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digest 2003-12-13 #001.txt

litsci-l-digest      Saturday, December 13 2003      Volume 01 : Number

In this issue:

     RE: Sci Fi intruding into American Politics
     phylogenic memory / book and conference CALL-FOR-PAPERS
     SLS newsletter Decodings, fall-winter 2003, postedl & for


Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 12:08:46 -0700
From: Trace Reddell 
Subject: RE: Sci Fi intruding into American Politics

Hi all:
No offense, Jack, but can we PLEASE have less of these posts that are
tangentially related to the purpose of this list? I think we just
received an 
email from the list moderator yesterday, and this clearly seems like a 
personal response to Karl Simanonok rather than something relevant to
list. To date and since SLS2003 in Austin, I've received more than 20
for "Destiny Matrix" embedded in vaguely relevant emails.
Please curtail!
- -=Trace

>===== Original Message From Jack Sarfatti  =====
>On Wednesday, December 10, 2003, at 02:40 AM, Arezzo Chimera wrote:
>> Hi Jack,
>> Have you seen this yet?  It's an amazing contribution to the American
>> mythos if nothing else.
>Thanks :-) Terminator is Governor of California. The boundary between
>science fiction and science is getting more and more uncertain. Look at
>NOVA's "The Elegant Universe" with Brian Greene talking to ET in brane
>world next door exactly like the cartoons in my book "Destiny Matrix" a
>year earlier - that book BTW is not sci fi it is real history.
>> Karl Simanonok
>> the above email address is just because I'm on a different machine
>> that's not setup with my normal email account, and it's tricky as
>> to get right :)
>Please see the following URL for the LITSCI-L archive, Web resource
>links and unsubscribing info:

- -
Please see the following URL for the LITSCI-L archive, Web resource
links and unsubscribing info: 


Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 23:01:28 +0100
From: Martin Potschka 
Subject: phylogenic memory / book and conference CALL-FOR-PAPERS

This is a multi-part message in MIME format...

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workshop:   Types of phylogenic memory: the intersecting theories of
memetics, morphic fields, semiotics, collective agency, and theatrum

There are at least 3 kinds of phylogenic memory: (1) genes (DNA); (2)
mind-stuff that is somehow passed on (propagated) as well as acquired by
imitation (and which resides in organic carriers); and (3) memorabilia
(human cultural artifacts and tools). It is the purpose of this workshop
to describe these organic, endogenous and social modes of inheritance,
relate this bio-psycho-social memory to earlier dual systems of genetic
and cultural, and adjoin multidisciplinary expertise to integrate and
restructure existing points of view. The principal discourses that will
be reviewed are (1) memetic theory which epitomizes the cultural turn;
(2) Sheldrake and his morphic fields (a Goethean lineage); (3) Semiotics
as an alternative transdisciplinary method (linguistic turn); (4)
theatrum mundi, viz. world-as-stage, with two dimensions: (4a) a
literary criticism dealing with works of fine arts on this subject, and
(4b) referring to the work of Halbwachs, Assmann, Burke and Nora on cu!
 ltural production, historiography and the deep structure of history
itself; and (5) collective agency as one of the central themes behind
all other perspectives, one that concerned authors from all ideological
angles, from Marx and Durkheim to Sri Aurobindo and Teilhard de Chardin
(more narrowly it calls on Luk¬?cs and Gramsci and the inevitable
coexistence of differences). Foundational issues of deep psychology,
physics (quantum theory vs. psi-fields), and the biomedical sciences
will provide support. Communication among contributors will benefit from
a history-of-ideas approach and comparative paradigm analysis. The
workshop agenda will provide a comprehensive perspective about a
putative second phylogenic system with methods contributed from all
disciplines and should be highly able to address some timely concerns of
science and society alike: Are the Laws of nature mere habits? How does
the science of the genome relate to certain aspects of brain research
and to our unde!
 rstanding of cultural deep structures as studied by the humanities? Do
 we need paradigm shifts in developmental biology and evolution theory?
What moral implications follow for stem cell research and abortion
policy? Is the public instrumentation of genetic screening flawed? Do we
need collective human rights to protect what cannot be reduced to
individual interest? 
If you consider to contribute, please consult the detailed instructions
at, which gives
an introductory review of the various theories and presents more
specific questions.
There will be two meetings on the outlined subject and you may attend
both or any single one of them. The first venue is the ISSEI 2004
conference in Pamplona, Spain, followed up by a symposium in the Spring
of 2005 in Vienna, Austria (jointly organized by Jeff Bernard, Karin
Liebhart and Martin Potschka). Please submit a brief abstract to the
workshop chair (Dr. Martin Potschka, now,
but no later than January 2004. Your contribution will be reviewed and
you will be notified of acceptance. It is planned to produce a book from
the best contributions of both meetings.
- -----------------------------
?¨The Narrative of Modernity:
 Co-Existence of Differences?Æ
9th Conference of the International Society for the Study of European
Ideas (ISSEI)
in cooperation with the University of Navarro, 
Pamplona, Spain; 2. - 7. August 2004

