Thursday, December 15, 2016

Jobs - Postgraduate Research Associate x 2

HUM0750, School of History, University of Kent
Closing date: 22 Jan 2017 £32,958 - £38,183 per annum

The Centre for the History of the Sciences within the School of History seeks two qualified postdoctoral researchers to work as part of a three-year Leverhulme Trust-funded project, "Metropolitan Science: Places, Objects and Cultures of Practice and Knowledge in London, 1600-1800", led by Dr Rebekah Higgitt.

In this role, you will conduct object-based and archival research, particularly in the collections of the Science Museum and among the papers of London's Livery and Trading Companies. You will participate fully in the activities of the project, attending workshops and conferences, publishing results of research, feeding into the development and interpretation of the Science Museum's "London, Science City" gallery (opening 2019), and assisting Dr Higgitt's research and public engagement agendas. If you have specialist knowledge of the history of early modern London, experience in archival work and publishing research articles and a keen interest in contributing to this project, this is a great chance to join a unique working environment that offers excellent training, benefits and future opportunities.

Start date for applications: 15 December 2016

Closing date for applications: 22 January 2017

Interviews are to be held: 6 February 2017

Go to to view the full job description and also to apply for this post. If you require further information regarding the application process please contact Teresa Bubb, Resourcing Adviser, at Informal enquiries about the roles and the project can be made to Dr Higgitt by email at

Please note - applications must be made via the University's online application system. You will be required to fill in the main details section of the application form as well as upload your CV and a cover letter / summary document. You should provide clear evidence and examples in your application which back-up any assertions you make in relation to each criterion. We recommend a maximum of 4 x A4 sides for this document. CVs or details sent directly to the department or via email cannot be considered.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Whipple Library Alphabet

The wonderful Whipple Alphabet is nearing its end: look back at all of the posts so far here.

As they say, this is a:
series of 26 mini blog posts featuring items from the Whipple Library’s special collections which will be published weekly throughout 2016. The series will showcase some of the variety and breadth of our collections by selecting notable authors, topics and associations in a roll call of examples spanning the alphabet. Members of the Library staff team have selected from a range of favourite, representative and more unusual items to write about and will be sharing their thoughts each week via the Whipple Library Books Blog. Follow our progress over at or via Twitter (@hpslib) by searching for the hashtag #whippleAZ.

We are now on Twitter!

Do follow us if you'd like: @scilitreadgrp

Saturday, December 03, 2016

CFP - 'Gut Feeling: Digestive Health in Nineteenth-Century Culture'

An interdisciplinary workshop, 26-27 May 2017, University of Aberdeen

Gut health has become a buzzword in contemporary culture. Ground-breaking research is pointing to potential links between the gut and such diverse areas as our mood, weight, and thought processes. The current debates on the digestive system and our physical and mental health, however, are not without precedent. The stomach occupied a central place in the development of medicine in the nineteenth century and the number of medical, literary and popular publications on digestion proliferated from this period onwards. With the exception of anorexia and obesity, however, few scholars have examined the cultural significance of the gut in the modern period, confirming the lowly status the abdomen has endured in the Western intellectual tradition.

This workshop aims to develop a new understanding of gut health in modern history by establishing a dialogue between different scholars on this aspect of the body. The preoccupation with guts and the bowels in the Early Modern period developed a new urgency in the nineteenth century through the rapid progress of medicine and the increased concern with the stomach as a site of self-fashioning. The obsession with the gut during this period was a highly cosmopolitan phenomenon crossing many fields of experience, and the workshop aims to bring together scholars from a range of specialisms, including English studies, Modern Languages, History, History of Medicine, Anthropology, Philosophy, Visual Studies, Religious Studies and History of Science.

Applications from postgraduate and early career scholars are particularly welcome.

Topics include, but are not limited to:
  • The history of psycho-gastric conditions
  • The history of nutritional physiology and metabolism
  • (In)digestion as a metaphorical framework
  • Literary portrayals of digestion, constipation and defecation
  • Digestive and excretory labours and authorial identity
  • Visual portrayals of the digestive system
  • The gut as a site of self-fashioning
  • Digestion and nationhood
  • Digestion and public health
  • Gut-brain connections
  • Digestion and modernity
  • Digestion and constipation in philosophical thought
  • The role of digestion in social relations
  • Digestive health as spiritual practice

Interdisciplinary approaches and international comparisons are strongly encouraged.

Contributors will be invited to submit developed papers for consideration for publication after the event.

Proposals should be no more than 300 words in length and a short biography should also be included. Please send to by 31 January 2017.

This two-day workshop is funded by the University of Aberdeen School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture; the Society for French Studies; the British Society for the History of Science; and the British Society for Literature and Science.

BSLS Book Prize 2016

Nominations for The British Society for Literature and Science book prize 2016 are now being sought. All nominated books must be dated 2016 and should be academic titles (usually monographs or essay collections) in the area of literature and science (including technology and medicine, in all periods). The prize is not open to creative writing. Paid up members may nominate their own titles. Members of the BSLS committee are not eligible for the prize.

Nominations should be sent to Peter Garratt by 31 December 2016.

The announcement of the prize winner will take place at the annual conference in April.

