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The tenth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will take place at the University of Liverpool, on 16-18 April 2015. Keynote talks will be given by Professor Keith Barnham (Imperial College London), Dr Patricia Fara (University of Cambridge), and Dr Claire Preston (Queen Mary University of London).

The BSLS invites proposals for twenty-minute papers, or panels of three papers, on any subjects within the field of literature and science. In addition, ‘flash talks’ of up to 7 minutes on any topic are invited for a special plenary session. Other formats are also welcomed, but please email your suggestion to the organisers (via bsls2015@liverpool.ac.uk) for consideration, well in advance of the submission deadline.

This year the organisers would particularly welcome proposals addressing the themes of light, optics, vision and colour, and proposals for papers, panels or roundtables on engaging the public with literature and science research. However, the BSLS remains committed to supporting and showcasing work on all aspects of literature – including comparative literature and European and world literatures – and science, medicine and technology.

Proposals of no more than 250 words, together with the name and institutional affiliation of the speaker, and a biographical note of around 50 words, should be sent in the body of messages (not in attachments) to bsls2015@liverpool.ac.uk. Proposals for panels should include a separate proposal and biographical note for each paper. The closing date for submissions is Friday 5 December 2014.

The conference fee will be waived for two graduate students in exchange for written reports on the conference, to be published in the BSLS Newsletter. If you are interested in being selected for one of these awards, please mention this when sending in your proposal. To qualify you will need to be registered for a postgraduate degree at the time of the conference.

Accommodation: please note that those attending the conference will need to make their own arrangements for accommodation. Information on local hotels will be made available soon on the forthcoming conference website.

Membership: conference delegates will need to register as members of the BSLS (annual membership: £25 waged/ £10 unwaged). It will be possible to join the BSLS when registering for the conference online.

For further information and updates about the conference, please contact Greg Lynall (bsls2015@liverpool.ac.uk). A conference website will be available in due course.

The National Archives seeks proposals from university partners for collaborative doctoral studentships to start in October 2015.
The National Archives is a member of the Thames Consortium, supporting (in total across the Consortium) six new collaborative research studentships each year via the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme. Students are jointly supervised by a member of staff and an academic based in the partner university. Applications for studentships starting in October 2015 are now open.
The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and for England and Wales.  We are the guardians of some of our most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years. The National Archives' collection of over 11 million historical government and public records is one of the largest in the world. From Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, our collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.  Our 21st-century role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible.
We are interested in proposals for collaborative doctoral studentships on any aspect of our collections, but especially the following subjects and themes:
• the mechanics of the central government machine (13th-17th centuries) • land ownership, transfer and inheritance in the medieval and early modern periods • common law, politics and power in medieval and early modern England and Wales • early modern letter writing, literature and record keeping • developments in early modern science, technology, art and material culture • legacies of Empire • British foreign policy in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries • transatlantic relations during the Cold War • popular radicalism in the 18th and 19th centuries • attitudes to vagrancy and poverty in the 19th century • surgeons at sea: Royal Navy medical officers' journals • the social impact of the First World War
Heritage science
• sustainable stewardship: targeting wider collection management issues in order to provide solutions for sustainable stewardship of The National Archive's collections and exploring the potential of modeling and technology to provide evidence for decision-making • managing material change: for example, understanding materials, degradation processes and the relationship of materials to their environments, to enable The National Archives to predict the long-term stability of its holdings
• challenges in identifying and managing sensitive historical digital records • challenges in identifying and linking individuals across multiple series of digital records • archival digital collections as historical big data: challenges in understanding, exploring and visualising large digital collections • challenges in documenting and managing the context, provenance and integrity of the historical digital record during digital transfer from creating bodies to archives
Please send enquiries relating to studentships to the Research Team research@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk
More information is available here:

Lancaster University is recruiting a research associate to work on the Davy Letters Project. Here are the details of the post:

