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2000 Spring

Media: Old and New

SLS 2000

The 14th Annual Convention of the SLS will be held in  Atlanta,
Georgia, October 5-8, 2000, at the Sheraton Colony Square Hotel.
For more information, including on-line hotel reservations, see the
conference website: 

Hotel phone:
(404) 892-6000 or 1-800-325-3535.
Please mention SLS 2000 for special conference rate.

Deadline for submissions extended: April 10, 2000
Send panel (or paper) proposals to Hugh Crawford:

Reminder: All participants in SLS 2000 must be SLS members. 
Please don't forget to renew your SLS membership for 2000.

Financial Report

Preliminary Financial Report for 1998-99

Prepared by Carol Colatrella, Executive Director, October 1, 1999

Balance, on hand 9/30/98:      
      Wachovia Bank, Atlanta    
      Fleet Bank, Worcester    
      balance     14,477.38
      Dues (SLS share from Hopkins UP)
      Configurations dividend    
      Royalties from U Michigan P    
      Donations-Schachterle Prize    
      Donations-Bruns Prize    
      Net revenue from U Florida/SLS98
      Interest on Fleet account    
      TOTAL INCOME     16,379.43
      U Florida/SLS98      
      - 3 travel awards     600
      - 2 essay prizes     500
      - SLS subsidy to Georgia Tech
      - return of dividend to Georgia Tech
      - Iowa State Bibliographical assistant
      Configurations expenses after Hopkins UP costs
      - Georgia Tech and GSU assistants
      - printing     2,257.00
      - postage     1,650.00
      Decodings subtotal    
      Massachusetts Incorporation Fees (89-99)
      CPA/Tax Preparation (97-98 return)
      Placque for service     96.70
      TOTAL EXPENSES     13,290.51
Balance, on hand 9/30/99:      
      Wachovia Bank, Atlanta    
      Fleet Bank, Worcester    
      balance     $17,846.05

2000 Essay Prizes and Travel Awards

Travel Award
To help subsidize graduate students and other underfunded
individuals, awards will be granted to a select number of society
members presenting papers at the annual conference.  The SLS travel
awards will be funded out of regular faculty conference registrations. 
If you are interested in applying for an award, please submit your
name, institution, a brief description of any institutional funding
available to support your SLS participation, and your presentation/
paper title to Carol Colatrella at 
September 1.

The Bruns Prize
The Bruns Graduate Essay Prize, in honor of Edward F. Bruns, is
awarded  annually to the best essay written by a graduate student
member of the Society for Literature and Science.  Graduate students
wishing to have their essays considered for the $250 prize should
submit them by September 1 to N. Katherine Hayles, Department of
English, University  of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1530.

The Schachterle Prize
Lance Schachterle, SLS founding president, has established an
annual prize of $250 in honor of his parents to recognize the best new
essay on literature and science written in English by a nontenured
scholar.  Eligible authors wishing to submit essays (published or
accepted for publication) should send them prior to September 1 to the
SLS Executive Director, Carol Colatrella, LCC, Georgia Institute of
Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0165.

Note: all of the awards above are given at the Business Meeting
of the Annual Convention in the autumn.  Each person may submit one
entry only to one of the two essay prize competitions.

Nominations for Candidates for Member-at-large
Nominations, or self-nominations, for candidates for
member-at-large to serve on the SLS Executive Board from fall 2000 to
fall 2002 should be emailed to all members of the Nominating Committee
by May 15, 2000. The committee members (and their email addresses) this
year are:

James Bono:  hischaos@acsu.buffalo.edu
Pamela Gossin: pgossin@utdallas.edu
Katherine Hayles: hayles@humnet.ucla.edu
Stephen Weininger: stevejw@wpi.edu

Each candidate approved by the nominating committee will be expected to
submit an election statement of 200 words or less to be published in
the summer issue of Decodings.  Election statements will be due by June
15, 2000 and should be emailed to Carol Colatrella at:

Call for Papers for Special Issue of Configurations

Media, Materiality, Memory: Aspects of Intermediality.

Geoffrey-Winthrop Young and Michael Wutz seek essays for a special issue
the journal of the Society
for Literature and Science. Scheduled for publication in 2002, the
intends to move beyond individual media-focused literary case studies
theorize on recent (and still emergent) developments in the field of
studies.  Issues include, but are not limited to: new theories of
intra-, and hypermediality; new theories of media ecology; the problems
contingencies of media evolution; the infrastructure of information
and the materialities of communication; media and cultural memory; 
and the formation of social coherence; theoretical cross-fertilizations
between systems theory, discourse analysis, post and/or
We are also interested in contributions on the work of media theorists,
such as Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Paul Virilio, Friedrich
Vilém Flusser, Walter Mignolo, N. Katherine Hayles, Michael
Giesecke, Jan
Assmann, and Regis Debray, among others, as well as in lesser known
media-based developments, particularly in the US, Latin America, and in
Europe.  One-page proposals by 1 January 2000; essay drafts by January
2001.  Please include a brief vita. 

Send to:

	Department of Germanic Studies
	University of British Columbia
	Vancouver, B. C., V6T 1Z1, Canada
	Department of English
	1201 University Circle
	Weber State University
	Ogden UT 84408-1201


The Bud That Stays:   Poetry, Prose and Drawings by Laurence
Ed. C. Yates Hafner.  Comp. and intro. Claire Levine.  Bloomfield
Hills, MI:  Privately published, 1998.  210 pp. plus CD.  Bibliography,
illus., list of figures, contents of CD. ISBN 1-56439-070-5.  $20. 

