BSLS 2009 programme

conference programme

Friday 27 March
1200 Registration
1300 Welcome by Kevin Warwick (Professor of Cybernetics, University of Reading)
1315 Plenary 1
Simon Conway Morris FRS (Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge), ‘How nasty or daft can you get? The evolution wars in a tea-cup’
1415 Session 1
Panel A ‘Approaches to literature and science’
Jon Adams (London School of Economics), ‘What do “visionary” fictions actually predict?’
Simon de Bourcier (University of East Anglia), ‘Fictional worlds, scientific hypotheses, and thought experiments’
John Cartwright (University of Chester), ‘Seven types of interaction: an organising framework for approaching the science-literature dynamic’
Panel B ‘Literature and science in the eighteenth century’
Greg Lynall (University of Liverpool), ‘Swift’s alchemical satire and satiric alchemy’
María Jesús Lorenzo Modia (University of Coruña, Spain), ‘Women and science in the eighteenth-century English periodical’
Kate Roach (Nottingham University), ‘Science, reason and virtue in Romance of the Forest: the gothic origins of fictional detectives’
Panel C ‘Science in post-war poetry’
Michael Whitworth (Merton College, Oxford), ‘Science in late modernist poetry: the case of J. H. Prynne’
Janine Rogers (Mount Allison University, Canada), ‘Genetic poetics: metaphors of genetics and literary form’
Isabelle Travis (University of Reading), ‘ “These are the tranquilized fifties”: psychopharmacology and the poetic self’
1545 Tea and coffee
1615 Session 2
Panel D ‘Medicine and literature’
Jane Darcy (King’s College, London),‘Beddoes as scientific biographer: Thomas Beddoes’ ‘Life’ of Dr John Brown’
Gavin Budge (University of Hertfordshire), ‘Typologies of culture: early nineteenth-century medicine and the development of Victorian historicism’
Monika Pietrzak-Franger (University of Siegen, Germany), ‘Syphilitic men: male hegemony, syphilis and degeneracy’
Carolyn D. Williams (University of Reading), ‘Getting it wrong: first aid and the changing bodies of literature’
Panel E ‘Literature, technology and experimentation in the long nineteenth century’
Sharon Ruston (University of Salford), ‘ “[T]he most sublime and important of all the sciences”: Humphrey Davy's chemistry and poetry’
Stella Pratt-Smith (Balliol College, Oxford), ‘The “spiritual insight” of literary science: investigating transitions between technology, faith and fiction in nineteenth-century representations of electricity and experiment’
Barri J. Gold (Muhlenberg College, Pennsylvania), ‘Bleak House: the novel as engine’
Jason David Hall (University of Exeter), ‘Mechanized metrics: from verse science to laboratory prosody, 1880-1918’
Panel F ‘Humans and animals in post-Darwinian literature’
Claire McKechnie (University of Edinburgh), ‘Geological underworlds: mythologizing the beast in Victorian palaeontology’
Greta Depledge (Birkbeck College, University of London), ‘ “Had I known you were a vivisector, I should not only have refused to marry you, I should have declined to associate with you”: the vivisecting scientist in nineteenth-century literature’
Candice Kent (University of Cambridge), ‘Intersecting identities: hybrids in Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway and David Garnett’s Lady Into Fox
Charlotte Sleigh (University of Kent), '“There is another smell of a nobody”: William Golding, the new people, and the other'
1800 Close for the day. Tables to be booked for dinner in restaurants in Reading
Saturday 28 March
0900 Session 3
Panel G ‘From natural theology to evolutionary anthropology: nineteenth-century encounters’
Tim Fulford (Nottingham Trent University), 'The sound of the shaman: scientists and Indians in the Arctic'
Debbie Bark (University of Reading), 'Natural theology and the anxiety of knowledge in the writing of John and Ann Hawkshaw'
Julia Reid (University of Leeds), '“[T]he wise-woman, the sibyl, the witch”: feminism, reform, and the uses of matriarchy in the late-Victorian period'
Ronan McDonald (University of Reading), 'Darwinism, degeneration and the Irish revival'
Panel H ‘Science in global literatures’
a) Sub-panel: ‘Literary representations of the cosmos in modern literature’
Ben Peperkamp (VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), ‘Popular scientific culture and the imaginary cosmic voyage: representations of astronomical knowledge in nineteenth-century narratives’
Willemijn van der Linden (VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), ‘ “Theoretical madhouse”: representations of astronomical knowledge in The discovery of heaven (1992) by Harry Mulisch’
b) Sub-panel:
Christopher Damien Auretta (New University of Lisbon, Portugal), ‘Positivist belief and narrative disbelief in Machado de Assis's novella The Psychiatrist
Sandor Klapcsik (University of Jyvaskyla, Finland), ‘Solaris as metacommentary: meta-science fiction and meta-science-fiction’
Panel I ‘Physics in modern fiction’
Elizabeth Throesch (York St John University), ‘The literary Fourth Dimension and the rise of modernism’
Rachel Crossland (St John's College, Oxford), ‘ “We are in sad need of a theory of human relativity”: D. H. Lawrence's early novels in relation to Einstein’s theories of relativity’
Katy Price (Anglia Ruskin University), ‘Coutts Brisbane and science fiction satire in the Yellow Magazine
Alice Bell (Imperial College, London), ‘Russell Stannard: scientist and children’s writer’
