to develop theories of mood. At the same time, scientific disciplines, such as psychiatry and cognitive science, examine this phenomenon empirically in relation to mood disorders like depression. However, thus far the interdisciplinary potential harboured by mood has not been explored sufficiently. The main objective of this conference is to bring together and to create synergy between disciplines whose research addresses the same phenomenon in different ways.

Summarising the outcomes of the conference, we wish to submit a book proposal for an edited volume on mood with articles that bring together perspectives on mood from the disciplines mentioned above. This publication shall foster a vivid interdisciplinary discussion about the nature and significance of mood as an emerging topic in the humanities, social sciences and in the sciences, contributing to the process of conceptualising mood from a perspective that is not limited to the arts but is also informed by philosophical thought and scientific research.


We invite abstracts of up to 300 words, plus a brief biography, for papers of no more than 20 minutes or panels of three associated papers. We encourage submissions that address the concept of mood from a theoretical or interdisciplinary angle. Submissions can cover but are not limited to the following questions and topics:

  • Concepts of mood/‘Stimmung’ in philosophy:
    • Heidegger’s ‘Stimmung’
    • Aesthetics and mood in Kant, Schiller et al.
    • Kierkegaard, existentialism and anxiety
  • Mood in psychology, psychiatry and cognitive science
    • Mood and its relationship to the concepts of emotion and affect
    • Mood disorders: depression, bipolar disorder, etc.
    • Empirical studies of mood
    • Neurological and cognitive foundations of mood
  • Aesthetics of mood
    • Aesthetics and theories of mood in literature
      • Concepts of mood, atmosphere, disposition and ethos in literature
      • Pathetic fallacy
      • The moods of Romanticism, Modernism, etc.
    • Mood in film and theatre
      • Cinematic and theatrical atmospheres
      • Cinematic portraits of mood: Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia, von Trier’s Melancholia, etc.
    • Mood and music: theories of ‘Stimmung’, attunement, harmony and dissonance
  • Politics of mood/social moods
    • Normativity and mood
    • Social moods/collective states of mind/Prechter’s concept of mood in socionomics
  • Mood in linguistics/grammatical mood
  • Specific moods, such as:
    • Anxiety
    • Boredom
    • Melancholy
    • Nostalgia
    • Ennui
    • Paranoia
    • Exhilaration
    • Ecstasy
    • Awkwardness

Abstracts should be sent to mood.warwick2016@gmail.com by 29 February 2016.

For more information, please visit


The British Library are offering 3-month internships to PhD students, and one of the offered positions is in the field of 'Science in Society'.




William Rowan Hamilton, the great 19th century mathematical physicist, tried his hand at poetry, so it is entirely appropriate that he should be celebrated in that form. Iggy McGovern, physicist and poet, has written a sonnet sequence which reflects views of Hamilton by his contemporaries.

McGovern's work is characterised by a wry sense of humour. Participants will perform the readings, some of which will have a scientific perspective, from the likes of Airy and Tait, but others will feature notable figures from Irish society.

Date: 14 June 2016

Start time: refreshments at 17:15 for a 17:45 start

Location: Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT, UK

This event is open to all with an interest. The fee to attend is £5 for non-members; IOP members can attend for free. Numbers are limited so advanced registration is advised. To register, click here


Call for Papers


Dr Jana Funke (University of Exeter)

Dr Mike Mantin (Swansea University)

Following on from the success of preceding Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conferences in 2014 and 2015, this interdisciplinary conference aims to reflect the broad and vibrant research of the medical humanities by bringing together postgraduate researchers from across the field.

We therefore welcome abstracts on any subject relating to health, illness, sex and medicine from postgraduates working in all humanities disciplines. We also encourage proposals from students training for a clinical profession, where their interests intersect with humanities scholarship.

The conference will enable postgraduates to exchange ideas and share their work in a welcoming and stimulating environment, providing the opportunity to discuss their research with scholars working from a range of perspectives.

We invite applicants to submit abstracts of up to 300 words (for 20-minute previously unpublished papers) to pgmedhums@exeter.ac.uk by Friday 29th January 2016 with “PGMH 2016 Conference Abstract” written in the subject line of the email. We also welcome panel and workshop proposals. Such proposals should include 300-word abstracts for up to four speakers in addition to a 500-word overview that explains the aims and rationale for the session.

In addition, we hope to be able to offer a small number of travel bursaries, which will be announced closer to the event.​

We look forward to hearing from you!

The newsletter can be viewed at the following link





The Central European University in Budapest is holding its annual Summer University for graduate students, junior or post-doctoral researchers, teachers and professionals on the theme of Cities and Science: Urban History and the History of Science in the Study of Early Modern and Modern Europe. The course will take place on 18-27 July 2016, and the application deadline is 14 February. For more information, download the flyer by clicking on the link below:

Cities & Science flyer 2016

8th and 9th September 2016

An Interdisciplinary Conference at the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation

Co-organised by Gul Dag and Sandra Mills

University of Hull

Discourses concerning the concept of (dis)connection are especially prevalent in contemporary society. The relationship between the mind and the body – whether fractured or in flux – feeds into notions of identity, the self, and the ‘other’. Contemporary scholarship focusing upon borders, transformations and creations considers the manifold ways in which the body can be (re)organised and (dis)assembled.  

