Author Archives: Alex Wright

Call for Papers: *Mediating Climate Change*

Mediating Climate Change
University of Leeds, 4th-6th July 2017

Confirmed speakers: Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin (Leeds); Professor Nigel Clark (Lancaster); Professor Alexandra Harris (Liverpool); Professor Mike Hulme (King’s College London); Dr Adeline Johns-Putra (Surrey); Professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood (Illinois)

Our experience of climate change is always mediated. Its effects are encountered through changing weather patterns, including the storms, floods, and droughts that afflict communities across the world. They are also encountered through different forms of representation: a novel imagining a desiccated future Earth; a television documentary about coral bleaching; a graph of rising global temperatures. Researchers increasingly understand climate change as a cultural and political issue, and are concerned with the ways in which it is mediated in different contexts, and to different audiences.

This major environmental humanities conference will cross disciplines and periods to analyse the ways in which human beings have tried to make sense of climate change. What difficulties are there in representing climate change? How has it been debated in the past? What new ways of exploring and mediating climate change are emerging as we face an uncertain future?

We welcome proposals of around 250 words for twenty-minute papers suitable for an interdisciplinary audience. Topics might include, but are not limited to:
– Representations of climate change in literature, film, the media, and the arts
– Climate change and cultural theory (e.g. posthumanism, new materialism)
– Historical constructions of climate change
– Climate change and the Anthropocene
– The mediation of climate science
– Scales of mediation/climate modelling
– Climate change as a culturally mediated and contingent concept
– The construction of climate change within academic discourse
– Climate change and ‘the natural’
– The psychology of climate change (e.g. disavowal, denial, scepticism, affirmation, optimism)
– Climate change in political discourse
– Climate change and the ethics of representation
– Mediation and climate change activism

We also welcome proposals for complete panels and for presentations/panels using non-standard formats. The deadline for proposals is 15 January 2017. Please use the conference email address for all correspondence and proposals: mediatingclimatechange@leeds.ac.uk

Conference organisers: David Higgins and Tess Somervell

Conference advisory team: Jeremy Davies, Dehlia Hannah, Graham Huggan, Sebastien Nobert, Lucy Rowland, Stefan Skrimshire, Kerri Woods

This conference is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through a Leadership Fellowship awarded to Dr Higgins. For further details, see the conference website.

Byron Society PhD Bursary

The Byron Society invites applications for a PhD bursary.

The bursary will be awarded to a person accepted for enrolment as a full-time PhD student at a UK university on the basis of proposed research on an aspect of the life, work and /or influence of the poet Lord Byron. The value of the bursary is £9,000 (£3,000 per year), payable from September 2016.

Applications should include a summary of the applicant’s academic record, an outline of his/her proposed research and the names of two referees who may be contacted.

The closing date for applications 1 March 2016 by 5pm.

Applications should be sent by email to the Director of the Byron Society.

See the Byron Society website for full terms and conditions.

Lent Term’s first Graduate Seminar

The Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies Research Group meets for the first time this term on Thursday 14th January, at 5pm. The speaker will be Professor Paul Hamilton, the title of whose paper will be ‘”The Experience of Everything”: Romantic Writing and Post-Kantian Philosophy’; the abstract follows below. Please note that this paper was originally advertised as being the last, not the first, in our series for Lent term.

