Literature and Science, Oxford

A news and information hub for studies in literature and science at Oxford

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ATHENS Commission on Science and Literature Conference EXTENDED CFP

Call for papers


10-11 JULY 2014

Call for papers

This Conference is the first to be organized under the aegis of the Commission on Science and Literature DHST/ IUHPST, which was established in July 2013. Co-organizers will be the School of Humanities, Hellenic Open University and the Program of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology of the Institute of Historical Studies/ National Hellenic Research Foundation.
The Conference does not have a specific theme, as its intent is to create 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.
During the Conference, members of the Commission will elect the first body of officers (president, two vice presidents, secretary and webmaster) who will serve as Council Board for three years. Membership in the Commission is open (without any fees). To apply for membership send an email to



The Conference will take place in the National Hellenic Research Foundation, Vasilleos Constantinou 48, 116 35 Athens Greece (
It has been chosen also for symbolic reasons as it combines harmonically research in the humanities and in sciences. The building is typical of the 1960s architecture with all the necessary facilities, coffee bar and a nice patio. Smoking is not permitted in all closed areas of the building. There is easy transportation to the center of Athens (which is in a walking distance of 15 minutes) and the airport. 

Submission of  Papers 

Proposals for individual papers (20 minutes) or panels of three or four papers should be submitted until the 31 January 2014 Deadline extension: Until 15 February 2014. 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. An international committee will review the submissions and notice of acceptance will be given on 28th of February.

The papers which will be presented during the Conference will be published in electronic form in the Proceedings of the Conference. Participants may send the final version of their paper, either before the Conference, if they want them to be pre-circulated, or after the Conference, until 28th October 2014. Full papers must not exceed 3.000 words including notes and references. The organizers will try also to publish selected papers in special issues of international journals following the regular peer review procedure.


  • November 1st 2013 to April 30th 2014
  • Registration fees (include coffee, tea, refreshments and Conference material): 120 Euros
  • Students, early career  or  unemployed  researchers: 60 Euros
  • After 30th of April  the fee will be 150 Euros for ordinary registration and 75 Euros for the reduced fee categories.
  • Conference dinner (optional): 40 Euros
  • Conference dinner will be given at a restaurant near Acropolis, in the traditional old city of Athens, with a view of the hill and monument of Acropolis.

*Please notify us if you prefer a vegetarian menu.

  • Optional excursion to Aegina island on the 12th of July will be organized for those who would like to enjoy a day on a typical Greek island with nice food, excellent beaches and visits to historical sites. The fee for participation will be kept at the minimum level.

Registration fees shall be paid in the following account by bank transfer:
Georgios  Vlachakis
National Bank of Greece
account number: 100/762194-91
IBAN: GR1501101000000010076219491
*Please note your name and Science and Literature Conference for the reason of transfer. A short note by email will be appreciated.

Participants are asked to make their own arrangements concerning their accommodation in Athens, but the Conference organizers will be happy to give any necessary assistance. Therefore a list with hotels and hostels will be shortly available.

To and from airport:

  • Bus: 5 Euros
  • Metro: 8 Euros

In the city of Athens:

  • One way bus: 1.20 Euros
  • Tickets for 1.5 hour (including metro): 1.40 Euros
  • One day ticket: 4 Euros
  • Tourist ticket (for three days-includes transportation by metro or bus to and from the airport): 20 Euros

For more information a useful link is

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Call for applications to Newton International Fellowships


Call for applications to Newton International Fellowships

A new round of Newton International Fellowships – an initiative to fund research collaborations and improve links between UK and overseas researchers – has now opened. The Newton International Fellowships are funded by the British Academy and the Royal Society and aim to attract the most promising early-career post-doctoral researchers from overseas in the fields of the humanities, the natural, physical and social sciences.

The Fellowships enable researchers to work for two years at a UK research institution with the aim of fostering long-term international collaborations. Newton Fellows will receive an allowance of £24,000 to cover subsistence and up to £8,000 to cover research expenses in each year of the Fellowship. A one-off relocation allowance of up to £2,000 is also available. In addition, Newton Fellows may be eligible for follow-up funding of up to £6,000 per annum for up to 10 years following completion of the Fellowship to support activities which will help build long-term links with the UK. The scheme is open to post-doctoral (and equivalent) early-career researchers working outside the UK who do not hold UK citizenship.
Applications are to be made via the Royal Society’s online application system which is available at register through the online booking system by Friday 22 November.
The closing date for applications is Monday 10 March 2014. Further details are available from the Newton International Fellowships website:

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“The Syndrome Syndrome”: Diseases and Disorders in Contemporary Fiction

On October 31 Dr James Peacock (Keele) will deliver a paper at 4.30pm in Seminar Room B @ the English Faculty. His title is _“The Syndrome
Syndrome”: Diseases and Disorders in Contemporary Fiction_. This paper is part of the American Literature Research Seminar which Lloyd Pratt and Michèle Mendelssohn co-convene.

After the paper, there will be drinks in the Faculty and dinner at a new(ish) Indian restaurant called 4500 Miles from Delhi:
All are welcome to join. No need to book ahead.

“The Syndrome Syndrome”: Diseases and Disorders in Contemporary Fiction 

Week 3, Thursday 31 October 430-6 PM in Seminar Room B @ the English Faculty.
(Please note the change of venue from our usual location at the Rothermere American Institute)

This paper begins with the simple observation that contemporary culture, including literature, is peculiarly preoccupied with neurological and psychological conditions. The emergence of what one might call the “syndrome syndrome” in contemporary British and American fiction is seen as symptomatic of wider concerns about the relations between literature and science, mind and body (or brain), individual and social, and the human and “post”-human. Since the syndrome by definition posits some kind of biological causality, it seems to offer an alternative to the distinctively postmodern preoccupation with cultural determination. The current literary preoccupation with neurological and psychological conditions presents us with a new and distinctive form of trauma literature, one concerned less with psychoanalysis than with the physical and evolutionary status of human beings. Although there is a sense that writers’ interest in such conditions is consistent with postmodern thought in problematizing the notion of a unified subject, the syndrome syndrome may also return us to ideas of origin, of a genetic moment. As well as embodying the past in the present, then, the sufferer might also represent a bridging point between the individual and the social, fostering the sense that private symptoms have public ramifications – or that social contradictions have individual consequences. In some sense, the “syndrome syndrome” enables us to see the emergence of a “post-postmodern” concern with authenticity, history and politics. At the same time, however, the fascination with syndromes may well be itself symptomatic of a culture in which social and historical contradictions are displaced into individual bodily or psychic experience. The paper touches on these issues, and finishes with a brief case study of Jonathan Lethem’s 1999 novel Motherless Brooklyn, narrated by a reluctant detective with Tourette’s Syndrome.

James Peacock is Senior Lecturer in English and American Literatures at Keele University. His publications include monographs on Paul Auster and Jonathan Lethem, as well as articles on contemporary American fiction, Quakerism in American literature, and The Clash’s collaboration with Allen Ginsberg. He is currently completing an AHRC-funded research project called Brooklyn Fictions: the Contemporary Urban Community in a Global Age. “The Syndrome Syndrome”: Diseases and Disorders in Contemporary Fiction.