April 2019

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The final series of Oxford's excellent Science, Culture and Medicine seminars is coming up this term. For details of the talks, click below.

Expressions of interest are invited by the 1st of June for the BSLS Winter Symposium in 2019. As members will recall, this is a postgraduate and early career researcher-led event and presents a great opportunity to run a successful event at this stage in your career (with help and support from the BSLS Committee throughout the process).

Proposals are invited for a themed one-day event to take place in or about November, to be emailed to Rachel Murray at r.e.murray@lboro.ac.uk. As ever, it is hoped that the event will have a 'non-conference' feel, and will include different types of papers, panels, and ways of sharing knowledge. Proposals should be no longer than two sides of A4, and should include a theme and description, details of the organising group and location, potential speakers (if known) and types of papers, panels or other sessions to be included.  The BSLS will award around £500, depending on the budget required, in support of the symposium, which should be free to attend if possible.

For more about the symposium, including details of past events, see here.

This two-day interdisciplinary workshop is made possible thanks to the generous support of the British Academy (grant number BARSEA19\190021). It expands on the work of the Narrative Science project, a European Research Council funded project based at the London School of Economics (grant agreement No. 694732). It will take place in London on the 18th-19th of July.

The aim is to create a platform and a network for research at the intersections of the history of science and technology, literary studies, and the environmental humanities. The shared focus is accordingly on narrative, science, and environmental history. To these ends we are proud to have partnered with both the British Society for the History of Science and the British Society for Literature and Science. We have already gathered a range of expert speakers, who are listed alongside the titles of their talks at the bottom of this message. Further information about the workshop motivations and agenda can be found on the web page:
https://www.narrative-science.org/events-narrative-science-project-workshops-environment.html

In addition, as part of our networking, this event is organised in collaboration with 'Environment, Climate, and Heredity: the integration of environmental humanities with the history of heredity' to take place on the following Saturday, 20th of July, at Oxford, organised by Dr John Lidwell-Durnin. Further details will be announced soon.

Call for ECR presenters with posters - Deadline May 24th A key ambition of this workshop is to provide a platform and network for early career researchers (ECRs). For our purposes ECRs are defined as postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers not yet in permanent employment. There are 20 spaces available for ECRs across the two days. Each ECR presenter will have 10 minutes to speak about their work in a dedicated slot during the workshop plenary sessions, and will also provide a poster which will be showcased during the evening reception on the 18th of July. The poster reception will be an opportunity to talk directly and informally with all the other attendees in a relaxed atmosphere. All of the plenary sessions will be video recorded and eventually made available on the Narrative Science project website. At the moment we can only promise to reimburse hotel and travel expenses for these 20 ECRs up to £100, but we intend to increase this amount as much as possible. All catering is supplied to attendees across the two days free of charge, and we will also take care of the costs of poster printing. ECRs who are members of the BSHS may also be eligible to apply for a Butler-Eyles Travel Grant towards their travel costs.

To apply to the workshop please write to the organiser, Dr Dominic Berry, on d.j.berry@lse.ac.uk

In the email subject please write 'Your name - Environment workshop ECR', and in the message include:

  • Your status as independent scholar or affiliated with a particular institution/university.
  • Maximum 200 words on how this workshop relates to your ongoing research. 
  • Maximum 100 words on the kinds of material and arrangement you expect to include on your poster. 

Interested parties should obviously also feel free to contact us for any further information!

Confirmed speakers
Jon Agar (UCL) - "British Nature was Lost Here, 1964-71": what's at stake when scientists, nature writers and bureaucrats tell stories
Dominic J. Berry (LSE) - Narrative science in techno-environments
Animesh Chatterjee (Leeds Trinity University) - Urban, political and cultural environments in late-19th century Bengali anticolonial representations of electricity
Jean-Baptiste Gouyon (UCL) - Wildlife conservation as a cinematic project?
Alex Hall (University of Birmingham) - Who speaks for the flood? Exploring agency, expectations and the supernatural in extreme weather events
John Lidwell-Durnin (University of Oxford) - “Have they remained what they were in Europe?”: narrative, organisms, and environment in explorations of South America
Ina Linge (University of Exeter) - Narrating Human-animal Sexual Nature in 1920s Popular Science Books
Greg Lynall (University of Liverpool) - Reading Renewables: Stories of Solar Power
Harriet Ritvo (MIT) - The Stakes of Species
Anahita Rouyan (Independent scholar and consultant) - Producing Mutations: Scientific Plant Breeding and Narratives of Nature in the Progressive-Era United States, 1900-1914
Charlotte Sleigh (University of Kent) - Sugar in the air: carbon narratives, futures and endings
sam smiley (Astrodime Transit Authority) - Ornamentalism: The Migrations and Translations of Japanese Knotweed

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Alluvium   is an online journal dedicated to twenty-first-century writing, affiliated with BACLS (British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies) as its Graduate-run journal.  It publishes short  (2-2500 word) academic articles on fiction as well as twenty-first-century approaches to the literary canon by researchers working at PG, ECR, Lecturer and Senior level. Alluvium encourages contributors to focus their articles around key issues and emerging trends within literature and literary criticism.  

The first issue of the relaunched journal was published in February 2019, available at www.alluvium-journal.org .  In June  2019 we are due to publish a special edition of the journal devoted to the Global Contemporary: Ecologies of Gender and Class within the Combined and Uneven Anthropocene. 

 As illustrated most prominently by the calls for a Green New Deal in the US, we live in an age when alternative political imaginaries are addressing the political and infrastructural necessities of combating symptoms and causes of cataclysmic climate change. Conversely, they are forced to confront: the epistemological difficulties, fragility of language and demobilizing anxiety associated with catastrophe; political recalcitrance; globalized mechanisms of disavowal and normalised precarity; and an underlying system of capital premised upon the exploitation of natural and social ecologies as well as the transnational flow of goods. Literature -- through the allegorical, the speculative, the psychological and phenomenological -- can provide an encounter with the ethical imperatives, hidden forces and effects which make up the Now as well as a way of signalling the future in its Utopian and terminal dimensions.

Submissions are invited on topics including (but not limited to):

  • Intersections (of Gender/Race/Class/Q) within Contemporary Cli-fi
  • Infrastructural Criticism in relation to ecologies, politics, literary form and the boundaries between speculative fiction-realism 
  • New Materialism and Enchanted Matter within dominant and peripheral literary spaces 
  • Post-structural geographies and the hauntological literary ethics of approaching the ecoeconomico-colonial South
  • Phenomenologies of local and global environment anxiety within Twenty-first Century fiction
  • Climate change, temporality and anxiety
  • Literary participation in, deconstruction of, or resistance to neo-liberal de-politicization of discourses on climate change
  • Formally realised or speculative takes on how current frameworks or researchers’ critical concerns might intersect with some dimension of the Eco-social (climate change, habitation, ecological mutations)  

Abstracts should be submitted as soon as possible -- and ideally by May 6th --  whilst the deadline for submission of articles is May 24th.

Please see the attached generic Contributor Guidelines for more information about writing for Alluvium. If you have any questions about writing for the June 'Global Contemporary' issue please contact Martin Goodhead (Keele) at m.c.goodhead@keele.ac.uk or Katie Jones (Swansea) at kate_216@hotmail.co.uk

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