Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Centre for Material Texts - Inaugural Conference

5-6 April 2010, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge

Programme and booking forms for the Centre's inaugural conference are now available to download from the website (http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/cmt/?p=389#more-389).

With contributions from leading international scholars and current postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines, the conference will explore a kaleidoscopic array of current approaches to many kinds of material text. Among the topics to be addressed are: maps from the middle ages to the Ordnance Survey; material modernism; literary decisions and revisions; the materiality (or not) of film; writers' remains and their conservation; music, sound and urban space; the future of reading in the digital age; the printed image; publishing after death; border crossings in the history of the book; the current state of editing; and the relationship between writing and memory.

We are delighted to welcome Leah Price (Harvard) and Peter Stallybrass (Penn) as our plenary speakers. Other speakers include: Ardis Butterfield (UCL), Chris Cannon (NYU), Paul Chirico (Cambridge), Ian Christie (Birkbeck), Flora Dennis (Sussex), Juliet Fleming (New York), Heather Glen (Cambridge), Hugh Haughton (York), Rachel Hewitt (Queen Mary), Alfred Hiatt (Queen Mary), Sachiko Kusukawa (Cambridge), Samantha Matthews (Sheffield), David McKitterick (Cambridge), Molly Murray (Columbia), Robin Schulze (Penn State), Sujit Sivasundaram (LSE), Andrew Thacker (De Montfort), David Trotter (Cambridge), Patrick Wildgust (Shandy Hall), Abigail Williams (Oxford), Henry Woudhuysen (UCL) and Andrew Zurcher (Cambridge).

The conference fee is £35/£20 (unwaged). A number of bursaries, kindly sponsored by AMARC, are available for unwaged graduate students. Numbers are limited: please book early to avoid disappointment.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

CFP - The Life and Work of Jane Webb Loudon

Women & Science in the Nineteenth-Century: Science Fiction and Science Education

Leeds Trinity University College 27th-28th June 2011

Jane Webb Loudon (1807-1858) is a neglected figure of interest to a range of research areas including women’s professional writing, the promotion of science and women’s education and speculative fiction. She is best known for The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century (1827) and Gardening for Ladies (1840). The conference intends to explore the life, work and example of Jane Webb Loudon in the context of women and science in the nineteenth century. It therefore seeks papers from various disciplinary perspectives on fictional and non-fictional contributions by women to the formation of popular scientific awareness during the nineteenth century.

We welcome proposals for contributions on the following topics:
 Women’s Science Fiction Victorian Science Fiction Women & Scientific Research
Popular Science Jane Webb Loudon’s Circle Women’s Magazines Visualising Social Change Botany and Horticulture Children’s EducationWomen’s positions and voices within late Victorian science fiction 1850-1910 Nineteenth-century speculative writing Science & Social Reform Scientific Writing & the Periodical Press Class & Entry to the Professions Women’s Education and Science in Popular Fiction Women’s Gardening Vivisection Represented in Women’s Writing Gender debates in Science Fiction

Keynote speakers, Matthew Beaumont, Alan Rauch, Andy Sawyer, Ann B. Shteir

CFP - Poetry and Melancholia

University of Stirling, 8-10 July 2011

Keynote speakers: Catherine Maxwell (Queen Mary, University of London), Don Paterson (Poet), and Susan J. Wolfson (Princeton University). Other speakers include John Drakakis (Stirling University), Lorna Hutson (University of St Andrews), Ron Levao (Rutgers University), Cornelia D. J. Pearsall (Smith College) and David G. Riede (Ohio State University)

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore the nature and representation of melancholia within poetry and its relationship to poetics and poetic creation from the Renaissance to the present. Drawing together contributors from Art History, Literature, Medical Humanities, Philosophy, and Print Media, Poetry and Melancholia will try to examine the variety of forms that melancholia has historically taken and extend its meaning beyond the social, medical and epistemological norms that had framed it as a sign of mental illness or a way of behaving to that of a cultural idea. We aim to define not only the different configurations and significance of melancholia as mood, feeling, state of mind, and a cultural outlook but also the role that modernity has played in its development from a medical discourse to a dispositional perspective.