Prof. Dr. Ezra Talmor
Conference Chair
Kibbutz Nachshonim
D.N. Merkaz, ISRAEL 73190
Tel: +972-3-938. 6445 / Fax: +972-3-938.6588
Dr. Martin Potschka
Workshop Chair
Porzellangasse 19-2-9
Vienna, Austria A-1090
Tel. + Fax.: +43-1-317.5713

Please see the following URL for the LITSCI-L archive, Web resource
links and unsubscribing info: 


Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2003 11:46:03 +0000
From: "Carol Colatrella" 
Subject: SLS newsletter Decodings, fall-winter 2003, postedl & for

I'm sending within this message copy of the latest Decodings, postedl on

12-12-03 (and to be included in the SLS website soon).  PLEASE note this

issue includes CFPs for 2004 SLS and other conferences as well as debate
changing the society's name.

NOTE: The NEXT issue will contain a ballot on the motion to change the
only 2003 & 2004 members will be sent the next issue, and, therefore be
to vote on the question. SO please renew.  Information about doing so is
the end of this issue.  Your print copy on the way has a label with your

name and your last date of paid membership

Happy Holidays!

Fall-Winter 2003					v.12, n.3
	Call for Papers for SLS2004, Durham
	Call for Papers for European SLS 2004, Paris
	Notes on Executive Board and Business Meetings,  2003
	2003 Essay winners & travel subsidy awardees
	Comments from SLS2003 Wrap-up meeting
	Arguments Considering Proposed Name Change of Society
	Calls for papers

Call for Papers: SLS2004, Durham, North Carolina

The 18th annual conference of the Society for Literature and Science
will be held at the Durham Marriott at the Civic Center, Durham, North
Carolina, October 14-17, 2004, with the cooperation of Duke University.
Karla Hollway, William R. Kenan Professor of English, Dean of
Humanities and Social Sciences, Duke University, will deliver the
Conference Co-organizers: Wayne Miller, Duke University (site
arrangements) and Eve Keller, Fordham University (program).

Please check upcoming issues of Decodings and subscribe to litsci-l
(see below) for further details.


Please submit abstract/proposal via e-mail to both Eve Keller
( and Wayne Miller (

SLS2004, Durham (continued)

Individuals may submit abstracts (150 words) for individual papers as
well as proposals for panels, usually composed of 3-4 speakers plus
discussion in a 1-1/2 hour session. We encourage innovative proposals
for papers, panels, round-table discussions, and any non-traditional
formats. Sessions involving speakers and/or respondents that transcend
disciplinary boundaries are particularly welcome.

The Society for Literature and Science fosters the multi-disciplinary
study of the relations among literature and language, the arts, science,
medicine, and technology.


Call for Papers: European SLS2004, Paris

Submissions are invited for contributions to the 3rd SLS European
Conference, Paris, Wed. June 23rd - Sat. 26th, 2004 on the theme
"Conversation : Enacting New Synergies in Arts and Sciences".

The work of the conference will be organized into a number of streams
including : Biotechnology - Between 2 cultures (medicine and literature;
chemistry and literature, etc.) -Complexity in art and science -
readings (Duchamp, OULIPO, Wittgenstein, Gilles Ch?Äôtelet) -
ancestors (Poincar?à, Whitehead, I. A. Richards, Bachelard) - Thought
experiments - Performative science - Rhetoric of science -
Standardization - Translating between disciplines - Visualization
technologies - Understanding social/technical life.
The list is open to further suggestions.

Abstracts and papers may be in either English or French.

Abstracts of 200 words should be sent by e-mail to 
by January 31, 2004 Please include your abstract within your
message.  Proposals for workshops are also welcome.