Reviewed by Judith Yaross Lee

This posthumous collection honors the literary gifts of a biologist and
poet whose work appeared in Decodings (Fall 1994), just after his
death.  Laurence Levine declared that "a poet and a scientist in
same package" was "a paradox" (CD 1.08), but these poems
affirm his
claim that he could choose to shape his observations about the natural
world into hypotheses or poems.  Not surprisingly, some of the most
moving of the volume's seventy-two poems treat nature as both fact and
metaphor.  "Encounter" describes the behavior of a lizard
whose eyes
"carried me back to the wild dark places," leaving the poet to
whether I am still there/ implanted behind those yellow eyes/ 
scratching for water in the secret places/ that lizards know" (9).

"October Parting," which supplies the book's title phrase,
reverses the
conventional association of falling leaves with death, asserting
instead that they "leave behind a promise of renewal/ in the bud
stays" (124).  But the poems offer humor as well as images. 
Heap," for example, reports the scientist's response to
"orders . . .
from central command" to move the compost pile away from the
table's sight-lines.  He concedes the mess of the heap, but nonetheless
celebrates  the decay.  As "Bacteria feast with glutinous blights/
silvered sticks and primal ooze," he finds solace in nature's
"All dine on what is here,/ and when they are done,/ they leave
dark velvet stuff/ we must all become/ to begin again" (8). Lyrics
inspired by family, Jewish history, and travel likewise transcend their
surface subjects. When Levine mourns the death of his writing teacher
in "The Loon's Lament" ("But the winds came/ and stole
words"[103]), I feel his loss more intensely knowing that these
winds soon visited him; this last poem laments his own death, too.  The
volume includes the poet's annotations on his poems, some prose pieces
on biological topics, and a CD of Levine reading twenty-one of his
works, usually in iterations different from the print versions here, in
a vigorous, sonorous baritone.  These poems, most of them unpublished
in Levine's liftime, advance literature and science in ours.

Note: Laurence Levine's "The Third Wire II" appeared in vol. 9
no. 1
(Fall 1999) of Decodings. 

Reminder: SLS Europe 

SLS in  Brussels is fast approaching. For information,  please
Professor Gustaaf C. Cornelis by e-mail at


The NEW SLS logo (see front cover) was designed by Luis O. Arata
and Julio S. Arata. 


Where is the centre of the Universe?
Rebecca Elson

Imagine you're just a tiny thing,

And your whole world is a piece of string

Which is tied in a loop, though you might not know,

And so, around and around you go.

But even if you went round all the bends,

You'd never find a place where your world ends.

And you'd never find a place where a sign says 'enter'.

And with no start and no end, there can't be a centre.

Imagine you live on the surface of a ball:

No outside, no inside, just the surface, that's all.

Now, a center is a place like a special treat,

Like the only place where all things meet.

But on your surface, no matter where you go,

It all looks identical, and so,

You can't say 'Here.  This place is best.'

There's nowhere different from the rest.

A string has one dimension, surfaces have two.

We live in three dimensions, the principle's the same:

No end or edges, and centre's just a name.

Now, you can always draw an edge and say you've found a middle,

But that's not the Universe.  It's just a kind of fiddle.

The Universe is really like the string, or something round.

The centre of the Universe is nowhere to be found. 

Poems by G. Z. Wurst
from "Verbal Conservatory"

"Arbutus" is a big name,

a burly name, a tough name,

maybe even a summer-fall name,

and certainly not a fragrant name.

The flower that hides behind it, 

hides from easy view, 

under the leaf litter, 

among the mosses,

beneath the bare spring branches 

of trees that hold hands against the early-morning chill.

You must drop down on your knees to get close

and follow your nose 

past the musty moldy leaves 

you brush away to find it.

A tiny trumpet emerges to meet 

your eye with pinkish white translucence,

your nose with the first scent of spring.

Not subtle, the scent spreads exponentially 

expanding to fill first nostrils, 

then quickly brain and heart, 

crowding out all thoughts and feelings 

but the drunken ever-newness of hope. 

Which Comes First?

"Which comes first,the chicken or the egg?"

people are wont to say.

My answer, of course, is the chicken.

Or is it the opposite way?

Without eggs, there would be no chickens

on which to conduct my research.

Nobel Prizes get more elusive;

I'm caught on a perilous perch.

Experiments on neurulation

are done more on egg than on chick,

for where are the beaks and the feathers

when out of the shells I must pick

these fragile developing layers 

of cells with no thoughts of their own?

They really cannot be called chickens

until they are more fully grown.

This question has left my mind spinning,

my intellect out on its ear.

I think I need help to recover;

perhaps I'll go out for a beer!

Membership Directory

The SLS Membership Directory is now on-line and available to current
you need to use your membership number to enter that database, which is
of the SLS website:

	 member database
	SLS website home page

Your membership number appears above your name on the mailing labels
SLS publications and on your renewal notice for Configurations/SLS
membership, recently mailed to the address where you receive the

If members would like to change their current listing due to an
address change or to add a missing field such as institution or email
address, they can do so at:


If you have not yet mailed in your renewal notice, you can add this
personal information to the form on the back of the notice and the
will input it into the database.  Thanks for your help in providing
membership service.