“In English Romanticism, Coleridge and Crabb Robinson aside, there was little awareness of the way continental philosophy and literature shaped itself with ingenuity and versatility in response to Kant’s /Kritiken/. And at the present time, the phenomenon of post-Kantianism still awaits a comprehensive treatment of the discursive dissemination given such momentum by its treatment of the aesthetic. In this paper I make a Hegelian wager, though, that philosophically unselfconscious English writing was still, arguably, /reflective /of its epoch and configured itself accordingly. This premise allows me to hazard some Anglo-German comparisons directed by three main reactions to Kant which I will fill out in more detail. However, for me this is an opportunity to ask the question of whether or not that post-Kantian variety does indeed ingeniously transform itself into such very /different/ kinds of writing of the period (rather than, say, being arrested in Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy’s monolithic ‘literary absolute’). In this I believe my paper does chime with a discontent with inherited views of the aesthetic, which ‘turn art into an object for philosophy’. These range from Alain Badiou’s proposal of an ‘inaesthetic’ to the view associated with Simon Jarvis and others, deriving from Adorno, that poetry has its own philosophical song to sing and can think paratactically, independent of the constraints of philosophy’s propositional idiom. But post-Kantians had already argued that the experience of feeling unconditioned by conceptual or ethical coherence could be phenomenologically caught. Or else they staged expressive dilemmas as apparently different as Wordsworth’s Godwin crisis (/The Borderers/) and Kleist’s /Kant-Krise/. in which the persistently unassimilable status of Kant’s unconditional ground of /everything/ becomes what writing is about.”

Graduate Seminar

Please see below for the programme for the Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies Graduate Seminar in Lent term. All are welcome; further details (including location and times) are available on the ‘Graduate Seminar’ page.

14th January: *The Olfactory Imagination: Smell, Materialism & Metaphor in the 18th Century*
Dr Rowan Boyson (King’s College London)

28th January: *Charles Churchill in Byron’s Early Satires*
Dr Clare Bucknell (University of Oxford)

11th February: *Homer after Pope*
Dr Henry Power (Exeter University)

25th February: *The Experience of Everything: Romantic Writing & Post-Kantian Philosophy*
Professor Paul Hamilton (Queen Mary University of London)

Seminars in Cambridge

The Michaelmas schedules for many of Cambridge’s research seminars have now been published. The following is a (highly selective) list of seminars whose subjects more or less fall within our period. For further information about location and timings, please consult the relevant websites.

Seminars in the History of Material Texts:

26th November: *The Bartolomeo Gamba Project – or, the London-Paris-Padua book trade connection, 1600-1840*
Vittoria Feoloa (University of Padua/University of Oxford)

The Eighteenth Century Seminar (Faculty of History):

20th October: *Sublime Tourism, Enlightened Science and Counter-Revolution: Vesuvius and Pompeii in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries*
John Brewer (Caltech)

3rd November: *The French Revolution: A Redistributive Crisis*
Charles Walton (University of Warwick)

Early Modern British and Irish History (Faculty of History):

28th October: *The Oxford University Press Edition of The Works of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon*
Martin Dzelzainis (University of Leicester) and Paul Seaward (History of Parliament)

Cambridge Bibliographical Society:

25th May, 2016: *Loss and the English imagination: writing the dissolution of the monasteries in the early eighteenth century’
Dr Kathryn James (Munby Fellow, University of Cambridge)

*Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World* (CFP)

Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World (1500-1800)
St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 5th-7th July 2016

Proposals are invited for the fifth annual Scientiae conference on disciplines of knowing in the early modern world (roughly 1400-1800). The major premise of this conference series is that knowledge during this period was inherently interdisciplinary, involving complex mixtures of theories, practices and objects, which had yet to be separated into their modern ‘scientific’ configurations. Although centred on attempts to understand and control the natural world, Scientiae addresses natural philosophy, natural history, and the scientiae mixtae within a wide range of related fields, including but not restricted to Biblical exegesis, medicine, artisan practice and theory, logic, humanism, alchemy, magic, witchcraft, demonology, divinatory practices, astronomy, astrology, music, antiquarianism, experimentation and commerce. Attention is also given to mapping intellectual geographies through the tools of the digital humanities.

Scientiae Oxford 2016 welcomes proposals from researchers studying the early modern cultures and disciplines of knowing at any stage in their career. The proposals can be for individual papers, complete panels, roundtables or workshops, according to the following guidelines:

Individual paper: A 300-word abstract for papers of maximum 20 minutes.

Panel Proposal: Each panel will be 1 hour 30 minutes and must include three speakers. The panel organiser should send a proposal containing three 200-word abstracts for papers of 20 minutes each together with an overall account of the panel (max. 300 words).