SLS Paris is sponsored by the University of Paris 8. Co-organizers are
Yves ABRIOUX (Paris 3), No?élle BATT (Paris 8),  and Mathieu DUPLAY
(Lille 3).
Notes from Executive Board and Business Meetings at SLS2003
1. Jay Labinger introduced new member-at-large Elizabeth Wilson; she
will serve a two-year term, succeeding Bernice Hausman and Arkady
Plotnitsky, who held the post jointly.
2.SLS 2003 conference organizers Linda Henderson and Bruce
Clarke were thanked for their hard work in making site arrangements
and coordinating the program.  250 members participated in the Austin
3. Kate Hayles stepped down as co-editor of the SLS/University of
Michigan book series. On behalf of SLS, Jay Labinger thanked Kate
for envisioning, establishing, and coordinating the series, currently
consisting of 17 titles. [Titles are listed under the entry Literature
Science at] Susan Squier will
serve as interim co-editor of the SLS book series; she will work with
co-editor Stephanie Smith.  An executive board subcommittee will
consider future arrangements for the SLS series.
4. The SLS journal Configurations is behind schedule, but editor Jim
Bono noted that 2002 issues are in process.  One is a double issue.  An
executive board subcommittee will work with the journal editors and
advice about future appointments.
5. Executive Board members noted that SLS websites are not as
up-to-date or easy-to-find as they ought to be. Jay Labinger, Carol
Colatrella, and Sue Hagedorn will consult with Johns Hopkins University
to improve that site ( and to expand the 
site, where the most recent Configurations bibliography appears.

6. Bernice Hausman ( and Arkady Plotnitsky
( will serve on the 2004 Nominating Committee
for member-at-large and second vice-president, incoming 2004.  Please
send them nominations/self-nominations.

2003 Essay Prizes
The winner of the 2003 Bruns Prize, presented to the best essay by a
graduate student member of SLS, is Colin Milburn (Harvard University)
for his essay "Nanotechnology in the Age of Posthuman Engineering:
Science Fiction and Science," which will appear in Configurations.  In
commendation, Judge Istvan Csicsiery-Ronay considered the essay ?¨a
brilliant interrogation of the cultural discourse of nanotechnology.
Admirably clear in its use of critical language, sophisticated in
and useful to researchers in many different fields, the essay
the use of deconstructive strategies for  understanding the role of
narrative imagination in creating cultural legitimacy for putatively
science. . . . In a bravura conclusion, Milburn proposes that the
discourse of  nanotechnology has succeeded in making the posthuman
condition imaginable through its involuntary, but necessary, discursive
fusion of science and fiction.?Æ

The 2003 Schachterle Prize for the best published essay written by an
untenured scholar who is an SLS member was awarded to Maura Brady,
Lemoyne College.  Judges Blake Leland and Peter Logan praised
Brady??s essay ?¨Galileo in Action:The Telescope in Paradise Lost,?Æ
forthcoming in Milton Studies, noting that she ?¨offers a compelling
demonstration of the role played by social history in defining the
meaning of technological developments, and its use of that social
to open up both Galileo??s and Milton??s texts is original and
important. . . 
[the essay] exemplifies the successful fusion of social history and the
history of technology, treating them as component parts of a single,
larger discourse.?Æ

2003 Travel Awards were presented to Simone Perks, Nan Curtis, Lori
Emerson, Paul Fyfe, Kristen Gallagher, Michaela Giesenkirchen, Leslie
Graff, Gordon Hadfield, Benjamin Joplin, Lewis Klatt, Sharon Lattig,
Elizabeth Mazzolini, Ann Millett, Antje Pfannkuchen, Ben Robertson,
Martin Rogers, and Sasha Steenson.

Some comments from Wrap-up meeting at SLS2003, Austin

1. Conference participants praised Linda Henderson and Bruce Clarke
for their the excellence of the site arrangments and the program,
particularly commending the number of panels on art and art history.

2. Proposed improvement for sessions: having microphones available.
Linda noted the high cost of audio-visual equipment and their Austin
efforts to borrow (instead of rent) needed items.  Registration fees
need to increase to offset these costs.

3. Having preorganized panels for the conference is an aid to the
program chair.

4. Schedule: Participants like having sessions on Thursday night better
than attending a plenary.  They also preferred having 30-minute breaks
between some sessions.
5. Putting papers/abstracts up on the conference website in advance of
the meeting facilitates discussion.