Themes: Aesthetics: the sublime, art and longing, decadence, narcissism and loss, revelations of destruction, degeneration, eroticism, melancholy genius, nostalgia, spleen, the states of boredom

Affect: sensibility, solitude and alienation, despair, grief, suffering and sadness, distorted senses, mood as language, psychology, transference, the workings of sympathy, haunting and return

Biomedical sciences: clinical depression, malady, delirium, humors, mental derangement, physiology and pathologies of the mind, psychoanalytic workings of mourning, somatic conditions

Nature, Space, and Landscape: landscape and distance, the resistance of physical objects, conflicts with nature, interior distance and phenomenology

Poetics: creativity, idleness and labour, imagination, inspiration and delirium, the politics of form and genre (allegory, elegy, lyric, and pastoral, etc.), poetry's relation to the visual and plastic arts

Tradition and History: appropriations of classical theories of melancholia, the idea of tainted inheritance, the traditions of witchcraft and the demonic, the past as loss, writing and memory

Sociology: alienation, anomalies of self-consciousness and the will, fragmentation and conflicts of modernity, otherness, gender, class, race, sexuality, social role of the poet, suicide

Please submit 300 word abstracts for 20 minute papers or proposals for panels together with a short biographical note or CV to Kyriaki Hadjiafxendi and David Miller at poetryandmelancholia@stir.ac.uk by no later than 15 January 2011.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CFP - Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2010

Diverse Engagement: Drawing in the Margins

  • Do you work at the juncture of different disciplines?
  • Does your work challenge dominant research paradigms in your field?
  • Does doodling in the margins get your creative juices flowing?
  • Does your research involve marginalised groups?
  • How does your research apply to the wider community?
The theme of this year's conference reflects how research can take place in or across the margins of academic work. This conference seeks to investigate how one's work may interact with, challenge, influence, or involve the margins of different disciplines, paradigms, groups or individual practice. Drawing in the margins should be interpreted broadly as the focus of all areas of academic scholarship; this is intended to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of postgraduate work.

The IGC Committee welcomes papers from graduate researchers across all disciplines.

Abstract submission: please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words via the conference website www.igc2010.co.uk before April 18th 2010.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dates for next term

Next term's readings on Fairy-Tales are in preparation: watch this space! Meanwhile, here are the dates for your diaries (due to bank holidays and things we've having a run of three meetings and then a creative-writing workshop): Mondays 10th, 17th, 24th May; and 7th June, from 7.30-9pm. We're also going to be meeting in a new venue: the Skillicorn Room at Homerton College.

Literary Engineering Workshop

Humanity Manse, College Bounds
University of Aberdeen

10 am – 5.15 pm Wednesday 17 March 2010

Organizers: Casper Andersen (Aarhus) and Ben Marsden (Aberdeen)

In association with the Centre for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy

Speakers for this workshop include:

Casper Andersen (University of Aarhus): ‘Engineering journalists and the British Empire 1890-1930: The case of Stafford Ransome’

Mike Chrimes (Institution of Civil Engineers, London) ‘Aspects of the literary output of British engineers in the nineteenth century ‘

Graeme Gooday (University of Leeds) ‘Righting wrongs and re-writing rights: Oliver Lodge & Silvanus Thompson’s alternative narratives of electrical invention’

Chris Macleod (University of Bristol) ‘Authorship, intellectual property and British aeronautical engineering in the early twentieth century’

Ben Marsden (University of Aberdeen) ‘Re-reading Brunel: cultures of reading and writing in early nineteenth-century engineering’

Frances Robertson (Glasgow School of Art) ‘William Johnson (1823-1864) and the “world of industrial readers”’

Chair / commentator:
Don Leggett (University of Kent)
Ralph O’Connor (University of Aberdeen)
Klaus Staubermann (National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh)

For further details, and if you wish to attend (places may be limited), please contact: Ben Marsden (b.marsden@abdn.ac.uk).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

BSLS book prize 2010

The following books have been shortlisted for the British Society for Literature and Science prize for the best book in the field of literature and science published in 2009:
Reviews of a number of these books are currently available on the reviews pages of the BSLS website. The prize itself will be announced at the BSLS conference in April.

REMINDER: Register for the BSLS conference by 15th March. Details here.

Friday, March 05, 2010

National Science and Engineering Week Haiku Challenge

Joanna Rooke writes:
As you know, it's National Science and Engineering Week in seven days time...yey!

We're always talking about outreach and expanding our audiences, but I wanted to do a bit of "inreach" for the Week. Many of you will be planning events and activities but there may be some of you out there in psci-com land who feel a little bit left out - and I don't want that.

To get everyone involved and in the mood, I'm throwing down the gauntlet to create the best National Science and Engineering Week haiku - this could be about the week as a whole, one of the projects, your own event or anything around the general topic. All entries should be sent to nsew@britishscienceassociation.org and the deadline for entries is the first day of NSEW (next Friday 12th March) at 5pm. The winner will get a NSEW t-shirt and the glory of being master haiku creator.

