May 2017

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After the Visions of Nature year at the Oxford University Museum, the anthology Guests of Time, including poems by Kelley Swain, John Barnie and Steven Matthews alongside poetry by Victorian poets connected to the Museum such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris and Gerard Manley Hopkins, has been published by Valley Press. To read more about the anthology and to order a copy, click here.

The Routledge Companion to Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Science has just been published. Edited by John Holmes and Sharon Ruston, with an afterword by Bernard Lightman, it includes 27 chapters by leading experts covering ten literary genres, over a dozen scientific disciplines, and four key contexts for research into literature and science across the nineteenth century. To read more about the book, and to order a discounted copy, click on the link below:

Literature and Science Companion flier

Interdisciplinarity in Practice: Medical Humanities Research Workshop for PGRs

Thursday 7th September, University of Leeds, 11am – 6pm
We warmly invite participants for a one-day workshop addressing the scholarly challenges and collaborative opportunities surrounding postgraduate research in the medical humanities.
Increasing numbers of postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines are undertaking work on human health, wellbeing, disease, and the body that entails interdisciplinary approaches. Conducting PhD research across disciplinary boundaries offers significant opportunities for innovative scholarship, but it can also present practical and intellectual challenges for those at the earlier stages of their academic careers.
This workshop, supported by the AHRC, will bring together postgraduate students in the medical humanities for interactive sessions and open discussion on research skills and professional career development in the field. Session leaders include Dr Emily T. Troscianko (Oxford), Dr Victoria Bates (Bristol), Dr Sam Goodman (Bournemouth), Dr James Stark (Leeds) and Dr Catherine Oakley (Leeds), with a keynote address from Professor Jane Macnaughton (Durham).
Session topics will cover: 
  • Undertaking an interdisciplinary PhD
  • Research methodologies
  • The disciplines of the medical humanities and disciplinary “identity”
  • Adapting your work for different audiences
  • Collaboration within and beyond academia
  • Positioning yourself for job and funding applications
  • Publishing in the field

For more details and the application process, see here. Please address any queries to Dr James Stark (

The Journal of Science and Popular Culture will be publishing its first issue in 2018. Please click on the link below to read the call for papers:

Science and Popular Culture CFP 2

SYROS, 5-8 JULY 2017
“Beyond Nature in Science and Literature”
The International Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST, the Hellenic Open University and the Institute of Historical Research/ National Hellenic Research Foundation organize a two-days’ workshop to study “Beyond Nature in Science and Literature”. The CoSciLit workshop is a new addition to the very prestigious “Hermoupolis Seminars” which have been organized for more than 30 years every July on Syros Island.
This workshop follows the successful 1st workshop organized in 2016 on the theme of "Nature(s), Humans and God(s) in Literature. Representations" and it will be part of series of workshops which will be organized with a specific theme every July. The venue of the workshop will be the “Historical Archives of the State” in the Town Hall of Hermoulis. Hermoupolis was once the capital of Greece and a city of great cultural, scientific and industrial heritage. Syros Island is very close to Piraeus by boat and an ideal place for a high quality, inexpensive summer visit.
Those who are willing to participate in the workshop with a presentation may ask further information and/or submit an abstract of max. 200 words sending an email to until 31st May 2017.
Languages: English, Greek, French, German.
For participants giving a paper there will be a modest fee of 50 Euros and for those who will attend without a paper a fee of 40 Euros to cover administrative expenses. There will be some hotels with reduced prices on offer for the participants but there are plenty of places, in Hermoupolis or close by, at very convenient prices.

Call for Reviewers

The BSLS Reviews site, which publishes c 60 reviews a year, is looking for suitably qualified reviewers for some books that have come in recently. Reviews are c 1000w, and are generally due within three months. You can find a list of the books available for review here.

If you are interested, please contact the Reviews Editor, Gavin Budge, on <>, with some details about yourself and your interests, and a postal address.

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The cognitive biologist, W. Tecumseh Fitch begins The Evolution of Language (2010) with the Persian tale of the ‘elephant in the dark house’: each villager touches a different part of the animal and tries to describe what its shape is ‘like’, but none can see, or comprehend, the whole. This parable, as Fitch suggests, raises questions that are particularly pertinent to those who seek to understand such a vast and complex faculty as language. This series of interdisciplinary events at The University of Bristol invites scholars to share their knowledge of the different parts of the animal.

These events draw together recent research in the Arts and Humanities, which has emphasised the difficulties of translating non-human sounds into human forms of signification—words, music, poetry—with recent groundbreaking studies of animal communication in cognitive biology, psychology and linguistics. Join us for a series of talks, workshops, evening events and musical performances with the jazz clarinetist, composer and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Music, David Rothenberg (Why Birds Sing, 2005; Berlin Bülbül, 2016).

Invited speakers, guests and performers: IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor David Rothenberg (Professor of Music and Philosophy, New Jersey Institute of Technology), W. Tecumseh Fitch (Professor of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna), Stephanie Kuduk Weiner (Professor of English, Wesleyan University), Johan J. Bolhuis (Professor of Cognitive Neurobiology, Utrecht University), Daniel Karlin (Professor of English, University of Bristol), Martin Everaert (Professor of Linguistics, Utrecht University), Experimental Psychologist, Dr. Nina Kazanina (University of Bristol), Computational Neuroscientist, Dr. Conor Houghton (University of Bristol), artist Andy Holden (Tate) and his father, the ornithologist Peter Holden (MBE), and Philip Hoare (author and Professor of Creative Writing, University of Southampton).