6. Attendees considered the possibility of changing the name of the
society to the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Changing the Society??s Name: Procedure

Any proposal to change the SLS bylaws requires approval by 2/3 of
respondents to a mail ballot. The next issue of Decodings, to be
published in mid-March 2004, will likely contain a specific motion and a
ballot on this proposal. This issue will be sent to all 2003 and 2004
members of the society; you can check the address label on this copy of
the newsletter to see the last year you paid dues

The Executive Board determined that all members should have the
opportunity to take part in the discussion of the proposal to change the
organization??s name, a conversation that began at the conference and is
extended by the contributed statements appearing below this notice.
Further discussion  will continue on the LITSCI-L listserv.  Directions
about subscribing to the list appear on the inside back cover of this
issue of the newsletter.

Please make sure that you have renewed your membership dues
and that you are subscribed to LITSCI-L to take part in the debate
and to vote on the question of the name change.

Questions about membership can be directed to Carol Colatrella or to
the Johns Hopkins University Press Journals Division staff.  Their
contact information is located on the inside back cover of this issue.

Arguments in favor of changing the SLS to the SLSA,
Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts
By Bruce Clarke with input from Linda Henderson and Hugh Crawford

?ĶThe name SLS no longer captures the actual composition of our
membership or our conferences. A name-change to SLSA confirms the
real growth of the society from its original literary base to a wider
arts-and-humanities population.

?ĶA name-change to SLSA ratifies the active connection to the arts
has been a feature of the organization for a number of years. The inside
front cover of Configurations reads: ?¨The Society for Literature and
Science fosters the multi-disciplinary study of the relations among
literature and language, the arts, science, medicine, and technology.?Æ
addition, since 1997 the annual bibliography in Configurations has been
titled ?¨Relations of Science to Literature and the Arts.?Æ

?ĶSLSA works nicely to position Science at the center between
and the Arts. Adding the A to SLS both preserves the original acronym
and makes clear that the organization recognizes visual imagery as a
central type of the ?¨configurations?Æ it studies.

?ĶOne third of the participants in SLS 2003 were in the arts. While
have come year after year, many were new. Without some gesture
towards the arts, it is not certain that the SLS can count on continued
growth in this area. A name-change to SLSA will be an opportunity to
actively secure the ongoing participation of the many new arts attendees
at this year's meeting.

?ĶThe half-page ad in Leonardo: Journal of the International Society
the Arts, Science and Technology (published by MIT Press) that brought
a number of European and American artists and scholars to the
conference, also had to include additional information about why artists
and art historians might be interested in a group that seemed to focus
only on Literature and Science. A name-change to SLSA will eliminate
this problem, and also make it less problematic for artists and art
historians to secure institutional funding to attend our meetings.

?ĶThe SLS is not just a cultural science studies organization using
multiple approaches to study science, medicine, and technology. Many
members focus on a variety of creative fields (literature, art, new
etc.) in the context of the history of science, technology, etc. The
descriptive extension to SLSA maintains and clarifies this two-way

?ĶThere is currently no professional organization for digital media
arts and
scholarship.  With the name-change to SLSA we become the home
organization for media arts and ratify our connection with this
increasingly active creative and academic area.

?ĶThis name change will create opportunities for new publicity to
reintroduce the society to the wider scholarly community both national
and internationally.

Arguments opposing changing the name of the Society for
Literature and Science
By Arkady Plotnitsky and Elizabeth Wilson, with input from Jim Bono
and Richard Nash

