Decodings Summer 2012


Newsletter of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts                               

Summer 2012, Vol. 21, No.4


  SLSA 2012  The 26th Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)September 27-30, 2012 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA)The Hilton Hotel and the Frontier Airlines Conference Center CONFERENCE THEME: NONHUMANFrom its inception, SLSA has distinguished itself from other humanistic scholarly societies through its sustained interest in the nonhuman. Not only does SLSA concern itself with nonhuman actants like tools, bodies, networks, animals, climate, media, or biomes, but it is also engaged with such nonhumanistic academic disciplines as mathematics, computing, and the natural and physical sciences. SLSA 2012 takes up the “nonhuman turn” that has been emerging in the arts, humanities, and social sciences over the past few decades and welcomes proposals engaging such ongoing SLSA interests as: actor-network theory; affect theory; animal studies; assemblage theory; bioart; brain sciences; feminist materialisms; neuroscience; new media theory; new materialism; speculative realism; and systems theory. Such varied analytical and theoretical formations obviously diverge and disagree in many of their aims, objects, and methodologies. But they are all of a piece in taking up aspects of the nonhuman as critical to the future of literature, science, and the arts.  If you have not yet received a response to your submission, please contact Richard Grusin ( or Nigel Rothfels ( Critical registration deadlines:
* Until August 1, 2012: Faculty = US$190; Grad students = US$100
* After August 1, 2012: Faculty = US$210; Grad students = US$115

The conference website ( will be updated throughout the summer, and organizers will let participants know (via the SLSA listserv, LITSCI-L) as new information becomes available. If you are not yet on LITSCI-L, you can join via:

A preliminary schedule will be available soon, and a full draft of the program will be available in August at the conference website:

SLSA MEMBERSHIP: Participants in the 2012 conference must be 2012 members of the Society for Literature Science and the Arts. For more information about SLSA, please visit the organization website at PROGRAM CHAIRS: Richard Grusin and Nigel Rothfels (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Laura Otis (Emory University), and Suzanne Black (State University of New York at Oneonta). Inquiries can be sent to Richard ( or Nigel ( SLSA 2012 has received substantial support from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies (C21), Office of Undergraduate Research, Department of Art and Design; and Dean of the College of Letters and Science.


SLSA 2013 will be sponsored by the University of Notre Dame; Laura Dassow Walls will organize the meeting.


Travel Awards

SLSA provides a limited number of travel awards for underfunded individuals attending the annual conference. Members of SLSA who present at the annual conference may apply for travel subventions. An applicant should email name, title of SLSA presentation, an indication of how long one has been a member of SLSA, and any information about funding for the conference to the Executive Director at by August 1. Please provide estimated travel expenses and the amount of support (if any) anticipated from other sources. If you have received travel support from SLSA in the past, please include information about that support (when and how much). SLSA officers will review applications and approve funds for as many as our budget permits; preference will be given to students and those most in need. Each person awarded funds will be presented with a check for $200 at the conference business meeting.

The Bruns Essay 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, Science, and the Arts. Graduate students wishing to have their essays considered for the $500 prize should submit them by August 1 to N. Katherine Hayles, Department of English, Duke University, via electronic mail to Please send a copy of your formatted essay as a PDF or Word file, or send a pointer to a URL where the essay is posted.

The Schachterle Essay Prize
Lance Schachterle, founding president of the society, 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 August 1 to SLSA’s Executive Director, Carol Colatrella, LCC, Georgia Institute of Technology via electronic mail to Please send a copy of your formatted essay as a PDF or Word file, or send a pointer to a URL where the essay is posted.

Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize
SLSA holds an annual competition for the Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize awarded each year to the best academic book on literature, science, and the arts published by an SLSA member. The prize will be announced at the annual SLSA conference. Established in the fall of 2006 in memory of Michelle Kendrick of Washington State University-Vancouver, an energetic, well-loved scholar of literature and science and long-time member of SLSA, the Kendrick Prize is open to any book of original scholarship on literature, science, and the arts published between January 1 and December 31 of the prior year. The winner will receive $250.00.

To be considered for this year’s Kendrick Prize, members were asked to send submissions by June 1 to: Professor Robert Markley, Department of English, University of Illinois.

Donations for the Kendrick Prize (checks made out to SLSA, with Kendrick Prize in memo) can be sent to:
Carol Colatrella, SLSA Executive Director, LCC, Georgia Tech, 686 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0165

Note: all of the awards described above are presented during the Business Meeting of the annual fall conference. One may submit only one entry to one of the two essay prize competitions.

SLSA Lifetime Achievement Award

The SLSA Executive Committee will each spring appoint a committee to seek and review nominations for the SLSA Lifetime Achievement award. Members of this committee will include a former President of SLSA, who will serve as chair, one currently serving member at large, and one other SLSA member. The Lifetime Achievement Awards Committee will send out an announcement asking members to nominate candidates whose significant, interdisciplinary scholarship is exemplary of SLSA. The committee members will nominate candidates and should collaborate on reviewing nominations from the membership to select a recipient of the award or to decide not to make an award for that year. The Lifetime Achievement award will be presented at the business meeting at the annual conference. This year’s committee is chaired by Eve Keller (; members are Suzanne Black ( and Marcel O’Gorman ( Please email nominations, including a brief commendation, to the committee by July 10, 2012.