Roundtable: Each roundtable will also last 1 hour 30 minutes, must include at the very least one chair and one or two respondents, and must engage the audience. The roundtable proposal should formulate a clear question and provide a rationale for it of c. 400-600 words.

Workshop (new at Scientiae 2016): A workshop is an opportunity for teaching and learning in some area of early modern intellectual and/or material culture. Examples might include period instruments, laboratory practices, pedagogic or art techniques, digital humanities and print culture. A proposal of 400-800 words should be provided by the organiser(s), together with details about the organisation, duration, and presenters. Workshop leaders will also need to work out logistical issues well in advance, with limited assistance from on-site conference convenors. Advance sign-up by participants will be required.

Please submit your proposal together with a brief bio (up to 300 words) by using the online form here. All submissions should be made by 15 November 2015.

For any questions, please contact the convenor, Jo Hedesan.

*Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837* (CFP)

The Women’s Studies Group: 1558-1837
Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, 2015-16

The Women’s Studies Group: 1558-1837 is a small, informal multi-disciplinary group formed to promote women’s studies in the early modern period and the long  eighteenth century. Since it was established in the early 1980s, the group has enabled those interested in women’s and gender studies to keep in touch with each other, to hear about members’ interests and relevant publications, and to organise regular meetings and an annual workshop where members can meet and discuss women’s studies topics. The group also offers advice and opportunities to engage in activities that increaseopportunities for publication, or enhance professional profiles in other ways.

The WSG invites submissions for papers to be given at group meetings. Papers can be any length up to 35 minutes, and can be formal or informal, or even work in progress. The papers are followed by very supportive and informal discussion by members present. Men and women are invited to become members of our group and to give papers.

The topics can be anything related to any aspect of women’s studies: not only women writers, but any activity of a woman or women in the period, or anything that affects or is affected by women in this time period, such as the law, religion, etc. Male writers writing about women or male historical figures who have a bearing on the condition of women in this period are also a potential topic.

The group will be meeting at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ. WSG membership is open to men and women, graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars. Please see the WSG website for more information.

All meetings are on Saturdays: in the 2015-2016 sessions, the dates are
as follows:

Saturday 26th September, 2015
Saturday 28th November, 2015
Saturday 30th January, 2016.

Sessions are expected to run from 2.00 – 5.00pm.

Please email Carolyn D. Williams.

*Heroes* (CFP)

Heroes
Royal Geographical Society, London, 3rd-4th October 2015

The figure of the hero is a matter of great cultural debate at the present time, in British contexts and beyond. Recent conflicts; natural disasters; ambitious expeditions; Olympic and Paralympic events – all have forged potential hero figures, renewing centuries-old discussions about just who, or what, a hero might be. This two-day conference will draw together academics from a wide variety of disciplines, alongside archivists, curators and librarians, plus colleagues from the commercial and charity sectors. It will foster conversations about hero figures past and present, considering their emergence or creation, their relationship with their fans or ‘worshippers’ in their own communities and/or further afield and, if relevant, the shifting fortunes of their reputations. We ask whether heroes emerge through deeds, character or morality, or whether they are created. We ponder the value of heroes to particular communities in the forging of their group identity. We trace the shaping and maintenance of heroic reputations in texts, art practice, oral culture and curatorship. Across the scope of the conference we seek to ask: who were, or are our heroes, and how/why could or should future heroes be selected or permitted to emerge?

The conference will include the launch of the exhibition ‘Heroes of Exploration,’ which draws attention to heroic records in the collections of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), with a particular focus on heroism in mountain and Polar environments.

The organisers invite proposals for papers or panels. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 20 July 2015.

Further information and details of how to submit an abstract are available here.

*Romanticism and the Experience of Experiment* (CRASSH Seminar)

The final seminar of the CRASSH series Rethinking Life will be taking place on Wednesday 10 June, 4pm – 6pm, in Room S1 of the Alison Richard Building.

Robert Mitchell (Professor of English, Duke University) will be speaking via video link on ‘Romanticism and the Experience of Experiment’.

Open to all. No registration required.