Part-time Senior Research Associate

English & Creative Writing
Salary: £32,277 pro rata
Closing Date: Monday 11 August 2014
Interview Date: Friday 29 August 2014
Reference: A1039
Working on the MHRA funded Davy Letters Project, you will assist the Project’s PI, Professor Sharon Ruston to work on the Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy, a four-volume print edition to be published by the Oxford University Press in 2018.
You will have a PhD in history or literature (or award within 12 months) concentrating on the eighteenth and/or nineteenth centuries. Direct experience with eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century manuscripts is desirable, as are publications upon or in a field related to eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century literature and/or science. Previous editorial experience, particularly previous work on a scholarly edition of letters would be an advantage.
This is an excellent opportunity for an early career researcher to receive training in scholarly editing, experience of project management, research networking opportunities, and research mentoring which may lead to joint and sole-authored publication.
This is a 0.54fte position for 12 months from 1 October 2014 until 30 September 2015.
Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Sharon Ruston. For further details of the post, click here.
Further information on the Department of English and Creative Writing can be found at: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/english.
We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

At the recent PCST conference in Bahia, the issue of the deficit model was raised, in the session on science communication and its audiences. To stimulate the debate and to contribute to the community, the journal Public Understanding of Science would like to announce an essay competition. The essay title is as follows:

"In Science Communication, why does the idea of a public deficit always return?"

In line with the new constitution of PCST, we'd like to encourage submissions from both younger and older scholars. The implication is that authors will have to disclose their date of birth. The essay will be fast tracked to print publication in 2015 and made freely available online.

The rules:
1. Deadline for submission 15th January 2015
2. Two essays will be selected: One from authors under 36 on 15th January 2015; One from authors 36 and more on that date
3. 8000 words or less
4. The editorial team and the editorial board of PUS will select the two winners
5. Winners will be supported by peer review and published with fanfare
6. Please send submissions to Sue Howard at pusedit@lse.ac.uk

We look forward to hearing from you.

Martin Bauer and Sue Howard
Public Understanding of Science

The BSLS has voted to hold an annual one-day symposium in addition to its annual conference. Unlike the conference, the symposium will be on a specific theme each year. The BSLS will make a budget of £500 available to members each year in the first instance to fund the symposium. The theme of each symposium will be announced after that year’s conference, and the symposium itself will be held in or near the following December.

BSLS members are invited to put in proposals to host the first BSLS symposium in December 2014 on the theme of Teaching Literature and Science. The theme is deliberately broad, so applicants are welcome to interpret it as they like, including focussing in on some aspect of it if they wish. Proposals should include:

  • a statement of up to 500 words setting out the rationale for the event and how it interprets the over-arching theme
  • contact details for the organiser(s)
  • the venue(s) and date of the symposium
  • a provisional programme including provisional or confirmed speakers and panels
  • a clear budget explaining how the grant will be spent.

A small registration fee may be set for the symposium if required; if it is, this should be justified in the proposal. The BSLS will be named as the official sponsor of the event, but it will not take on further financial liability beyond the grant itself.

Applicants must be members of the BSLS both when the application is made and when the symposium is held. International members of the BSLS are welcome to apply for the awards. Applications should be emailed as a Word document to the Chair of the BSLS, John Holmes (j.r.holmes@reading.ac.uk) by 14th July 2014. Applications will be considered by the BSLS Executive Committee. The award will be made to the application which the Committee judges as best fulfilling the overall aims of the BSLS and serving its members and the academic community as a whole. Successful applicants will be informed by the end of July. Queries about the scheme may be directed to John Holmes, but no correspondence will be entered into about the decisions of the Committee. Serving members of the BSLS Executive Committee are not eligible to apply for the grant. They may be included in the proposal for the symposium as participants, but they may not receive any of the award money either as costs or fees.

The centre for Interdisciplinary Research into the Humanities and Science at the University of Reading is holding a one-day interdisciplinary workshop, funded by the British Academy, bringing together scholars working in the history of science with those working on literature and science. The workshop is aimed at PhD students, postdocs, and those in the early stages of their academic careers working in Literature and/or History with an interest in science.

