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Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) will be publishing a special issue on Artificial Intelligence and its Discontents, edited by Colin Shunryu Garvey (Fellow, Human-Centered AI Institute, Stanford University). To read the call for papers, click below:

Next year's conference of the Commission on Science and Literature will be held in Girona in Spain on 2-4 July. Here is the preliminary call for papers:

CoSciLit 2020 Call for Papers

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

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. 

30-31 May 2019: British Institute of Florence

Keynote lectures by Carolyn Burdett and Christa Zorn. The conference will also include a private performance of Lee’s pacifist work, The Ballet of the Nations, staged at her Florentine home, Il Palmerino.

‘Vernon Lee 2019’, an international conference organised by the University of Surrey and the University of Oxford in collaboration with the Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino, marks the centenary of Vernon Lee’s return to her Italian home, Villa Il Palmerino, after enforced exile during WW1. Lee emerged as a significant writer in the heady atmosphere of late nineteenth-century aestheticism and decadence, but she published extensively throughout the first three decades of the twentieth century. As the new century dawned, she became politically active; in the years leading up to WW1, she produced polemical pacifist articles for the periodical press and an important anti-war morality play, Ballet of the Nations (1915). She also took criticism in exciting new directions, focusing on the emerging field of ‘psychological aesthetics’ in Beauty and Ugliness (1912) and The Beautiful (1913), and experimenting with literary analysis in The Handling of Words (1923).

Writing in 2003, Vineta Colby commented that, at that time, only ‘a small company’ read the work of Vernon Lee (Violet Paget, 1856-1935). In the fifteen years that have elapsed there has been a major expansion of academic interest in Lee’s oeuvre, which has generated scholarly work, biographies and international conferences. Since then, access to Vernon Lee’s work in published and digitised form has increased dramatically, introducing her to a whole new generation of readers and students, and prompting scholarship not only on her fiction but on the full variety of her interests.

Despite this surge in critical response, however, much of Lee’s large and extremely wide-ranging oeuvre has yet to receive full scholarly attention, especially those writings she produced in the twentieth century. Between 1900 and her death in 1935, she published a wealth of new material including a musical drama, travel writing, novels, philosophical and aesthetic treatises, literary criticism, compilations of supernatural fiction and an important musicological study, Music and Its Lovers (1932).

We welcome proposals for scholarly papers that explore all aspects of Lee’s writings and her literary and artistic connections, with a special focus on her twentieth-century writings. Topics may include but are not limited to the following areas:

• Essays and Fiction
• Travel writing, place and space
• Criticism (aesthetics, musicology, art history, literary criticism)
• Natural and Social Sciences
• Politics, Pacifism, Cosmopolitanism
• Theatre
• Letters
• Circles and Networks

Please send 300-word abstracts, by 15 January 2019, to: VernonLee2019@gmail.com.
Conference organisers: Patricia Pulham, Stefano Evangelista, Elisa Bizzotto, Federica Parretti, Serena Cenni, and Sally Blackburn-Daniels

The next conference of the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, on the theme of SpaceTime, will be held in Athens on 25-18 June 2019. To read the cfp, click below:

SLSAeu2019CFP-4

Please click through for links to the full CFP Beastly Moderisms and Call for Poems Beastly Modernisms

As genetic science develops at breakneck speed, cultural representations register in their form and content changing ideas about the self and personhood, consciousness, behaviour and motivation, heredity, and the boundaries of the human body. And yet, ‘western’ science is only one of a number of frameworks that provide explanations for these phenomena. Knowledge, assumptions and beliefs about what a gene is and what the human genome is, about inheritance, kinship, who owns the body, its parts and ‘data’, are not universal but are culturally produced, culturally interpreted, and culturally situated. For many indigenous communities, for instance, genes may be understood as ‘the ancestors within’ (Grace 1998), a perspective generating different philosophical questions from those raised by ‘western’ scientific frameworks about the make-up of the self and different ethical priorities regarding genetic research.

In this symposium we seek to bring together two recent currents in contemporary biocultural scholarship: a) critical engagement with the representation of ideas from genetic science in media and cultural texts; and b) the development of postcolonial approaches to biomedicine and the life sciences, which interrogate the cultural biases and structural inequalities inherent in these fields. We shall explore the representation of genetic discourse in literature, film, news media, popular culture and philosophy across cultures, and will pay particular attention to representations from the global South.

