CALL FOR PAPERS: J. G. Ballard & the Sciences
Key Note Speaker: Christopher Priest
Hosted by the Anglia Ruskin Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF)
Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, 25th November 2017.
“Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute.” -- J. G. Ballard
From The Drowned World’s early meditations on ecology, to the provocative prosthetics of Crash, through to the psychopathologies at work (or rather play) in Cocaine Nights, Super-Cannes and Kingdom Come, the writings of J.G. Ballard are in constant dialogue with the discourses of science and technology. As a result, his novels and short stories function as vast indexes of scientific innovation and enquiry, immersing the reader in the complex yet often beautiful languages of biology, chemistry, zoology, medicine, botany, neuroscience, bioethics, anatomy, biotechnology and psychology, to name just a few.
Papers are invited for a one-day cross-disciplinary conference on all aspects of the intersections between J.G. Ballard and science. Proposals are welcomed from researchers at all stages of their career, including postgraduate students, independent scholars and creative writers.
Please send proposals or abstracts of up to 300 words along with a short biography to Jeannette Baxter: Jeannette.Baxter@anglia.ac.uk by: August 31st, 2017.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Booking is now open for the 2017 Philippa Pearce Lecture, which will be given by Chris Riddell, the celebrated, multi-award-winning illustrator and political cartoonist.
The lecture is entitled, The Age of the Beautiful Book and will take place on September 8th in the Mary Allan Building, Homerton College, Cambridge.
Chris has illustrated over 150 books, collaborating with some of the best known children’s authors of recent decades, including Neil Gaiman and Michael Rosen. Chris has won two CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK librarians’ annual award for the best-illustrated children’s book, and three Nestlé Smarties Book Prizes. On 9 June 2015 he was appointed the UK Children’s Laureate. During his two-year tenure, he championed creativity, the importance of visual literacy, and the role of libraries in schools. He called on people to enjoy the “joy of doodling” by drawing every day, setting the example with his own fantastic ‘Laureate’s Log’, a whimsical visual diary shared on social media, which has recently been published in a compendium called Travels with My Sketchbook. In the 2017 Philippa Pearce Lecture, Chris will talk about how words and pictures work together for a reader both on traditional page and how he believes this continues to be true in a digital age. He will explore how books are ever more covetable as objects in their own right, as well as valued for the words and illustrations inside, and also how libraries remain vital as repositories for these beautiful productions.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Configurations, the journal of SLSA (The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts) is seeking submissions for a special issue on Science Studies and the Blue Humanities, edited by Stacy Alaimo. We are interested in essays, position papers, provocations, and artist statements that explore the significance of science studies for the development of the blue humanities. As oceans and bodies of fresh water increasingly become sites for environmentally-oriented arts and humanities scholarship, how can the emerging blue humanities best engage with the theories, questions, paradigms, and methods of science studies? How do questions of scale, temporality, materiality, and mediation emerge in aquatic zones and modes? How can literature, art, data visualization, and digital media best respond to the rapidly developing sciences of ocean acidification and climate change as well as the less publicized concerns such as the effect of military sonar on cetaceans? Work on postcolonial/decolonial science studies, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), indigenous sciences, and citizen science especially welcome. Please submit 5,000-7,000 word essays; 3,000 word position papers or provocations; or 2,000 word artist statements (with one or two illustrations or a link to a digital work); to Stacy Alaimo, alaimo[at]uta.edu, by February 1, 2018, for consideration. All essays will be peer-reviewed, following the standard editorial procedures of Configurations.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
|The John Watson Building Stones Collection: photograph by Sedgwick Museum.|
Our meeting dates for next term are now fixed as Mondays 16th and 30th October, and 13th and 27th November, from 7.30-9pm. Since we will be completing our tour of the four ancient elements with a set of readings on 'Earth', we have an appropriate new venue: the Watson Gallery in the Department of Earth Sciences. Many thanks indeed to Simon for arranging this!