The workshop will be held on Friday 14th March. It will explore the challenges (intellectual and practical) in developing historical and literary studies of science, and ask how early career scholars can present their work most effectively. Participants will:

  • compare methodologies and assumptions across disciplines, with a view to fostering more rounded and reflexive approaches to the study of science in culture in different time periods;
  • hear from established scholars about developing successful research projects and presenting historical and literary studies of science to a wider audience;
  • receive guidance on constructing interdisciplinary research bids; and
  • benefit from the opportunity to build mutually supportive networks with other early career scholars.

Confirmed speakers include Charlotte Sleigh (Kent), Neil Messer (Winchester), Martin Willis (Westminster), Peter Bowler (Queen's Belfast), David Stack (Reading) and John Holmes (Reading). There is no registration fee but places are limited and participants must register in advance. Early career delegates can also claim travel expenses up to £50.

Any enquiries should be directed to Professor David Stack at d.a.stack@reading.ac.uk. To download a registration form, click here:  BA Early Career workshop


Applications are now open for an AHRC Science in Culture Theme Ignite event to be held at the Natural History Museum on Wednesday 26th March 2014. The event is an opportunity for Early Career researchers and will showcase the best of interdisciplinary research across the Arts, Humanities and Sciences. Further information about the event, including a call for proposals, is available on http://www.sciculture.ac.uk/ignite2014/ and also as a pdf file here:

Science in Culture Ignite cfp

Victorian Sustainability

British Association for Victorian Studies conference 

University of Kent


September 4-6, 2014

Call for Papers

From emerging ideas about the perils of environmental degradation to the establishment of the National Trust, the concept of sustainability began to take on a new importance in the Victorian period that remains relevant in 21st-century modernity. We welcome proposals which address any aspect of Victorian sustainability and especially encourage interdisciplinary approaches.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Victorian nature writing and/or discourses of nature and science
  • Heritage and preservation (of built environments, natural landscapes, species, material cultures)
  • Climate change and the Victorians
  • Sustenance and sustainability
  • Victorian discourses of emotional/psychological sustainability or wellbeing
  • Eco-criticism and environmental aesthetics in Victorian literature
  • Sustaining the Victorians (literary and/or cultural legacies)
  • ‘Green imperialism’ and/or colonial sustainability
  • The emergence of self-sufficiency and sustainable ways of life in the Victorian period
  • Waste/pollution vs. recycling/renewal in urban and industrial contexts
  • Narratives of catastrophe, risk, decay or crisis in the Victorian period
  • Representations of growth, flourishing and/or transformation in Victorian literature and culture
  • Social ecology and the relation between human and non-human in the Victorian period
  • Victorian pastoral and/or the legacy of Romanticism
  • The sustainability of Victorian Studies

Proposals (300 words max.) are due by March 31, 2014, and should be sent to kentbavs2014@gmail.com. Panel proposals (comprised of 3 paper proposals, plus an additional 300 words explaining how the papers are linked in addressing the theme) are also welcome.

The 2014 BAVS conference will be hosted by the new Centre for Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Any inquiries about the Centre or the conference may be sent to the Centre Director, Professor Wendy Parkins at W.J.Parkins@kent.ac.uk.

The British Society for Literature and Science and the Journal of Literature and Science would like to announce a 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 between 6,000 and 8,000 words long, inclusive of references, and should be send by email to both John Holmes, Chair of the BSLS (j.r.holmes@reading.ac.uk), and Martin Willis, Editor of JLS (m.willis@westminster.ac.uk), by 12 noon on Tuesday, 1st April, 2014. 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 https://www.bsls.ac.uk/join-us/). 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 JLS. The winner will also receive a prize of £100. The judges reserve the right not to award the prize should no essay of a high enough standard be submitted.

To read the results of this year's essay prize, click here.

The deadlines on the call for papers for the European Society for the History of Science conference in Lisbon in September 2014 have been extended as follows:

Symposia Submission (theme and rationale of symposium and abstract of papers) – 10 Jan 2014

Decision regarding accepted symposia – 10 February 2014

Abstract Submission for stand-alone papers)– 10 March 2014

Decision regarding accepted papers – 10 April 2014

To read the original call, click here. For more information, visit  http://www.eshs.org/

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