June 2021

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Each year the British Society for Literature and Science supports a one-day symposium on a theme related to the research interests of the BSLS, which we define broadly, to include any aspect of literature and science, technology, medicine, and environment.

The Winter Symposium is typically a postgraduate-led event that centres around a specific theme. This year, the executive committee is particularly interested in proposals on the theme of ‘Decolonising Literature and Science.’ 

Recent years have seen an increase in efforts to decolonise the curriculum and the academy following the success of BAME-student-led campaigns such as “Rhodes Must Fall” (2016) and “Why is My Curriculum White?” (2015). Within the field of literature and science, there have been growing calls to confront the cultural and “epistemological inheritance of imperial science” (Choksey, “Peripheral Adaptation,” 2019) and to “examine the institutional structures and orders of knowledge that we reproduce in our work” (Gill, “Decolonising Literature and Science,” 2018). 

Our proposed theme is motivated by the urgent need to evaluate how colonialism and imperialism have shaped the study of literature and science, past and present. We would like to invite applications from postgraduates and early-career researchers to lead a one-day symposium on this topic. 

We therefore welcome applications from postgraduates and early-career researchers whose research specialises in decolonial and anti-colonial approaches to literature and science. We are especially keen to hear from BAME PGRs and ECRs. 

It is hoped that this event will have a 'non-conference' feel, and include different types of papers, panels, and ways of sharing knowledge. As well as showcasing ongoing research, the event might include sessions on research skills, knowledge exchange, and career advice.

The event will take place virtually on an agreed date in November. The BSLS Executive Committee will support the conference organisers throughout the process, including assisting with technical and administrative duties.

Please email a short proposal to Rachel Murray by the 1st of August 2021. Proposals should include a description of the event, details of the organising group and location, potential speakers (if known), types of papers, panels, or other sessions to be included, and a rough budget. The BSLS will award up to £500 in support of the symposium, which should be free to attend if possible.

This special issue of Modern and Contemporary France, edited by Daniel A. Finch-Race and funded in part by the BSLS small grants fund, has just been published online.

The contents are:

Editorial
Hopes and Fears in Times of Ecological Crisis across the francosphère
Daniel A. Finch-Race
99-114
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2021.1907323

Articles
A Flat Past? History, Environment, Topography, and Medicine
Keir Waddington
115-29
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2020.1868416

George Sand's Volcanic Imagination
James Illingworth
131-43
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2020.1826416

Elemental Ecocritique of Normandy's Industrial-Era Coast in Zola's La joie de vivre
Daniel A. Finch-Race
145-63
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2021.1895734

Coal Politics: Receiving Émile Zola's Germinal
Arthur Rose
165-78
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2020.1793747

Remembering Disaster and Ecologies of Affect in Nina Bouraoui's Le jour du séisme (1999) and Nathacha Appanah's Le dernier frère (2007)
Beatrice Ivey
179-92
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2021.1888904
(Open Access)

Spectres of 'Development': Francophonie, Agricultural Coloniality and Genocide Memory in Scholastique Mukasonga's La femme aux pieds nus and Inyenzi, ou Les cafards
Frances Hemsley
193-208
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2020.1849079

Documenting Hurt: UN, Epistemic Injustice, and the Political Ecology of the 2010 Cholera Epidemic in Haiti
Kasia Mika
209-26
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2020.1810646

Reviews
Gauguin's Challenge: New Perspectives After Postmodernism
Belinda Thomson
227-28
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2021.1874321

Montmartre: A Cultural History
Constance Bantman
228-29
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2021.1911972

De cendres et de braises
Daniel A. Gordon
230-31
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639489.2020.1826417

‘Imagining a Post-Pandemic: Coronavirus Narratives and Histories of the Future’ | Wednesday 16th June 2pm | Online

The Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST is holding the last of its series of monthly virtual open lectures on “Literature and the Pandemics in Historical Perspectives” to date this week. The lecture will be given by Prof Martin Willis, Cardiff University, on the title ‘Imagining a Post-Pandemic: Coronavirus Narratives and Histories of the Future.’ Join the lecture here.

These lectures are hosted by the M.Sc. program “Science Communication” of the Hellenic Open University and they are jointly organised with the University of Birmingham.

George Vlahakis and John Holmes, CoSciLit President and Secretary.

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