Decodings Spring 2014


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

Spring 2014, Vol. 23, No.2

*SLSA 2014 in Dallas: “Fluid”

*Travel Awards, Essay Prizes, Book Prize

*Election Results: 2nd Vice-President and Member-at-Large

*Appointment of Graduate Student Liaisons to Executive Committee

* Update of SLSA Website—Content Welcome

*SLSA Bibliography—Contributors Needed

*SLSA EU: June 2014 Conference—early registration deadline April 16, 2014
*Appointment of Graduate Student Liaisons to Executive Committee


Sponsored by Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

The 28th Annual Meeting will be held at the Sheraton Dallas, October 8-12, 2014


Site Organizer: Rajani Sudan

Program Committee Chair: Robert Markley   Member: Pamela Gossin

For this year’s conference, we encourage presentations, papers, and artworks that explore fluid as a word, idea, and process applied to borderlands, canvases (and other media in other art forms), philosophical indeterminacies, or dynamic systems. See the conference website for more details.

The concept of fluid in the arts, sciences, and humanities evokes multiple, overlapping definitions that work across and around the edges of disciplinary boundaries.  Fluid can describe the property of flow, particles that move freely among themselves and that form and deform under pressure.  It can refer to liquids both bodily and cultural, for example, blood and capital. It evokes anything that is not solid, fixed, or stable.

For this year’s conference, we encourage presentations, papers, and artworks that explore fluid as a word, idea, and process applied to borderlands, canvases (and other media in other art forms), philosophical indeterminacies, or dynamic systems, to offer a few suggestions.  This is a deliberately expansive topic intended to appeal to a broad range of work in fields including–

  • bioarts •  critical media theory                •  bioethics
  • medical humanities •  new frontiers in digital media             •  animal studies
  • liminal studies •    rhetoric                                 •  gender and/in science studies
  • science and critical race studies   •  environmentalism and ecological studies
  • history and philosophy of science

This list is suggestive, not exhaustive.  Other topics falling within the boundaries of SLSA work will also be welcome.

Abstracts of 150-250 words should be posted by APRIL 30 at Please include: Full name, affiliation, email address, and snail mail address.  Panel proposals must include full contact information.

2014 Travel Awards: Members of SLSA who present at the annual conference may apply for travel subventions to the 2014 meeting. 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.

2014 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.

2014 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 non-tenured 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, LMC, 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.

The 2014 Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize will be awarded to the best academic book on literature, science, and the arts published by an SLSA member. The prize will be announced at the 2014 SLSA conference. Established in fall 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, please send three copies of your book by June 1 to: Professor Robert Markley, Department of English, 608 South Wright Street, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 each spring appoints a committee to seek and review nominations for the SLSA Lifetime Achievement award. Members of this committee 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 of the annual meeting. This year’s Lifetime Achievement award committee will be chaired by Hugh Crawford ( and includes Suzanne Black and Susan Squier. 


Marcel O’Gorman, University of Waterloo, has been elected as the incoming second vice-president and Rebecca Perry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as the incoming member-at-large. Their terms begin at the fall meeting of SLSA in Dallas.  Marcel will serve consecutive two-year terms as second vice-president, first vice-president, and president, while Rebecca will serve a two-year term.


Congratulations to Nicole Keller Day, Department of English, Northeastern University, and Kari Nixon, Department of English, Rice University, who are the first graduate student liaisons to be appointed to the Executive Committee of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA). As liaisons, Nicole and Kari will assist with society initiatives, particularly with the annual conference, and will participate in meetings and online discussions held by the Executive Committee. Nicole has been appointed to serve a one-year term (2014-2015), and Kari a two-year term (2014-2016). Their terms will begin now and continue until through the Executive Committee meeting in their final year of service. 

UPDATED SLSA WEBSITE–Electronic Resources Coordinator:  Send suggestions for additional content for the website to Wayne Miller at Wayne will be supervising a designer updating the website in the coming months.

SLSA CONTRIBUTORS TO BIBLIOGRAPHY NEEDED: Bibliographers Sue Hagedorn and Jennifer Rhee need additional contributors. Contact Jenni Rhee at


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 and has staged a biennial international conference since 2000 in major European cities. Contact information:

Dr. Manuela Rossini, SLSA Europe, c/o Department of English, University of Basel, Nadelberg 6, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland OR email:

EUROPEAN SOCIETY FOR LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND THE ARTS, from Cristina Iuli, the Chair of the local Organizing Committee for the 8th SLSA-EU Conference, “Life, in Theory.” This meeting will take place June 3-6, 2014, in Turin, Italy; see the website at for more information; the call for papers may be found there. Our plenary speakers are Claire Colebrook, Roberto Esposito, Giuseppe Testa, Paolo Vineis, and Cary Wolfe –leading scholars in political philosophy, critical theory, epidemiology, stem cell genetics, media theory, and literary and culture studies.

Three round tables and six parallel streams will provide ample occasions for exchange and discussion across science, literature, and the arts. Our round table invitees and stream convenors are Yves Abrioux, Monika Bakke, Ivan Callus, Timothy Campbell, Bruce Clarke, Sandra D’Alfonso, Umberto Dianzani, Marc Hansen, Jens Hauser, Stefan Herbrechter, Erich Hörl, Cristina Iuli, Najeeb Jan, Gregg Lambert, Maurizio Mori, Mario Pirisi, Manuela Rossini, Dorion Sagan, Davide Tarizzo, Stefania Sini, and Louise Whiteley.

The registration site for the 8th SLSA-EU Conference,”Life, in Theory” is open. Earlybirds tickets are available until April 16.  Please find all the information about how to register on the webpage

RENEWING MEMBERSHIP IN SLSA: 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:

Beginning in 2013, the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts establishes an additional category of membership for individuals. You can become a Lifetime Member for $1,500. The site for membership renewals/subscriptions is


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Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Executive Board (2013-2014)

President: Laura Otis, Emory University

Executive Director: Carol Colatrella, Georgia Institute of Technology

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

Second Vice-President: Ron Broglio, Arizona State University

Members-at-Large: Suzanne Black, State University of New York at Oneonta (2011-2013); Anne Pollock, Georgia Institute of Technology (2012-2014); James Housefield, University of California-Davis, Jenell Johnson, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013-2015).

Graduate Student Liaisons: Nicole Keller Day, Northeastern University; Kari Nixon, Rice University.

Past Presidents: Richard Nash, Indiana University; 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, Duke University; Mark Greenberg, Drexel University; Lance Schachterle, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Stephen J. Weininger, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Configurations Editors: Melissa Littlefield, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rajani Sudan, Southern Methodist University

Configurations Email address:

Configurations Book Review Editor: Allison DuShane, University of Arizona,

Publications Committee: Susan Squier, Penn State University; Ronald Schleifer, University of Oklahoma; Anne Pollock, Georgia Tech

Bibliographers: Sue Hagedorn, Virginia Polytechnic and State University (; Jennifer Rhee, Virginia Commonwealth University (

Electronic Resources Coordinator: Wayne Miller, Duke University (

Arts Liaison: Dennis Summers (

The Executive Director can be reached by phone at (404) 894-1241 or by e-mail at Postal address: Carol Colatrella, Executive Director, SLSA, School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology, 686 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA  30332-0165

SLSA websites: and