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Friday 26 October 2018

School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London

Supported by the Birkbeck/Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund and the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies

Keynote speaker: Dr Anne Hanley (Birkbeck)

In In Darkest London (1891), Margaret Harkness’s popular novel about activism to alleviate poverty conditions in late nineteenth-century London, a doctor practising in a slum neighbourhood speaks of the ‘disease of caring’ that prompts him to give medical care to people in need of much wider social change. Harkness herself had trained as a nurse and pharmacist and her medical knowledge continued to inform her activist work throughout her working life. Both her own career and the fictional doctor in her novel reflect how, as medical care became increasingly professionalised over the course of the nineteenth century, discourses of medicine, social influence, and activism also grew interlinked. From the radical revisions of care provision developed by nurses such as Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale during and after the Crimean War, to the widening of access to safe and effective birth control by activists from Annie Besant to Marie Stopes, to the founding of the NHS, to protests of junior doctors in the present day, the giving of medical care has often been a radical act, and givers of medical care have often allied themselves with a wide range of activist causes. This one-day symposium will aim to create a dialogue between examples and intentions of medical activists historically and in the present day.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers on medical activism in a broad sense. Papers may wish to address the following topics:

* Equality of care and access to care

* Conditions for medical work and care-giving, from field hospitals in the Crimean War to present-day hospital crises

* Personal recognition within the medical profession, from women’s right to practise to demonstrations and strikes of junior doctors

* Public health, from sanitation projects in the nineteenth century to obesity in the present day

* Medical care as activism, from slum doctors in the nineteenth century to Médecins sans frontières

* The activism of medical professionals in non-medical fields

* Patient choice and engagement

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to <> by Monday 30 July. Please include with your abstract a biographical statement of no more than 100 words.

Proposals for poster presentations are also welcome. If your proposal is for a poster presentation, please indicate this clearly.

For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter: @diseaseofcaring

The Journal of Literature and Science is once again looking for reviewers to review various articles in the field of literature and science published in the last year to 18 months.

Please find below a number of articles that we would like to offer for review. The list is by no means definitive; there’s such a lot of fascinating work out there, so please do let me know if there’s an article not on the list that you’d like to review.

It’s largely first come, first served, so do get in touch with an offer to do a specific article

Reviews should be 750 words long. For more details please follow the link: or contact Michelle to register your interest.


Heather Meek. “‘The Wonders of Medicine in Literary Education’: Teaching Eighteenth-Century Hysteria.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 30. 3 (2018): 439-448.

Paul Gilmore, “Charles Brockden Brown’s Romance and the Limits of Science and History.” ELH 84. 1 (2017): 117-142.

Mary Kuhn, "Dickinson and the Politics of Plant Sensibility." ELH 85. 1 (2018): 141-170.

Pascale McCullough Manning. “The Hyde We Live In: Stevenson, Evolution, and the Anthropogenic Fog.” Victorian Literature and Culture 46. 1 (2018): 181–99.

Katelin Krieg, “Ruskin, Darwin, and Looking Beneath Surfaces.” Victorian Literature and Culture 45. 4 (2017): 709–26.

Michelle Boswell, “Poetry and Parallax in Mary Somerville’s On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences.” Victorian Literature and Culture 45. 4 (2017): 727–44.

Melissa Dickson, “Confessions of an English Green Tea Drinker: Sheridan Le Fanu and the Medical and Metaphysical Dangers of Green Tea.” Victorian Literature and Culture 45. 1 (2017): 77–94.

David Shackleton, “H. G. Wells, Geology, and the Ruins of Time.” Victorian Literature and Culture 45. 4 (2017): 839-855.

Elisavet Ioannidou, “Neo-Victorian Visions of the Future: Science, Crime, and Modernity Victoriographies.” 8. 2 (2018: 187-205.

Margaret S. Kennedy, “A Breath of Fresh Air: Eco-Consciousness in Mary Barton and Jane Eyre.Victorian Literature and Culture 45. 3 (2017): 509-526.

Eleanor Dobson, “Gods and Ghost-Light: Ancient Egypt, Electricity, and X-Rays”. Victorian Literature and Culture 45.1 (2017): 119-35.

Veronica Alfano, “Technologies of Forgetting: Phonographs, Lyric Voice, and Rossetti’s Woodspurge.” Victorian Poetry 55. 2 (2017): 127-161.

Matthew Rebhorn, “Billy’s Fist: Neuroscience and Corporeal Reading in Melville’s Billy Budd.Nineteenth Century Literature 72. 2 (2017): 218-244.

Rachel Fountain Eames, “Geological Katabasis : Geology and the Christian Underworld in Kingsley's The Water-Babies.” Victoriographies 7. 3 (2017): 195-209.

Thomas M. Stuart, “Out of Time: Queer Temporality and Eugenic Monstrosity.” Victorian Studies 60. 2 (2018): 218-227.

Katja Jylkka, “‘Witness the Plesiosaurus’: Geological Traces and the Loch Ness Monster Narrative.” Configurations 26. 2 (2018): 207-234.

L. Lieberman & R. R. Kline, “Dream of an Unfettered Electrical Future: Nikola Tesla, the Electrical Utopian Novel, and an Alternative American Sociotechnical Imagery.” Configurations 25. 1 (2017): 1-27.