For those who don't know: A haiku is a non-rhymed verse genre. There are 5 syllables in the first sentence, 7 in the second and 5 again in the last sentence

Visit www.nsew.org.uk for inspiration.

My (admittedly feeble) contribution is:

Big Bangs and Small Bugs
Hands on fun in the UK
I love Science Week!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Cambridge Wordfest 2010

Ticket booking is now open for the 2010 Cambridge Wordfest, which will take place from 9-11th April. Further information here.

Colloquim - The Cultural Impact of Darwin and Darwinism in Europe

A one-day Colloquium on the Cultural Impact of Darwin and Darwinism in Europe will be held at Clare Hall, Cambridge, on Friday 12 March 2010, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Organized by the Research Project on the Reception of British and Irish Authors in Europe, the Colloquium will consist of a series of 15-minute papers followed by short discussion and builds on the success of last year's Darwin in Europe Colloquium at Christ's College. The event will act as a forum for contributions to a third volume of The Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe, focusing on Darwin's cultural and literary reception.

The range of topics and speakers include:
  • Philip Ajouri (Stuttgart) 'Darwinist Weltanschauung: Literature and Science in Germany'
  • Tom Glick (Boston) 'Unamuno's Hair Shirt: The 1909 Darwin Centennial in Valencia'
  • Peter Kjaergaard (Cambridge & Aarhus) 'Jacobsen and the First Danish Translation and Literary Response'
  • Eduard Kolchinsky (St Petersburg) 'Darwin's Centenaries in Russia: 1909, 1959 and 2009'
  • Travis Landry (Kenyon, Ohio) 'Selection in Relation to Sex and the Spanish Literary Imagination'
  • Patricia da Silva McNeill (King's, London) and Pedro Fonseca (Coimbra) 'The Portuguese "Generation of the 1870s": Eça de Queiroz in England'
  • Donald Rayfield (Queen Mary) 'Darwin and Russian Writers: Chekhov and Mandelstam'
  • Daniel Schuemann (Bamberg) 'Darwinism = Hamletism? Sienkiewicz's futile Crusade against Polish Positivism'
  • Elinor Shaffer (Cambridge & London) 'Darwin's reception in the literary magazine Revue des Deux Mondes'
  • Katalin Straner (Budapest) 'Darwinism and Literary Culture in Late Nineteenth-century Hungary'
  • Paul White (Cambridge) 'Darwin's correspondence and sentimental culture'
Registration costs £35 (£30 in advance); £15 for students.
For further details and to register (space is limited) please contact the Project Office: RBAE@fsmail.net <mailto:RBAE@fsmail.net>

The Research Project: The Reception of British and Irish Authors in Europe
Director: Dr Elinor Shaffer FBA

12B Ridgmount Gardens
London WC1E 7AR
Tel. & fax no. +44 (0)20 7323 6861

Cambridge Science Festival 2010

8-21 March 2010 as part of National Science and Engineering Week.

Full programme online at: http://www.cambridgescience.org or please call 01223 766766 to request a hard copy.

Join us for the UK's largest free science festival, exploring subjects from astronomy to zoology, with demonstrations, hands on experiments, talks from leading scientists, and visits to University and partner facilities. Over 170 free events will give families, adults and children of all ages two weeks of hands on science and insight into the University's cutting edge research. Many of the hands on activities, demonstrations and children's lectures will take place on our family fun days on Saturday 13 and 20 March. Many events below are drop in, but do visit the website to check if any you are interested in require pre-booking.

Highlights for adults include:
  • The Price of Extinction: what losing biodiversity costs, with William Kendall, chief executive of Green & Blacks chocolate, Bill Adams, Hazell Thompson and more, 10 March
  • Muza Gondwe, showing African science heroes film, 11 March
  • David Spiegelhalter, on the public understanding of risk, 12 March
  • Simon Wessely, researcher on military health, gulf war syndrome, PTSD, speaking on 'From the Blitz to Bin Laden: responses to adversity', 15 March
  • Ehsan Masood, author of Science and Islam, speaking 17 March
  • Discover the science of humour with psychologist Richard Wiseman on 18 March as he describes his year-long search for the world's funniest joke
  • Jason Rentfrow, social psychologist involved in BBC Big Personality Test, speaking 19 March
  • Join specialist science guides on the Daring Diversity walking tour to discover why Newton poked a needle in his eye and why Darwin's nickname was 'Gas'
Highlights for families include:
  • Hands on activities in Colourful Creatures at the Museum of Zoology
  • Learn what happens when lasers and jam doughnuts collide with Dr Evil
  • Discover the world of waves, gases and chemistry with The Naked Scientists as they detonate bombs, electrocute vegetables, and turn air into a liquid!