The notion of (dis)connection and the fragility of form is of central focus within a range of studies and genres. From the uncanniness of being in gothic and horror studies to the cerebral and corporeal fragmentation prevalent in science and speculative fictions, narratives on the fractured self continue to raise questions about the fundamentals of the lived experience.      


Plenary Speakers

Dr Catherine Spooner, Reader in Literature and Culture at Lancaster University

Asylum Chic, or, What to Wear to the Lunatics' Ball


Dr James Aston, Subject Leader for Screen at the University of Hull

“These movies have brought me many problems”: Performance and the Traumatised Self within Hardcore Horror


Dawn Woolley, Artist and Lecturer in Photography at Anglia Ruskin University 

The Selfie: Still Life or Nature Morte?


This conference aims to engage with contemporary academic debate relating to the theme of (Dis)Connected Forms, and will explore how these discourses manifest in narratives on the fractured self.

Possible questions for consideration:   

  • What does it mean to be (dis)connected, fractured, transformed, metamorphosed?
  • How are identities formed, managed, processed, controlled?
  • Are corporeal boundaries distinct, or fluid and open to alteration?
  • How is the self narrated/categorised?
  • How are beings created, crafted, constructed?
  • When/how can the ‘other’ be achieved? 
  • What threat does an ‘other’ pose?
  • Can the human be defined in relation to the cyborg, the lifeless, and the animal?
  • How does/will technology alter the body?

Possible focuses might include (but are not limited to):

  • (Dis)Embodiment
  • Identity
  • Human, cyborg, lifeless, animal
  • Transformation
  • Metamorphosis
  • Crisis of self
  • The ‘other’
  • Borders and boundaries
  • (Re)creations
  • The living and the dead
  • Deviance
  • Disguise
  • Revision/alteration


Papers are invited that address these questions in relation to fictional and non-fictional narratives. Submissions which encourage an interdisciplinary outlook will be welcomed. These could include, but are not limited to: literature; cultural studies; the sciences; the social sciences; historical perspectives; theatrical, musical and visual narratives; (auto)biography; personal reflections and creative pieces.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words for a twenty minute paper along with a brief biographical note of no more than 100 words todisconnectedforms@gmail.com. The deadline for abstract submission is 3rd April 2016.

For any enquiries please contact Gul Dag and Sandra Mills at disconnectedforms@gmail.com. For further information please see the website atdisconnectedforms.wordpress.com and follow @DisConnectForms on Twitter. 

"The Nineteenth Century in the future. Thinking, representing and imagining times to come during the 19th Century".

Tuesday 19 January 2016 - Friday 22 January 2016

See the following website for further details:



Reviews that have appeared on the British Society for Literature and Science website in December 2015

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 2010 onwards will be considered.

This is a list of books that are currently in the process of being reviewed.

A list of books that have already been reviewed on the British Society for Literature and Science website can be found here.

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May 26-27, 2016
Centre Universitaire de Norvège à Paris

The Bergen Literature and Science Research group invites scholars of the humanities, neurologists and psychiatrists to explore the phenomenology of the ageing self. This research seminar encourages topics that intrinsically connect especially literary texts on ageing and old age with the realms of neurology and psychiatry. It will allow us to study comparatively some physical and psychological aspects of ageing, as they are perceived through the lenses of medicine, literature (imaginative, autobiographical, reflective) and also visual media, in any historical period. While we do not expect literary scholars to be medically trained or neurologists and psychiatrists to be experts in literary critique, we do hope to enable a lively dialogue. In this way the event will give various responses to some inherent challenges in an interdisciplinary approach to ageing. How can fictions, images and testimonies of the ageing mind cohere with neurology's materialized conceptions of neuro-degeneration? How do the weakened senses of senescence affect sensitivity, and how is this rendered in our divergent discourses? What conceptual frameworks and critical tools can the humanities adopt to study ageing in synergy with the scientific approaches pursued by medicine and psychiatry?

Confirmed speakers will include:
Martine Boyer-Weinmann (Université de Lyon 2), "Amnesia, hypermnesia and hyper-aesthesia narratives"
Bernt Engelsen (University of Bergen), "The ageing self in an epileptological and neuropsychiatric and setting"
Jan Frich (University of Oslo), "Literary Myths about neuro-degeneration: The case of Huntington's disease"
Samuel Lepastier (Université de Paris Diderot)
George Rousseau (University of Oxford), "Ageing Brains, Jihadi Terrorists, and the black holes of Language"

The seminar language will be English.

Please send by February 15, 2016: a title and a short abstract (max. 200 words) including name, discipline and affiliation to Margery Vibe Skagen: margery.skagen@uib.no

Applicants will be notified of the committee's decision by March 1.

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