Jocelyn Rodal. “Patterned Ambiguities: Virginia Woolf, Mathematical Variables, and Form.” Configurations 26. 1 (2018): 73-101.

Caracheo, “The Measurement of Time: Mann and Einstein’s Thought Experiments.” Configurations 25. 1 (2017): 29-55.

Kurt Beals, “‘Do the New Poets Think? It's Possible’: Computer Poetry and Cyborg Subjectivity.” Configurations 26. 2 (2018): 149-177.

Christopher D. Kilgore, “Bad Networks: From Virus to Cancer in Post-Cyberpunk Narrative.” Journal of Modern Literature 40. 2 (2016): 165-183.

The Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, invites applications for a three-year position commencing on September 1, 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. Salaries are based on the German public service pay scale 13 TV-L. The position can be adapted for doctoral (completion of Ph.D.) or postdoctoral work, depending on the applicant’s qualifications. Please click here for more information.

Following the success of the JLS/BSLS essay prize in previous years, The JLS and the British Society for Literature and Science would like to announce the 2018 prize for the best new essay by an early career scholar on a topic within the field of literature and science.

Essays should be currently unpublished and not under consideration by another journal. They should be approx. 8,000 words long, inclusive of references, and should be send by email to both Josie Gill, Communications Officer of the BSLS (, and Martin Willis, Editor of the JLS(, by 5pm on Friday, 31st August, 2018.

The prize is open to BSLS members who are postgraduate students or have completed a doctorate within three years of this date.

(To join BSLS, go to

The prize will be judged jointly by representatives of the BSLS and JLS. The winning essay will be announced on the BSLS website and published in the JLS. The winner will also receive a prize of £100.

Read previous prize winning essays in the JLS:


Arts University Bournemouth

Frankenstein Unbound: An Interdisciplinary Conference Exploring Mary Shelley and Gothic Legacies

Dates: Wednesday 31 October and Thursday 1 November 2018

Venues: Conference - St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth

Keynote Speakers:

Sir Christopher Frayling, Chancellor, Arts University Bournemouth

Professor Elaine Graham, University of Chester

Professor Sir Peter Cook, CRAB Studios (TBC)

In 1849, Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley’s heart were brought to the graveyard of St. Peter’s Church in Bournemouth, where they were buried with the remains of Mary Shelley’s parents Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin.

In 2018, Arts University Bournemouth and St. Peter’s Church, in association with Bournemouth University, celebrate the bicentenary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s most famous work Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (1818) as part of the Shelley Frankenstein Festival. The academic conference, located at this unique venue, will offer new and re-situated perspectives on Mary Shelley and her writings, her family and circle, and her most famous work. We are pleased to acknowledge colleagues at Bournemouth University for their organisational support.

We invite papers and presentations themed around, but not limited to, the following:

* Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, and the Romantics

* Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley

* Mary Shelley beyond Frankenstein

* The Shelley family: history and legacy

* Monstrous Romantics

* Frankenstein and the sea

* Theology and Frankenstein

* Frankenstein and philosophy

* Frankenstein at home and abroad

* Adaptations and afterlives

* Frankenstein and medical humanities

* The abject and the sublime

* Frankenstein and emotion

* Guilt and crime in Frankenstein

* Interpretations of Frankenstein in the creative industries (Film, Art, Theatre, Dance, Writing etc)

* Mary Shelley and Gothic legacies

* Gothic architecture

* The Gothic imagination

We welcome proposals for themed panel sessions (maximum three papers), individual twenty-minute presentations, or creative submissions from practitioners and scholars of all fields. We particularly encourage submissions from post-graduate students and Early Career Researchers. Please submit an abstract (300 words) and short biography (100 words) to by Monday 18th June 2018.

For more information and updates visit our website:

The MDRN research lab at the University of Leuven (Belgium) is launching a new research programme on “Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Modernisms and the Sciences in Europe”.
Six competitive, full-time doctoral scholarships will be awarded within this programme supervised by Sascha Bru.
A call for applications can be found on:
The deadline for applying is 1 September.
We are looking forward to over 120 presentations at The Cognitive Futures in the Arts and Humanities conference at the University of Kent. The conference schedule and schedule of panel presentations are now online at our website:
Registration Rates (3-day attendance, refreshments and lunch included):
Full rate
Delegates: £230.00
Students: £170.00
Daily rate: £80.00
For any queries contact

Expressions of interest are invited by 1 June in respect of the BSLS Winter Symposium in 2018. As members will remember, this is now 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 Rosalind Alderman at As always, 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 up to £500 in support of the symposium, which should be free to attend if possible.

Registration for the conference is now open and that it closes on the 1st May. The link to registration is here:

There is also a public event on the 3rd May inspired by the conference which is free of charge. It is called 'In Conversation with Emily Howard: Exploring Mathematics, Music and Literature', and includes a live performance from the Royal Northern College of Music's Mathias Quartet who will play some of Emily's compositions inspired by her collaborations with mathematician Marcus du Sautoy. The event also includes special guest Ursula Martin CBE FRSE FREng, Professor of Computer Science at The University of Oxford who will speak further about the mathematics behind these compositions. More details of the event can be found here:

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

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