Topics for consideration may include, but are not limited to, the following:

* How creative works from around the world engage with scientific concepts of the gene, genomics, epigenetics, as well as related ideas including human variation, inheritance and ancestry;

* How genes, the human genome, heredity, and ownership of genetic information are conceptualised across different cultural frameworks;

* How cultural texts are both influenced by, and help to shape understandings of, genetic science;

* How cultural texts negotiate questions of identity (including race, disability, gender, sexuality, and species) in relation to genetics;

* Representations of genetic research, including its methodologies, dissemination, and ethics;

* Postcolonial/decolonial/indigenous approaches to the legal, ethical, regulatory, and market frameworks of the life sciences;

* The relationships between genre, form and genetic representations.

We welcome perspectives from disciplines including literary studies, film studies, history, law, media and cultural studies, critical and cultural theory, philosophy, postcolonial studies, critical medical humanities, disability studies, and bioethics. We are also keen to include participation from creative practitioners (writers, filmmakers, visual artists, performance artists) whose work engages with genetic science, and welcome proposals for creative sessions (film screenings, readings, performances, art exhibits).

Please submit 300-word proposals plus a short bio (100 words) to Clare Barker at c.f.barker@leeds.ac.uk. We also have a limited number of spaces for non-speaking participants; if you would like to attend please submit a short description (200 words max) of how the symposium relates to your field of research, creative or professional practice. The closing date for submissions is Friday 21 December 2018.

This symposium is part of a University of Leeds research project on ‘Genetics and Biocolonialism in Contemporary Literature and Film’ and is funded by a Wellcome Trust Seed Award [grant number 106839/Z/15/Z]. Attendance is free and catering will be provided for all delegates. Accommodation and travel expenses will be covered for all speakers.

 

‘Locating Health: Regional Historical Perspectives on Human Care 1800-1948’

University of Nottingham, Humanities Building, Friday 11 January 2019, 10.00 – 16.00.

Keynote speaker: Professor Christine Hallett (University of Huddersfield)

 

For further details see the CfP

Date: Saturday 24th November 2018 (10:00 – 18:00)

Location: Cardiff University

Organisers: Joan Passey (Exeter, jp374@exeter.ac.uk), Louise Benson-James (Bristol, louise.bensonjames@bristol.ac.uk), Jim Scown (Cardiff, scownj@cardiff.ac.uk)

Keynote: ‘Biggish Data: Friedrich Engels, Material Ecology, and Victorian Data’ by John Parham, University of Worcester

The Environmental Humanities have gained momentum relatively recently, contributing to developing theories of the Anthropocene, responding to rapid changes in climate, and addressing our changing relationship with the world around us. They have also raised questions of how we define, shape, protect, and imagine our environments. This symposium provides a space to consider such questions, while also encompassing a wider sense of environment. How do we discuss the environments of literature – its production, dissemination, and reception? How do we understand the environments of science – its construction, its laboratories, its spaces of discourse? In what environments do we engage with Literature and Science as an interdisciplinary field, and in what environments do we teach, research, and encounter interactions between literature and science? These questions are bound up with, and have the potential to greatly impact, the environmental turn in humanities scholarship.

The research environment is under increasing scrutiny with discussions surrounding funding, the future of research, interdisciplinarity and collaboration, the mental health and wellbeing of researchers, and how the infrastructure and shape of research environments will look in the future. Doctoral and research awards focus on interdisciplinarity and collaboration, and the AHRC's four research themes (Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past, Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities, Science in Culture, and Translating Cultures) all provide scope to consider the history of environments, environments of research, and how we interpret our environments. This symposium provides an opportunity for researchers to reflect on the significance of environments to their research at all stages of their careers, with the aim of providing a supportive collaborative environment in and of itself, while simultaneously offering a forum for considering how literature and science scholarship might address the environmental challenges of the present and future.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Environments of science, including laboratories, field work, universities, hospitals, theatres
  • Science and literatures of the environment and environmental sciences
  • Global environments; cultural environments; globalisation, national identities, international identities, regionality; postcolonial environmentalism and postcolonial literature and science
  • The natural world; animals in the environment; habitats, habitation and cohabitation; agriculture, food and the environment;
  • The urban world; the built environment; the subterranean
  • Toxic environments; pollution, contagion, poison, criminality, danger, rebellion, resistance; antagonistic environments; monstrous, sublime, and frightening environments; the ecogothic
  • What environments best enable the staging, performance, adaptation, re-imagining, or re-working of literature and science?

We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to bslsenvironments@gmail.com by Monday 15th October 2018, accompanied by a short biography (60 – 100 words). We welcome proposals for panel presentations, as well as for poster presentations to be held during the lunch break.

 

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