Recap - Fighting Fire

Last Monday witnessed a fitting finale to the term, when we met to discuss how people have experienced, witnessed, recorded, explained, responded to, dealt with, and even lied about fires.

Our set readings took in a number of literary forms: Pepys's delightful fiery diary, where an evocative account of the Great Fire of London sat alongside more mundane matters; a contemporary ballad both chronicling the geographical spread of the fire but also invoking classical comparison and divine retribution; R.M. Ballantyne's 'Boy's Own'-style adventure, where the fire was cast as an enemy or a wild animal to be conquered by the noble fire brigade and juvenile hero; and Hilaire Belloc's charming cautionary tale, riffing on moral fables for the young.

Several themes of the term's conversations therefore recurred: the liveliness of fire, and the temptation to anthropomorphise it; the wider spiritual and religious symbolism of fire; attempts to control fire by the use of certain kinds of equipment; how best to describe in verbal or visual forms a far more multisensory experience. Although with twentieth-century comic verse we were perhaps far from Heraclitus, the connecting thread of fire meant that even more similarities or contrasts, echoes and evocations, were present than I had anticipated when setting the readings over the summer. Appropriately, we closed the term as we began, with the reading of a piece of poetry.

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to a particularly memorable series of sessions this Michaelmas! As previously advertised, we will be sticking with the elements in Lent when we will be exploring air, possibly now with a focus on eighteenth-century pneumatics. (Readings will follow in January.) Until then, may the Yule log burn bright!

Conference - 'After Idealism: Sound as Matter and Medium in the 19 Century'

17-18 March 2017, University of Cambridge

Conference details, registration & full programme:

This conference aims to enlarge substantially our understanding of the dialogue between 19th-century music and natural science, examining in particular how a scientific-materialist conception of sound was formed alongside a dominant culture of romantic idealism. It takes as its subject sound as matter and medium, focusing on the domains of natural science, emergent technologies, sentient communication and acoustics.

Speakers include:
  • Carolyn Abbate (Harvard / musicology)
  • Nikita Braguinski (Humboldt Universität / media theory)
  • Melissa van Drie (Cambridge / theatre studies)
  • Edward Gillin (Cambridge / history of architecture)
  • Alexandra Hui (Mississippi / history and philosophy of science)
  • Sybille Krämer (Freie Universität / media philosophy)
  • Melle Kromhout (Amsterdam / musicology)
  • Julia Kursell (Amsterdam / musicology)
  • Roger Moseley (Cornell / musicology)
  • Peter Pesic (Santa Fe / history and philosophy of science)
  • John Durham Peters (Iowa / communication studies)
  • Alexander Rehding (Harvard / music theory)
  • Milla Tiainen (Helsinki / musicology)
  • Viktoria Tkaczyk (Max Planck, Berlin / history and philosophy of science)
  • David Trippett (Cambridge / musicology)

Registration is now open via the conference site (£40 full fee -- £15 student or unwaged)

Friday, December 02, 2016

CFP - Science in Public events

The Science in Public Research Network is delighted to announce that we'll be having an extra busy year in 2017.

Our 11th Annual Conference will be on the theme of 'Science, Technology and Humanity' and will be held at the University of Sheffield, 10th - 12th July 2017.

We are issuing a Call for Open Panels with a closing date of 31st January 2017. For further details please see: or email

In addition to our annual conference, Brunel University will be hosting a SiP research-practice workshop on the theme of informal science learning, titled 'STEM and Beyond? Informal Science Learning Across Disciplines', on 19th May 2017.

We invite contributions from researchers or practitioners by 6th February 2017
For further details please see: or email
Please propagate these announcements far and wide, and we look forward to seeing you next year!
Angela Cassidy (Chair) and the Science in Public Research Network Committee

Job - Teaching Associate in the History of Modern Science and Technology

Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Applications are invited for a 3-year post in the history of modern science and technology with an emphasis on the period after 1900. The successful candidate will have completed a PhD (and will hold a PhD certificate) before taking up the post.

The role holder will help support and maintain the Department's national and international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. The role holder will be expected to continually update their knowledge and understanding in the field and to write up work for presentation, publication and lecturing. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the lecturing, supervising, examination and administration of courses for both undergraduate and graduate students in the Department. The candidate should be prepared to deliver lectures and supervise written work on a broad range of topics in the history of technology from 1900 until the present. The position will start on 1 September 2017, and will include an initial 6-month probation period.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Applicants are able to upload a maximum of three documents. These should be arranged as follows: 1.) cover letter, curriculum vitae and full list of publications combined into one document. Please include weblinks or doi's for your publications, where possible, 2.) details of teaching experience and research interests, 3.) two samples of original written work. If you are unable to upload your work samples, please email these as attachments to, ensuring that you include your surname in email subject line and in the file names.

Please provide the names and contact details of three referees in the space provided. We will contact the referees of longlisted candidates directly to request references (unless you advise that you do not wish us to do so). Referees will be asked to comment specifically on the candidate's ability to undertake this role in the Department.

Shortlisting: mid January 2017

Interviews: early February 2017

Enquiries may be made to the Departmental Administrator, Tamara Hug (tel: 01223 334540, email:

Please quote reference JN10844 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


£29,301-£38,183 Reference

JN10844 Category

Academic-related Closing date

3 January 2017