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BSLS Winter Symposium 2022

The Subterranean Anthropocene: Excavation, Extracting, Uncovering
From Classical to Contemporary Literature

12 November 2022 — Online via Zoom

Keynotes TBA

“Blue marble” images of earth are often synonymous with environmental campaigns and anthropocentric thinking. But by always thinking of earth from above, have we forgotten earth from below? In recent discussions of the Anthropocene, geographers Maria de Lourdes Melo Zurita, Paul George Munro, and Donna Houston argue that “the role of the underground has been discursively absent from contemporary debates about the Anthropocene”, reminding us that “the challenges of the Anthropocene are very much entangled with the underground’s past, present and future” (2018).

By excavating the subterranean, we can unearth long-held ideologies of knowledge, value, memory, and fear. And literature has long engaged with this too. The subterranean in fiction, from Dante’s Inferno, to Alice’s descent into Wonderland, to Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, represents underground space in myriad ways - as the stratification of the mind, as encountering the repressed, as the invisible labour of the working classes. Literary analysis, too, engages with a subterranean vocabulary of “mining” meaning, of processes of “discovering”, “uncovering”, and “bringing to light”. The specialisation of the sciences across the nineteenth century popularised the idea of the “quest narrative” being a process of seeking truth underground, as geology, palaeontology, anthropology, archaeology and new ideas about “deep time” located epistemologies beneath the surface, yet literature on both sides of this period imagines underlands as spaces of knowledge, history, value, and fear. This symposium will uncover the subterranean anxieties present in the intersection of literature and science and unbury narratives of extraction, depths, delving, and excavation.

 

The BSLS Winter Symposium will be free and open to all. We welcome 20 minute papers and panels of 3-4 speakers. We particularly encourage submissions from PGRs and ECRs. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following themes and their intersections with science and literature:

 

  • Mining, minerals, and extraction
  • Tunnelling and travelling underground
  • The subaquatic subterranean
  • Water and ice subterranea
  • Soil, plantlife, roots, fungi
  • Oil, gas and ‘petrofictions’
  • Excavation, uncovering, unearthing
  • Burials and disinterring, bones, fossils
  • Stone, geology, caves
  • Subterranean life - mammals, birds, insects, aquatic life, worms
  • Subterranean, ‘centre of the earth’, and hollow earth fiction
  • Subterranean ‘hell’ and the afterlife

 

 

Please email your bio(s) and abstract(s) to BSLSSymposium2022@gmail.com no later than Sep 30th 2022. Please limit each abstract to 250 words and each bio to 150 words.

An Online EventProposals due by 30 June

The Winter Symposium is an annual PGR/ECR-led event, with a specific theme proposed by the organisers. This year, the BSLS members at the annual conference expressed particular interest in

·       the Anthropocene,

·       the Material,

·       the Visual, or

·       Translation.

 

While proposals focused on one of these themes would be particularly welcomed, we encourage potential organisers to move forward with any theme associated with literature and science.

Proposals are invited from postgraduates, and from early career researchers who were recently postgraduates, for a one-day online event on a discrete theme to take place in or around November 2022.

Proposals should be no longer than two sides of A4, and should include a description of the event, details of the organisers, potential speakers (if known) and types of papers, panels or other sessions to be included.

The symposium might also cover research training and career advice alongside showcasing ongoing research. It is hoped that each event will have a ‘non-conference’ feel, and include different types of papers, panels, and ways of sharing knowledge.

The BSLS Executive Committee will support the organisers throughout the process in both administrative and technical matters.

The BSLS will award around £500 in support of the symposium, which should be free to attend if possible.

 

Proposals should be emailed to Rachel Murray (RachelEMurray@sheffield.ac.uk) by the 30th of June.

4th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SCIENCE & LITERATURE
Girona, 2-4 July 2019

Organized by Commission on Science & Literature DHST/IUHPST and the Càtedra Dr. Bofill de Ciències i Humanitats

Second call for papers

Following the successful three International Conferences on Science and Literature which took place in Athens, Poellau and Paris, this Conference is the fourth to be organized under the aegis of the Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST. The fourth International Conference will be organized by the Càtedra Dr. Bofill de Ciències I Humanitats (Dr Bofill Chair on Science and the Humanities) integrated at the University of Girona (UdG) with the technical support of the Commission on Science and Literature. As it was the case with the first three Conferences, the fourth one does not have a specific theme, as its intent continues to be the creation of an open forum for all scholars interested in Science and Literature. Nevertheless, the Conference will be organized along thematic sessions. Those proposed by the Organizing Committee are:

· Science in Western Art

· Literature and Medicine

· Science and Religion

· Poetry and Science

· Scientific Genres in Science Fiction

· Mathematics, Physics and Literature

· Women in the History of Science, Philosophy and Literature

Other themes, according to the papers accepted by the Scientific Committee, can be organized.

Proposals for individual papers or panels of three or four papers should be submitted from December 1st, 2019, until February 29th, 2020. They must include the title of the paper (or the theme of the panel), name and affiliation of the author(s), an abstract of no more than 350 words and a short CV. Proposals and inquiries about practical matters may be sent to gvlahakis@yahoo.com and cgamez@unav.es. An international scientific committee will review the submissions and notice of acceptance will be sent by mid-March 2020.

Juan Ortega will be the chair of the Local Organizing Committee.

Registration: March 1st to May 30th, 2020

Registration fees (include coffee, tea, refreshments and Conference material): 100 Euros

Fees for students and early career scholars: 50 Euros

Participants are asked to make their own arrangements concerning their accommodation in Girona, but the Conference organizers have published useful information and interesting offers.

This information and the preliminary program can be consulted at: www.icscienceandliterature.com.

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

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