Society of Literature, Science and the Arts Europe

Exhibition Road Cultural Group

Supersonix Conference

Exhibition Road

London SW7

21-23 June 2012

The Supersonix conference will present new theoretical, scientific and artistic thinking, works and experiments that explore the complexity of sound, thinking about sound, and capturing sound.

A partnership between Exhibition Road Cultural Group and SLSA EU, the conference is intended for practitioners from the arts, curatorial studies, the sciences, humanities and social sciences who are interested in an interdisciplinary approach to the study of sound and sonification.

The conference will take place in the world-renowned research institutions and museums of Exhibition Road, London’s cultural heartland and a meeting point of arts and sciences.

The first day of the conference will establish the interdisciplinary approach to the subject of sound and introduce the five subject streams: Sound & Space; Sound & Body; Sound & Voice; Sound & Listening; Sound, Noise & History. Parallel sessions on Friday and Saturday allow for an in-depth engagement with the latest research.

The conference opens with experiments on hearing, amplified through the works of David McAlpine (Director of the Ear Institute at University College London) and artist Jakob Kirkegaard whose work Labyrinthitis invites reversed hearing and turns your ears into musical instruments. The day continues with Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter, authors of the seminal work Spaces Speak: Are you Listening?, artist Bernhard Leitner on his sound installations and neuroscientist Sophie Scott, demonstrating the unique capacities of the human voice with actor Duncan Wisbey and UK champion beatboxer Patrick Hirst.

The conference is underpinned by a range of artists’ performances and interdisciplinary panels on collaborations between the arts, sciences, technology and design. Special events include live sound performances by composers and artists Mira Calix, Kaffe Matthews and Jana Winderen.

Members are welcome to attend the SLSA EU Annual General Meeting, preceding the conference on Wednesday 20 June, 17:00-18:00 at Imperial College, in lecture theatre G16. Following the AGM, on Wednesday evening the opening lecture will be given by Sha Xin Wei, Research Director of Topology media lab at Concordia University, Montreal.

Other keynote speakers include: Sarah Angliss (engineer and scientist), Rebecca Horn (artist) and musician Hayden Chisholm, Louis Niebur (musicologist), Jonathan Sterne (media historian) and David Toop (artist, writer and curator).

We offer an early bird conference booking rate. Please visit the conference website for registration and to book your accommodation. We highly recommend early booking of accommodation and travel; London is host city of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and expected to be very busy from early summer.


For updates, follow us on twitter…@exhibitionroad

About Society for Literature, Science and the Arts – EU

The European Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSAeu) fosters inter- and trans-disciplinary exchange between the arts, sciences, medicine and technology. The Society welcomes practitioners from the arts, including curatorial studies, sciences, the humanities and social sciences. SLSAeu has grown out of the US SLSA, which has staged a biennial international conference since 2000 in major European cities.

Exhibition Road Cultural Group (ERCG)

The Exhibition Road Cultural Group is made up of 20 national and international cultural and educational organisations, along with two local councils. Together, the members comprise the most popular tourism destination in Britain, attracting more than 24m physical visits, as well as 520m hits on their websites, annually. ERCG champions the collective view of the area, devises large-scale collaborative arts and science projects and plays a lead role in restoring the area’s profile as the world’s most concentrated and diverse cultural quarter. Supersonix is ERCG’s headline project for London’s 2012 Olympic year, embracing artist residencies, an international conference and a free music festival.

SLSA BIBLIOGRAPHER NEEDED: Bibliographer Sue Hagedorn is looking for new bibliographer to replace her when she retires in two years. The SLSA Executive Committee is particularly interested in hearing from members who might be interested in this position, and especially interested in those who would like to lead the bibliography into greater integration with the journal. Contact Sue at for information and to express your interest in the position.




To join or to renew membership, please see, or call Johns Hopkins University Press Journals at 800 548 1784 (US & Canada only, all others call 410 516 6987). Mon-Fri 8-am-5pm FAX 410 516 6968. Email:





Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Executive Board (2011-2012)


President: Richard Nash, Indiana University

Executive Director: Carol Colatrella, Georgia Institute of Technology

First Vice-President: Laura Otis, Emory University

Second Vice-President: Robert Markley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Members-at-Large: Melissa Littlefield, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2010-2012); Suzanne Black, State University of New York at Oneonta (2011-2013).

Past Presidents: Alan Rauch, University of North Carolina-Charlotte; Bruce Clarke, Texas Tech University; Eve Keller, Fordham University; Jay Labinger, California Institute of Technology; T. Hugh Crawford, Georgia Tech; Susan Squier, Penn State; Sidney Perkowitz, Emory University; Stuart Peterfreund, Northeastern University; James J. Bono, SUNY-Buffalo; N. Katherine Hayles, UCLA; Mark Greenberg, Drexel University; Lance Schachterle, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Stephen J. Weininger, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Configurations Interim Editors: Robert Markley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ronald Schleifer, University of Oklahoma

Configurations Book Review Editors: John Bruni, Grand Valley State University; Jodie Nicotra, University of Idaho; Allison DuShane, University of Arizona

Publications Committee: 2011-2012–Ron Broglio, University of Arizona; Rob Mitchell, Duke University; Susan Squier, Penn State University

Bibliographer: Sue Hagedorn, Virginia Tech (

Electronic Resources Coordinator: Wayne Miller, Duke University (


The Executive Director can be reached by phone at (404) 894-1241 or by e-mail at

Carol Colatrella, Executive Director, SLSA, Literature, Communication, and Culture, Georgia Institute of Technology,

686 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA  30332-0165


SLSA websites: and




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