Recent discussions concerning the name of the Society have produced
lively exchanges and reasonable arguments for a name change, in
particular from SLS to SLSA (Society for Literature, Science, and Art),
although other possibilities were entertained as well. However, there
potential problems with alternative names; specifically, the risk of
the identity and history that the name SLS carries with it. The present
statement summarizes reservations concerning changing the Society's
name, and proposes that we keep the name SLS.
There is, we all agree, a need to target specific groups in our
membership (such as the digital art community, art practitioners, art
theorists etc), to encourage their attendance at meetings and their
ongoing input into the organization's structure. The 2003 meeting was
particularly successful in this regard. We all understand that the
behind the name change proposal is to build on and extend this
success. The proposed name change, however, does not merely add a
category to a list-it departs from an institutional identity that has
built over time, and in doing so something valuable may be lost.
We can all agree that a major strength of this organization has been its
intellectual flexibility, adapting to changing currents of disciplinary
practices and objects of study. Our active commitment to
interdisciplinary investigation has established our reputation as a home
for a wide variety of research interests and methodologies. We are
distinctive for being open to science studies research that draws on
rhetoric, literary studies, philosophy, cultural studies, theories of
representation, graphic and visual technologies, mathematics, history,
and ethnographies. No other science studies organization can boast
such a rich membership base, such hospitality to a diversity of
methodologies, and such openness to the potential of science studies in
the years ahead.
As a name, "SLS" is associated with all these things. Neither
nor "science" is, has been, or should be construed narrowly in the name
of this organization. Rather, those words are balancing gestures toward
a comprehensive sweep that includes a great deal more than any
practical list of nuanced particularities can hope to enumerate. Our
name is more than the sum of its constituent parts; we have fashioned
an institutional identity marked by strategies of openness and
and the familiar name for that identity is "SLS."
Accordingly, we recommend that the membership vote to keep the name
the same--that is, to retain the identity of the organization as defined
its intellectual and academic diversity, not by the letters in its
In no way should this be construed as opposition to the inclusion of any
of the diverse constituencies that help this organization to flourish.
Retaining the name SLS is less about retaining a narrow set of initials
than it is about retaining the identity that has been created over the
twenty years. Changing the name is not just a matter of "buying a
vowel"; we would also lose some of the name identification that has
been built up (sometimes at cost) during that history.

CALL FOR PAPERS?? The Maine Women Writers Collection at the
University of New England solicits proposals for individual papers or
thematic sessions on "Women, Health, and Representation" for an
interdisciplinary conference to be held June 17-19, 2004, in Portland,
Maine. Keynote speaker: Lori Arviso Alvord, M.D.
The program committee seeks submissions that explore the theme of
women and health through a broad range of critical approaches to
representation. Though the Maine Women Writers Collection hosts the
conference, the committee invites theme-related proposals focusing on
all regions, cultures and time periods.
Send 1-page abstract and 1-page CV to: Dr. Jennifer S. Tuttle,
University of New England, Department of English, 11 Hills Beach Rd.,
For more detailed information on the conference theme and guidelines
for submission, see or contact


TOPIC:	?¨Medicine and Media: The Delicate Balance?Æ
PLACE: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
DATES:  March 12 ?± 14, 2004

CO-CHAIRS are Therese Jones, Center for Medical Humanities and
Ethics, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
( and Lester D. Friedman, Medical Humanities
and Bioethics Program, Northwestern University

This conference will interrogate and reflect upon the complex and
complicated relationship between the media and medical researchers,
practitioners, ethicists and educators.  Whether we are using an episode
of E.R. in our courses or answering questions about cloning for the
television station, medical humanists and ethicists are constantly
engaged in a dynamic process of affecting and being affected by the
media, a process that demands and deserves critical analysis.  We look
forward to proposals addressing a range of relevant issues from a
variety of disciplinary perspectives.

GUIDELINES FOR PROPOSALS:  Mail or e-mail a 300 ?± 400 word
abstract of the proposed paper, a short bibliography (10 item maximum)
related to the subject, and a brief biographical note which includes
phone number, e-mail address and mailing address to Lester D.
Friedman PhD, Medical Ethics & Humanities Program, Northwestern U,
750 Lake Shore Drive (ABA 627), Chicago IL 60611 or  cc



An Evensong (corrected text of poem appearing in summer issue)

I remember
what I read
in some
medical journals.

They said
there are symptoms
that include
memory loss,

and loss
of orientation
and impairment
of judgement,

and loss
of control
over the functions
of the body.

I do remember
what I read
in some
medical journals.

Will you turn
the TV on?
Did I miss
the evening news?

No, honey,
you did not miss.
You did not miss
the evening news.

Vish Ayengar, Wappingers Falls, NY
SLS MEMBERSHIP--Join or renew online at 

Or click ?¨Online membership?Æ at SLS website

Rates for 2004: $40 for individuals ($24 for students, $28 for annual
income under $20,000. Members/ subscribers should add $5.40 for
Canadian or Mexican addresses, $6.75 for addresses outside North
America, $5 for joint membership (2 votes, 1 set of mailings).

Dues payments, address changes, and subscription inquiries should be
sent to: Johns Hopkins University Press, Journals Division, P.O. Box
19966, Baltimore, MD 21211-0966. For faster service, call toll-free
1-800-548-1784 (U.S. and Canada only, all others call 410-516-6987)
Mon.-Fri., 8:00-5:00, or FAX (410) 516-6968.