December 2018

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Next year's Nordic STS Conference will be held at Tampere University, Finland, on 13–14 June 2019, with a pre-conference workshop for junior researchers on 12 June. The call for papers includes a specific call on Literature, Culture and Science with particular reference to Digital Cultures and the Medical Humanities. The deadline for abstracts is 18 January 2019. 

INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY, UK

MONDAY 20 MAY – FRIDAY 24 MAY 2019

Keynote Speaker: Professor Sally Shuttleworth (University of Oxford)

A free, international, postgraduate summer school

In 2019 Cardiff University’s ScienceHumanities research group will host the second week-long International Summer School dedicated to the examination of the relations between the humanities and the sciences and funded by Wellcome. This year the Summer School will have the theme of “Populations”. The Summer School will have as its keynote speaker Professor Sally Shuttleworth (University of Oxford), and will also feature workshops from leading scholars in literature and science, and the histories of science and medicine, from across the UK and Europe.

The Summer School will not only give participants access to significant researchers in the field, but will also offer 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 is open only to doctoral students located in universities and research centres worldwide. There are only 12 places available. BSLS Members very welcome to apply! It is free to attend, but participants must be able to pay for 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 are available for students from nations with limited resources.

To express initial interest and receive an application form please email Professor Martin Willis on willism8@cardiff.ac.uk. The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 25thJanuary 2019. Applications must be submitted by Friday 1stFebruary 2019 and decisions will be made by 15thFebruary. Participating doctoral students must be able to commit to the full 5 days of the Summer School.

To see what last year’s participants gained from the Summer School watch the short video at: https://cardiffsciencehumanities.org/summer-school/

In honour of John Ruskin’s bicentenary, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History will be hosting a one-day conference on Ruskin, Science and the Environment on Friday 8th February 2019 from 9.30 until 6. Speakers will include Kate Flint (Southern California), Mark Frost (Portsmouth), Peter Garratt (Durham), Sandra Kemp (Director of the Ruskin Research Centre, Lancaster), Francis O’Gorman (Edinburgh), John Parham (Worcester) and Marcus Waithe (Cambridge). There will also be a brief introduction to Ruskin Land from John Iles and a tour of the museum by John Holmes (Birmingham). At 6 in the evening, the conference will be followed by a public lecture by Fiona Stafford (Oxford) on ‘Ruskin’s Trees’.

Registration for the conference on Ruskin, Science and the Environment costs £20 (full-price) or £10 for students and other unwaged delegates. To register, please click here

Fiona Stafford's public lecture on 'Ruskin's Trees' is free of charge. To register, please click here

If you would like to attend both events, please register for each of them separately. 

For further information, please email Catherine Charlwood at catherine.charlwood@ell.ox.ac.uk.

Sally Shuttleworth (Oxford) and John Holmes (Birmingham)

A special issue of Humanities

Deadline for submissions: 31 August 2019

For further information and to submit a manuscript, visit the special issue website: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/environmental_humanities 

‘Environmental Humanities Approaches to Climate Change’ investigates the various ways in which we experience climate change. ‘Climate,’ writes Mike Hulme, ‘is weather which has been cultured, interpreted and acted on by the imagination, through story-telling and using material technologies’ (Weathered: Cultures of Climate). Whereas weather can be experienced directly, climate and climate change are inevitably mediated and remediated through cultural forms: particular narratives, vocabularies, images, objects, and symbols. This presents a considerable opportunity for scholars in the humanities and social sciences, who are well placed to analyse how climate change is understood, represented, and communicated in relation to specific socio-political contexts and within specific ethical and epistemological frameworks. However, it also presents a significant challenge. How can we be attentive to climate change as story without supporting the idea that it is a mere fiction? How can we move from understanding climate change as politically and culturally produced to imagining ways in which it might be mitigated? How does an understanding of climate change’s mediations remain alert to the brute facticity of environmental forces?

The special issue will bring together researchers whose work does not necessarily fit into traditional disciplinary silos. Its purpose is to explore and demonstrate the insights offered by the humanities into the cultural forms that climate change takes, and therefore to argue for the important contribution that the environmental humanities can make to climate change studies. It will be an opportunity to reflect on the broader question of the relationship between the fine-grained analytical work practised in the environmental humanities and the more instrumentalised approach to ‘climate solutions’ in the natural sciences and ‘hard’ social sciences; a relationship that it is important to address given that the problem of climate change is partly a problem of communication and imagination.

‘Environmental Humanities Approaches to Climate Change’ will build upon the groundbreaking work of scholars such as Julie Doyle (Mediating Climate Change) and Mike Hulme, who have emphasised the political, cultural, and communicative dimensions of climate change. A special issue on the subject of the cultural forms of climate change will be able to address the diversity of these forms across time and space and beyond the scope of a single-author study. It will also be an intervention in the ongoing debate around the Anthropocene (e.g. Bonneuil and Fressoz, The Shock of the Anthropocene; Davies, The Birth of the Anthropocene). One of the key problems with the concept is that it can be used to suggest a monolithic species-wide agency that not only exaggerates human power but also glosses over the considerable inequalities that generate climate change and to which it contributes. A more nuanced notion of the Anthropocene requires a nuanced analysis of the diverse ways through which climate change can be understood in relation to human discourse and practice, rather than seeing it simply as a measure of what ‘we’ do in a purely physical sense to an environment that is imagined as somehow external to us. Therefore, the special issue also relates to the recent development of ‘new materialist’ environmental philosophy (e.g. Bennett, Vibrant Matter; Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway) which similarly aims to complicate ideas of anthropogenic agency and to understand the ‘culturing’ of climate change as a process in which human and nonhuman actors/actants are entangled.

Dr. David Higgins
Dr. Tess Somervell
Prof. Nigel Clark
Guest Editors
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