Wednesday, May 28, 2008

9th June

For the last meeting of this academic year, we'll be trying something slightly different: Katy Price will be returning to the group to host a creative writing workshop.

Please bring along a field guide, textbook or reference work from any scientific discipline, and be prepared to participate in a (completely non-threatening!) writing activity inspired by this term's theme of 'contemporary poetry and contemporary science'.

We hope to see you and your textbooks on Monday 9th June at Darwin College at 7.30pm!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

26th May

At our next meeting we will discuss two further chapters from Robert Crawford's Contemporary Poetry and Contemporary Science (OUP, 2006):
  • Kay Redfield Jamison, "Contemporary Psychology and Contemporary Poetry: Perspectives on Mood Disorders" (pp. 191-203).
  • Paul Muldoon, "Once I looked into your eyes", with introduction by Warren S. Warren (pp. 167-169).
The book is on reserve in the Whipple Library for reading and photocopying.

Please feel free to bring along any other contemporary poems to discuss!

We meet as usual from 7.30-9pm in the upstairs seminar room at Darwin College. All welcome!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

CFP - Darwin, Tennyson and their readers


A Bicentenary Celebration, 1809 – 2009

A One-Day Conference to be held in Cambridge, Saturday 17th October 2009, 10am – 6pm.

Plenary Speakers: Gillian Beer, George Levine

Offers of Short Papers (20 minutes long) are invited.

Please contact: Valerie Purton, Anglia Ruskin University ( by 1st October, 2008.

2009 will mark the bicentenary of the births of both Alfred Tennyson and Charles Darwin. Our one-day conference will celebrate this event by exploring the interaction of literature and science in the Victorian period, mining the rich vein of research opened up by Professor Dame Gillian Beer in Darwin’s Plots (1983) and continued by Professor George Levine in Darwin and the Novelists (1988). Professors Beer and Levine will both present plenary papers at the conference, outlining their latest thinking and building on the central insight that ‘the cultural traffic ran both ways’.

Short Papers are therefore invited, exploring the links not only between Tennyson and Darwin, but more generally between the writings of nineteenth century scientists and of nineteenth century poets or novelists – evidence that they were reading each other. A paper on Thomas Huxley’s reading of Tennyson would be especially welcomed; some more obvious subjects might be: George Eliot’s reading of Darwin; Darwin and Myth; Darwin reading Dickens; ‘Optimistic Materialism’ - in the light of George Levine’s latest book, Darwin Loves You (2007); ‘Condition of England novels and Evolutionary Theory: Kingsley, Disraeli and Darwin’; ‘Tennyson and Browning: two responses to evolutionary debates’; ‘Growing Younger with the Years: the reputations of Tennyson and Darwin reconsidered’; or ‘A Passion for Fabulation: Darwin, Tennyson and Autobiography’.

Proposals for papers, including a 300-word summary, should be sent to: Dr Valerie Purton Department of English Anglia Ruskin University East Road Cambridge CB1 1PT U.K. Tel: 0845-196-2496 Email: