January 2019

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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. The conference is being run jointly by the AHRC-funded Constructing Scientific Communities project and the ERC-funded Diseases of Modern Life project at the University of Oxford, and the Nineteenth-Century Centre at the University of Birmingham, in conjunction with the museum. To see the full programme, click below:

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

At 6 in the evening, the conference will be followed by a free public lecture by Fiona Stafford (Oxford) on ‘Ruskin’s Trees’. To register, please click here

Alongside the conference, we will be holding a rare exhibitions of designs for the museum by Ruskin and a number of Pre-Raphaelite artists. The exhibition will be open to all conference delegates, and to visitors to the lecture on a first-come, first-served basis, as numbers are limited.

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

Sally Shuttleworth (Oxford) and John Holmes (Birmingham)

The Metaphor Lab Amsterdam is delighted to announce that the next Metaphor Festival will take place in Amsterdam from 28 - 31 August 2019. The Metaphor Festival is an annual conference on the use of figurative language and other modes of figurative expression. It offers an opportunity to present and learn about research findings concerning the structures, functions, and effects of figurative language in human communication. Contributions to the Festival can address tropes such as metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole and irony.

Please go to http://metaphorlab.org/metaphor-festival/metaphor-festival-19/ or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/metaphorfestival) for more information. Deadline for submissions is 15 March.

Travels and Travelers

Syros, Greece July  1–3, 2019

The International Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST, The School of Humanities of the Hellenic Open University and the Institute of Historical Research/National Hellenic Research Foundation organize a three-days’ workshop to study “Travels and Travelers” in a multidisciplinary perspective within Science, Philosophy and Literature. . The CoSciLit workshop is already an established part of the very prestigious “Hermoupolis Seminars” which have been organized for more than 30 years every July on Syros Island.

This workshop aims to discuss various views for the role and presence of travels and travelers in science, philosophy and literature. The conference offers an open forum for all scholars interested in this growing research field, thus bringing into the dialogue multiple perspectives and different disciplines in order to build communication and cooperation bridges between science, philosophy, and literature.

Confirmed speakers: David Fairer (Leeds), Greg Garrard (British Columbia), Sue Edney (Bristol)

Including a reading of poetry and prose with Simon Armitage, Helen Jukes, and Jack Thacker

The influence and spirit of ‘georgic’, as a genre or mode – named for Virgil’s Georgics, the primary classical model – can be seen across western art and culture: from medieval and early modern almanacs to eighteenth-century formal georgic poems, from pre-Raphaelite social paintings to the new nature writing of the twenty-first century. Writers and artists have used the georgic mode to explore a broad range of significant themes, including nationhood and empire, industry, the experience of war, the cultivation of the self, and humans’ relationships with the natural world. The importance and richness of georgic as a genre or mode is increasingly recognised by researchers, but it is difficult to define something that has been reworked in so many ways: does georgic have to be didactic? does it have to be about labour, about nature, about agriculture? how is it different from pastoral?

This will be the first conference to focus on post-antiquity uses and adaptations of the georgic mode. It will bring together researchers working across periods and disciplines to analyse how and why georgic has been worked and reworked so extensively, and to develop and celebrate this growing field of study. 

We welcome proposals of around 250 words for twenty-minute papers or for presentations in other formats. We also welcome proposals for pre-formed panels of three or four papers. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Definitions and limitations of the term ‘georgic’ 
• Georgic’s relation to pastoral and other genres 
• Agriculture in literature and the arts, e.g. agricultural life writing
• The political, social, and scientific contexts of georgic 
• Ecocritical approaches to georgic 
• Global georgics and postcolonial readings of georgic 
• Queer georgic and feminist georgic 
• Georgic in the visual arts, film, and other media 
• The reception of classical models for the georgic 

The deadline for proposals is 30th April 2019.

Please send proposals, and any enquiries, to georgic@leeds.ac.uk

Conference organisers: Tess Somervell and Pippa Marland Conference website: https://georgic.leeds.ac.uk/conference/

This conference is supported by the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust. 

Oxford University's series of seminars on Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century continues this term:

Tuesday 29 January 2019 (Week 3)
Prof Anne-Julia Zwierlein, University of Regensburg
Monstrous Voices: (Female) Speaking Automata, Mind Science and Mass Mediation in Late-Nineteenth-Century British Fiction
5.30—7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

Tuesday 12 February 2019 (Week 5)
Dr Ushashi Dasgupta, University of Oxford
Dickens’s Loneliness
5.30—7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

Wednesday 27 February 2019 (Week 7)
Professor Gowan Dawson, University of Leicester
‘A Monkey into a Man’: Thomas Henry Huxley, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and the Making of an Evolutionary Icon
5.30—7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College

Drinks will be served after each seminar. All welcome, no booking required.