March 2018

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Physicist and poet Iggy McGovern, previously mentioned on the Arts Blog for his work on William Rowan Hamilton, is interviewed by poet Nessa O'Mahony for The Attic Sessions.

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The Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, invites applications for the three-year position of a Research Fellow in English / Anglophone Literatures commencing on June 1, 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The working hours comprise 25.87 hours a week and the salary is based on the German public service pay scale 13 TV-L (annual base salary currently ranging from EUR 28,641 to EUR 36,781 plus allowances).


  • Academic and administrative duties in the "Fiction Meets Science" research program (, particularly in the field of "The Anglophone Science Novel and the Global Dimensions of Science".
  • Research for the project "Transcultural Mobility of Scientists and Science in the Contemporary Anglophone Science Novel".
  • Completion of a Ph.D. dissertation within the period of employment. The results of the project-related research may be used as part of the Ph.D. thesis.


  • Master's degree or equivalent Diploma in the field of English / Anglophone Literatures with an above average grade
  • demonstrated familiarity with established and current approaches in literary and cultural theory (including specifically discourse theory and postcolonial theory)
  • near-native command of English
  • a sketch of ideas for a Ph.D. project, relating to "Transcultural Mobility of Scientists and Science in the Contemporary Anglophone Science Novel", to be developed into a thesis as part of the employment

Preference will be given to applicants with the following additional qualifications:

  • research interests matching existing research profiles in Oldenburg Anglophone Literary Studies
  • demonstrated familiarity with historical and interdisciplinary perspectives on Anglophone literatures
  • familiarity with research and approaches in Literature and Science Studies and in (Postcolonial) Science and Technology Studies
  • experience doing project work
  • experience organising academic workshops or conferences
  • a working knowledge of German

The University of Oldenburg is an equal opportunities employer. According to § 21 para. 3 of the Legislation Governing Higher Education in Lower Saxony (NHG) preference shall be given to female candidates in cases of equal qualification. The same applies to persons with disabilities.

The deadline for applications is April 11, 2018. Applications must include a CV, copies of degree certificates, an academic writing sample (maximum of 20 pages), a sketch of ideas for a Ph.D. project, as well as - if applicable - a list of publications and courses taught. Applications should include the keyword "WM-FMS2" in the reference line and should be submitted by e-mail in a single pdf-file to size 40 MB). Alternatively, applications may be sent by post to Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Fakultät III, Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Prof. Dr. Anton Kirchhofer, 26111 Oldenburg.

Please note that applications materials will not be returned to applicants. Please do not submit any original documents or file-folders.

Questions regarding this position may be addressed to Prof. Dr. Anton Kirchhofer (

For the legally binding German version of this advertisement, please see

The following books have been shortlisted for the BSLS Book Prize for 2017:


Melissa Bailes, Questioning Nature: British Women’s Scientific Writing and Literary Originality, 1750-1830 (U of Virginia Press)






The winner will be announced on Friday 6th April 2018 at the BSLS conference at Oxford Brookes.

Mind Reading: The Role of Narrative in Mental Health

18th-19th June 2018

University of Birmingham

Do clinicians and patients speak the same language? How might we bridge the evident gaps in communication? How can we use narrative to foster clinical relationships? Or to care for the carers?

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Dame Professor Sue Bailey, Professor Sally Shuttleworth (Oxford), Professor Femi Oyebode (Birmingham), Professor Brendan Drumm (UCD), and Professor Chris Fitzpatrick (UCD)

This two-day programme of talks and workshops is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, UCD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Diseases of Modern Life and Constructing Scientific Communities Projects at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Together we seek to explore productive interactions between narrative and mental health both historically and in the present day.

Bringing together psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs, service users, and historians of literature and medicine, we will investigate the patient experience through the prism of literature and personal narrative to inform patient-centred care and practice, and focus on ways in which literature might be beneficial in cases of burnout and sympathy fatigue.

A draft programme and link to our online registration site is available here.

If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with Dr Melissa Dickson at


A provisional programme for the BSLS annual conference 2018 at Oxford Brookes can be viewed here.

Literature, Education and the Sciences of the Mind in Britain and America, 1850-1950

deadline for submissions:
April 2, 2018

full name / name of organization:
University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

contact email:

17-18 July, 2018 – University of Kent
Keynote Speakers:Professor Helen Small, Pembroke College, University of Oxford
Professor Priscilla Wald, Duke University

This conference aims to stimulate a wide-ranging discussion about the interactions between British and American literature, education, and the sciences of the mind between 1850-1950. We welcome paper and panel proposals on any aspect of British or American literature, education and/or the sciences of the mind broadly construed.This conference is part of Dr Sara Lyons’ (PI), Dr Michael Collins’ (Co-I) and Dr Fran Bigman’s (Research Associate) AHRC-funded project, Literary Culture, Meritocracy, and the Assessment of Intelligence in Britain and America, 1880-1920. The project is an investigation of how British and American novelists understood and represented intellectual ability in the period, with a particular focus on how they responded to the rise of intelligence testing and the associated concepts of I.Q. and meritocracy. For additional information, please visit our website:​

Possible topics include literature and:

• Teaching and Being Taught; pedagogical theory and practice
• Representations of Places of Learning
• Examinations, grades, scholarships, qualifications
• Inequality, Discrimination, and Exclusion in Education
• Academic Success and Failure
• Literacy and Illiteracy
• Intellectuals, Experts, Professionalism
• Autodidacticism, Informal Education
• Varieties of education: aesthetic, classical, moral, religious, scientific, technical
• Learning Styles and Types of Intelligence
• Intellectual ability and disability
As well as literature and:

• Professionalisation/ Institutionalisation of Psychology
• Social Psychology
• Developmental Psychology
• Psychometrics and personality testing
• Physiology and psychology
• Psychological Schools and Controversies
• Psychology and Philosophy
• Experimental Psychology
• Psychiatry
• Sexology
• Parapsychology
• Eugenics
• Language and Cognition

Please submit an individual proposal of no more than 350 words or an outline for a 3 paper panel proposal to by the 2 April, 2018. Papers will be limited to 20 minutes. Please include your name, a short bio, and email address in your proposal.

To mark the 35th anniversary of the publication of Professor Dame Gillian Beer’s ground-breaking study of the relations between science and literature, the British Society for Literature and Science is sponsoring an afternoon’s discussion with Gillian Beer, the BSLS President, at the Natural History Museum in Oxford on Saturday April 7th.


Venue: Lecture Theatre, Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Date: Saturday 7th April 2018

Time: 2.30 – 4.30pm


2.30-3.15: Gillian Beer interviewed by John Holmes

3.15-3.25: Short break

3.25-4.25: Roundtable on Literature and Biology chaired by Daniel Brown with Sally Shuttleworth, David Amigoni and Lara Choksey.

4.25-4.30: Concluding Comments from Martin Willis (BSLS Chair)


The event is free, and all welcome. Please sign up via Eventbrite at:



Registration is now open for the British Society of Literature & Science at Oxford Brookes, 5-7 April 2018.  Registration will remain open until Monday 26th March.  Please make sure you select the right option - there are two booking sites - one for postgraduate students/unwaged and the other the full standard option for those of us with faculty/waged status.

The link to both is here:

We look forward to welcoming you to Oxford next month.

Reviews that have appeared on the British Society for Literature and Science website in February 2018

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 2016 onwards will be considered.