Tuesday, December 12, 2017

CFP - Global Mountains

July 5-6, 2018
University of Cambridge
Mountains have long been sources of fascination, inspiration and despair, productive of distinctive ways of thinking and acting among inhabitants, administrators, scientists, travellers, and distant readers and viewers alike. ‘Global Mountains’ will be a two-day conference bringing into conversation scholars from a range of disciplines working on diverse engagements with and imaginations of mountainous regions. Geographical features, especially oceans, rivers, and islands, are now frequently deployed as productive spaces in which to reorient older national or colonial narratives. Mountains, long on the peripheries of states and empires as well as scholars’ attention, are beginning to receive deserved similar consideration. They are increasingly recognised as providing valuable lenses through which to examine political, social, and aesthetic issues. As areas of unusual ecological prominence and environmental agency, they are also vital locales for working through the more-than-human histories so urgently needed in the Anthropocene.

This conference will bring together conceptions of mountains as both subjects of enquiry and the settings of unique human and beyond-human stories across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. Key themes to be addressed include the importance of verticality in the history of scientific practice, the reciprocal effects of mountain environments and human cultures, and the roles of mountains as borderlands between states and empires (and thus as spaces that complicate national and regional boundaries). ‘Global Mountains’ will focus on uplands in contexts that transcend traditional area studies units, paying particular attention to issues of scale and exploring how high places became, and continue to be, units of long-distance theorisation and comparison. This conference aims to historicise and specify the means by which mountain spaces have been perceived and acted upon in ways that render them distinct from lowland settings. It will also investigate how social sciences and humanities might develop ways of ‘thinking like a mountain’, generating models and modes of expression that place uplands at their heart rather than conceiving of them as aberrations from norms derived from plains and oceans. Through these elements, ‘Global Mountains’ will seek to reorient understandings of global connections and processes from the flat to the jagged, and from the horizontal to the vertical.

We aim to facilitate discussion around, but not limited to, the following thematic sessions:

  • Mountain Environments
  • Mountain Societies
  • Mountain Imaginaries
  • Mountain Sciences
  • Mountain Politics

This two-day conference will take place at the University of Cambridge on July 5-6, 2018. We invite scholars at all career stages to apply, and very much welcome interest from graduate students and early career researchers. We encourage submissions from scholars working on mountains in any related discipline. All speakers will be asked to submit their papers for pre-circulation in advance of the event, in order to facilitate in depth discussion, and with a view to publication. Please send an abstract (300 words or less) and a current CV to globalmountains2018@gmail.com by 15 January 2018.

Organised by Lachlan Fleetwood (Cambridge) and Thomas Simpson (Cambridge)

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

CamPoS seminar - 'What’s the Point of Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World? Travel, Science, and Thought Experiments'

6 December, 1 p.m., HPS department, seminar room 2 in the basement.

Emily Thomas of Durham will talk on 'What’s the Point of Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World? Travel, Science, and Thought Experiments'.

Abstract: 'Travel has a long and intimate history with philosophy. Travel also has a long and intimate relationship with fiction. Sometimes travel fiction acts as ‘thought experiments’, experiments that we can run through in our heads. This talk explores a 1666 fiction travelogue, Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World. In the novel, a virtuous young lady is kidnapped and travels by boat through the North Pole into a new world. I argue this is no mere piece of science fiction. Instead, this travelogue acts as a distinctly philosophical thought experiment, exploring the pros and cons of Baconian philosophy of science, utopias, and what it means to be real.'

CFP - 3rd International Conference on Science & Literature

Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 (UPMC)
Hellenic Open University


2-4 July 2018, Paris, France

First call for papers

Following the successful two International Conferences on Science and Literature which took place in Athens and Poellau this Conference is the third to be organized under the aegis of the Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST. The third International Conference will be co-organized by the Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 (UPMC) with the technical support of the Hellenic Open University. As it was the case with the first two Conferences, the third one does not have a specific theme, as its intent continues to be the creation of an open forum for all scholars interested in Science and Literature, thus bringing into the dialogue multiple perspectives. Nevertheless, the Conference will be organized along thematic sessions, according to the papers which will be accepted by the Scientific Committee.

Proposals for individual papers or panels of three or four papers should be submitted from 1st December until the 29th of February 2018. They must include the title of the paper (or the theme of the panel), name and affiliation of the author(s), an abstract of no more than 350 words and a short CV of up to five lines.

Proposals and inquiries about practical matters may be sent to gvlahakis@yahoo.com and konstantinos.tampakis@gmail.com

An international scientific committee will review the submissions and notice of acceptance will be sent within the first two weeks of March 2018.

Prof. Pauline Lescar will be the chair of the Local Organizing Committee and member of the Scientific Committee.

Registration: 1st February 2018 to May 30th 2018

Registration fees (include coffee, tea, refreshments and Conference material): 100 Euros

Fees for students and early career scholars: 50 Euros

Participants are asked to make their own arrangements concerning their accommodation in Paris, but the Conference organizers will be happy to give any necessary assistance.

Further information will be included in the second CfP which will be circulated on 5th January 2018.

Monday, December 04, 2017

New Journal issue - 'Technologies of Fire in Nineteenth-Century British Culture'

19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 25 (2017)

Cultural histories of nineteenth-century Britain have studied the important physical and psychological transformations caused by the industrialization of light. Gaslight, though discovered prior to the nineteenth century, became aligned with the era's narratives of national and industrial progress, an arc that, one might argue, culminated in the growing popularity of electric light at the end of the century. Yet, despite these new technologies of 'artificial light', 'natural' wood and coal fires remained popular in British culture. This issue explores fire as a visual and narrative technology in art, literature, and public displays by examining the ways in which fire evoked competing symbolic values, such as primitivism and modernity, vitality and destruction, intimacy and spectacle. The reading order mixes articles and shorter pieces together to demonstrate the continuities of fire across various sites, including: the domestic fireside, the tallow candle, theatrical conflagrations, Turner's fires, subterranean fire, solar fire, fireworks, funeral pyres, and a coal-ship fire.
  • Introduction - Anne Sullivan and Kate Flint
  • Animating Flames: Recovering Fire-Gazing as a Moving-Image Technology - Anne Sullivan
  • Tallow Candles and Meaty Air in Bleak House - Anna Henchman
  • Fire on Stage - Nicholas Daly
  • Power, Creativity, and Destruction in Turner's Fires - Leo Costello
  • Visions of Volcanoes - David M. Pyle
  • Dirty Fires: Cosmic Pollution and the Solar Storm of 1859 - Kate Neilsen
  • Fireworks - Kate Flint
  • Victorian Imag(in)ing of the Pagan Pyre: Frank Dicksee's Funeral of a Viking - Nancy Rose Marshall
  • While the World Burns: Joseph Conrad and the Delayed Decoding of Catastrophe - Jesse Oak Taylor
  • Afterword - Fire - Isobel Armstrong
Read or download the articles here. Also see 19's Facebook page for updates.