Registration closes this Friday 19th May and booking is available through our website:

The Science Fiction Foundation began in 1971 at the former North East London Polytechnic with the joint aim of promoting academic research into sf and greater public understanding of the genre. It has since become a UK-wide network of academics, critics and professional writers with its nominal base at the University of Liverpool, home to the largest research archive devoted to sf in Europe. We currently support or administer the following activities:

  • the peer-reviewed academic journal Foundation
  • the SFF Foundation Collection at the University of Liverpool
  • the annual SFF Masterclass at the Royal Greenwich Observatory
  • the annual Science for Fiction classes at Imperial College London
  • the annual George Hay Lecture at Eastercon
  • the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award (with the BSFA and Sci-Fi London)
  • SFF conferences
  • bursaries for early career and independent researchers
  • the book charity SF Outreach
  • major events such as the forthcoming Into the Unknown exhibition (The Barbican)

We are keen not only to continue these activities but also expand upon them. Increased membership will enable us to do that. If you and/or your institution become members of the SFF, you will not only be supporting us in our aims, you will also receive three copies per year of Foundation and have a say at our AGM. Individual membership can be as low as £22/year – full details on membership fees and how to join are available at the SF Foundation website ( The SFF is a registered charity, so if you are a UK taxpayer and you Gift Aid your fee, we will receive an extra donation at no expense to yourself. Our ambition for the SFF is to become not only a national but also a truly international research network.

Do please consider joining today - especially if you or your institution are based overseas. We want the SFF to become not only a national but also a truly international research network. Thank you.

Dr Paul March-Russell, Editor, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction




Keynote Speaker: Professor N. Katherine Hayles (Duke University)

In 2018 Cardiff University’s ScienceHumanities research group will host a week-long International Summer School dedicated to the examination of the relations between the humanities and the sciences.

The Summer School programme features workshops from leading scholars in literature and science, the histories of science and medicine, and the philosophy of science from across the UK and Europe. It is designed to give you access to significant researchers in the field, and professional development opportunities on publishing, public engagement, and archival research.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to share ideas, concepts and methods with other doctoral students and begin to build a network of global contacts. The Summer School also incorporates a cultural programme focussed on the rich heritage of Cardiff as both a Welsh and British city.

The Summer School is open only to doctoral students located in universities and research centres outside the UK. There are only 12 places available.

It is free to attend, but participants must be able to meet the cost of their own transport, accommodation and part of their subsistence during their stay in Cardiff. Advice will be given on accommodation and transport and some meals will be included during the Summer School.

Two bursaries of £400 are available for students from nations with limited resources.

To express initial interest and receive an application form please email Professor Martin Willis on Further information can be found on the ScienceHumanities website at:

The closing date for expressions of interest is 29 September, 2017. Applications must be submitted by 30 November, 2017 and decisions will be communicated by 31 December, 2017. Participating doctoral students must be able to commit to the full 5 days of the Summer School.

The Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University presents

Imagineers in Circus and Science: Scientific knowledge and creative imagination

Tuesday 3 - Thursday 5 April 2018


Scientists seek to investigate the ways in which nature works and to ask how humanity can best comprehend different aspects of the universe. By challenging conventional wisdom, scientists can act as rebels against the status quo and common sense. In cultural and fictional contexts, they may appear and behave like artists: creative, skilled craftsmen; ‘imagineers’ and bewildering performers. These fictional scientists do not merely domesticate the unknown and the uncanny, they also invent and stage it.

One of the most productive breeding grounds for the invention, amalgamation, and staging of scientific knowledge and creative imagination has been the circus and related cultural phenomena, such as freakshows, carnivals, and 19th-century ‘scientific’ museums. These sensational, kaleidoscopic institutions present(ed) manifold wondrous exhibits, including automatons, wax figures, and mummies, but they also presented scientific discoveries. Barnum’s American Museum, for example, made hundreds of previously unseen specimens accessible to a broad audience.

Exhibitions and shows of this type united science with mystery, acted as mediators of knowledge, and were often the primary public source of information about the current state of scientific research. They are reminders that science and its pursuits are matters of perspective, and the product and producer of good stories. What do these stories tell us about the “two cultures” of the humanities and science?

Conference speakers

  • Professor Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (Emory University) (Provisional)
  • Professor Jane Goodall (University of Western Sydney)
  • Professor Richard Weihe (Accademia Teatro Dimitri/SUPSI Verscio, Switzerland)

Call for papers

We welcome proposals for individual, 20-minute papers addressing any aspect of science and the circus (and related phenomena) including:

  • Cultural and literary studies
  • Circus studies, Theatre and performance studies
  • Indigenous literatures from around the world and their relation to science and performance
  • Posthumanism
  • Zoopoetics, animal art and critical animal studies
  • Intersections of aesthetic and scientific treatments of cultural issues
  • Imaginaries of technology and performance (e.g. in films)
  • Museology, and applied art and science

While this conference is concerned primarily with culture and literature, we envisage it as a multi-disciplinary event and will welcome proposals from any disciplinary perspective.

The conference will be held at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, from the 3rd to the 5th of April, 2018. Please submit an abstract (200 words max.) and a brief bio (100 words max.) as Word documents by 31 July 2017 to the conference convenor, Dr Anna-Sophie Jürgens, at

Accepted papers will be announced by 1 September 2017. Selected papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal.


For inquiries about the conference, please email Dr Jürgens or

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