1045 Tea and coffee
1115 Session 4
Panel J ‘Science and early modern literature’
Richard Marggraf Turley, Howard Thomas, and Jayne Archer (Aberystwyth University), ‘ “Darnell, and all the idle weedes that grow”: the politics of food supply and the literary imagination’
Patrizia Grimaldi Pizzorno (University of Siena, Italy), ‘Attractive lawyers: the early reception of Gilbert’s magnetic theories in the last decade of the reign of Elizabeth I at the Inns of Court’
Lawrence Lipking (Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois), ‘Spinning the circle: George Herbert on Francis Bacon’
Samantha Murphy (University of Tennessee at Knoxville), 'Bloody Shakespeare'
Panel K ‘Science and knowledge in the nineteenth century’
Alice Jenkins (University of Glasgow), ‘Naming the unity of knowledge: the word ‘Cosmos’ and the unification of literature and science in mid-Victorian Britain’
Adelene Buckland (University of Cambridge Victorian Studies Group), ‘ “High jinks”: Walter Scott and the culture of nineteenth-century geology’
Melanie Keene (University of Cambridge), ‘ “Watt’s his name”: puns and nineteenth-century scientific education’
Stuart Robertson (Uppsala University, Sweden), ‘ “joined up thinking”: Organising knowledge before the fin de siècle in the Encyclopædia Britannica, ninth edition’
Panel L ‘Science on the modern stage’
Jenni G. Halpin (University of California at Davis), ‘Faustian bargains in physics: a new Faust, before the atomic bomb’
Naomi Rokotnitz (Bar-Ilan University, Israel), ‘Mirror neurons and the manipulation of embodied responses: disgust in The Libertine
Carina Bartleet (Oxford Brookes University), ‘On the origin of the speeches: evolution as trope in contemporary British drama’
Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (St Catherine’s College, Oxford), ‘Gould as Darwin: speculations on a lost play’
1300 Lunch
1400 Plenary 2
Dame Gillian Beer (Professor Emerita, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge), ‘Extinction, now and then’
1500 Session 5
Panel M ‘Botanising women: transmission, translation and European exchange’
Sam George (University of Hertfordshire), ‘Epistolary exchange: Rousseau, Wakefield, and the instruction of ladies in Linnaean botany’
Alison E. Martin (Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany), ‘ “Des Fleurs ne connoissent point de Révolution”: Priscilla Wakefield’s botanical writing in France’
Heidi Hansson (Umeå University, Sweden), ‘Emily Lawless and botany as foreign science’
Panel N ‘Dickens and anatomy’
Helen Hauser (University of California), ’Articulating Pickwick: The anatomical construction of Charles Dickens’s The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club’
Andrew Mangham (University of Reading), ’Sketches by Boz: a Dickensian post mortem’
Katherine Inglis (Birkbeck College, University of London), ’“So fair to look upon”: anatomizing Little Nell’
Panel O ‘Biology in contemporary fiction’
Maria Aline Seabra Ferreira (University of Aveiro, Portugal), ’Extra-uterine gestation in contemporary fiction and the visual arts’
Justin Roby, ’Octavia Butler, embodied language, and partnership’
Greg Garrard (Bath Spa University), ’Ian McEwan’s next novel’
1630 Tea and coffee
1700 Plenary 3
Patrick Parrinder (Professor of English, University of Reading), ‘Satanism and genetics: from Frankenstein to Haldane’s Daedalus and beyond’
1900 Conference Dinner
Sunday 29th March
0900 Session 6
Panel P ‘Science in nineteenth-century American literature'
Graham Stott (Arab American University, Jenin, Palestine), ’Edgar Allan Poe and the luminiferous ether’
Kelley Swain, ’Literary Tryworks: how Melville renders poetry from blubber’
Heidi Kunz (Randolph College, Virginia), ’Miss Mitchell and Mr. Hawthorne (and Mr. Marvell)’
Panel Q ‘Darwinism and degeneration in Victorian fiction’
Helena Ifill (University of Sheffield), ’Victorian sensation diction: generating degeneration?’
Ceri Hunter (University of Oxford), ’Cousin marriage, Victorian science and the sensation novel’
Hélène Machinal (University of Bretagne Occidentale, France), ’New icons wanted : Jekyll, Holmes and Dracula revisited’
Sara Clayson (Open University), 'Sublime androgyny in Bram Stoker's Dracula'
Panel R ‘Science and post-modernity’
Folkert Degenring (University of Kassel, Germany), ‘Uncertain principles: on science in George Eliot’s Middlemarch and John Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman’
Daniel Cordle (Nottingham Trent University), ‘Splitting the atom and the atomisation of narrative: Douglas Coupland’s ‘The Wrong Sun’ as Coda to the Cold War’
John G. Hatch (University of Western Ontario, Canada), ‘Literary lnfluences in the misshaping of Robert Smithson’s entropic Shangri-La’
Alistair Brown (Durham University), ‘The demonic posthuman: cybernetics, possession and postmodernism’
1045 Tea and coffee
1115 Teaching literature and science: A roundtable discussion on contexts and cultures
Greg Lynall (University of Liverpool), Janine Rogers (Mount Allison University, Canada), Martin Willis (University of Glamorgan), Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (St Catherine’s College, Oxford), Laurence Davies (University of Glasgow)
1215 Lunch
Including a presentation by Felicity Henderson (Royal Society Centre for the History of Science) and elections for BSLS committee and officers
1400 Close