August 2016

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The University of Westminster's department of English is offering a fully-funded 3 year Full-Time PhD studentship on the topic of performing science in the nineteenth century. Full details can be found at

Clifton Hill House, University of Bristol, Friday 20th January 2017.

‘It’s a kind of literary archaeology: on the basis of some information and a little bit of guesswork you journey to a site to see what remains were left behind and to reconstruct the world that these remains imply’. Toni Morrison is not the only writer to have imagined her work as a kind of archaeological digging, as an imaginative excavation of the past and a reconstruction of past lives from remains. From Wordsworth’s call to ‘grieve not, rather find / strength in what remains’ to Heaney’s bog poetry, writers have interrogated the significance of the earth, the buried, remains and fragments, and drawn upon techniques and tools associated with archaeology as a means of thinking about history, memory and the body. Conversely, archaeologists have begun to examine the potential influence of literature on their approaches to material traces and human remains. In the introduction to their 2015 book Subject and Narrative in Archaeology, Ruth M. Van Dyke and Reinhard Bernbeck note that there is an ‘increasing clamour for and interest in alternative forms of archaeological narratives, involving writing fiction, making films, constructing hypertexts, and creating media that transcend the traditional limitations of expository prose’ and that ‘Visual art, fiction, creative nonfiction, film, and drama have much to offer archaeological interpretation and analysis’. Not only literature itself, but literary critical approaches are also being recognised as useful ways of thinking about the archaeological processes: for archaeologist John Hines, there is an ‘affinity between the scholarly disciplines’, archaeology involving ‘the same exercises of interpretation, analysis and evaluation as literary criticism.’

This conference brings together archaeologists, literary scholars and creative writers to explore similarities and points of convergence between literature, literary studies and archaeology across historical periods. We invite papers which adopt a range of disciplinary or interdisciplinary approaches to the relationship between archaeology and literature and/or the potential for methodological exchange between the disciplines.  We are particularly interested in exploring synergies between archaeological science and literature, and how the human body as a site of archaeological knowledge might shape and be shaped by literary and critical approaches to the body.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Literary and cultural representations of archaeology
  • Fragments, remains and reconstruction in archaeology and literary studies
  • Theoretical uses of archaeology in the work of Walter Benjamin, Freud, Foucault
  • Human remains, bodies, bones and skeletons in literature
  • The influence of archaeological writing on literary studies
  • Representations of archaeology in the media
  • Metaphor, analogy and storytelling in archaeology
  • The relationship between memory, history and narrative
  • Race and gender in archaeology


Confirmed keynote speakers include:

Dr. Jerome de Groot, University of Manchester

Dr. Robert Witcher, Durham University


This conference is supported by the AHRC and is being held as part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Literary Archaeology’: Exploring the Lived Environment of the Slave

Attendance at the conference is free and there is a limited fund for reimbursement of UK travel expenses. We are also pleased to offer a postgraduate bursary which will cover all expenses of the successful applicant.

There will be an opportunity to publish conference papers in a journal special issue following the conference.

Please send 250 word abstracts to by 16th September 2016. Delegates will be notified of the outcome in mid-October.

BSLS member Sam George at Hertfordshire been involved in a collaboration with New York Botanical Gardens for an exhibition on Poetic Botany in the Eighteenth Century.

The exhibition can now be seen live at


 What are the relations between literature, science and the arts within our field today? This special double issue marks a unique collaboration between the Journal of Literature and Science and Configurations. Across two years – 2017 in the JLS and 2018 in Configurations – we aim to enable scholars of all career-stages to debate the nature of the interdisciplinary relations of our field in short and sharp “position” papers of approximately 2000 words.

We therefore invite contributions that make an intervention in our thinking about the field of literature, science and arts. Potential topics for discussion include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The meanings of interdisciplinarity in the field
  2. The place of the study of literature and science within the academy
  3. International variations or international synergies
  4. Collaborative work between literature/arts and the scientific community
  5. How do we (now) define "literature" in the dyad of literature and science?
  6. The relationship between cultural theory and historicism in the field
  7. How is literature and science evolving in relation to its own splintering (into animal studies, neuroscience, environmental studies, etc.)?
  8. Speculations: what is the future of the field?
  9. Reflections: where has the field most profited and where has it gone astray?


Submission information for the first issue:

Length of contribution: 2000 words

Deadline: December 16th, 2016

Send to: Melissa Littlefield ( and Martin Willis (

Publication: JLS 10.1 in June 2017

(Decisions on inclusion in the first issue by February 2017)

NOTE: A further call for contributions for the second issue (Configurations, 2018) will go out in the Summer of 2017. It is to be hoped that the second issue will include, among other topics, reflections on the first set of published papers.

The latest call for reviewers from the Journal of Literature and Science is available here: JLS CALL FOR REVIEWERS 2016

Reviews that have appeared on the British Society for Literature and Science website in July 2016

A list of books for which we are currently seeking reviewers can be found here.

Please email Gavin Budge on <> if you would like to propose a book for review  - anything published from 2011 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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Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

21-23 October 2016

Organized by ELINAS: Research Center for Literature and Natural Science


See the full CFP here: CfP-Narrative, Cognition & Science Lab