Decodings Summer 2015

  1. DECODINGSslsa

Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Newsletter                            

Summer 2015, Vol. 24, No.3


*SLSA 2015, Houston and Other Upcoming Conferences

*Election Results & New Publication Committee Member

*SLSA 2016 Dues Increase

*Travel Awards, Essay Prizes, Book Prize

*Lifetime Achievement Award

*AnthropoScene: New SLSA Book Series

*NEW SLSA Website

*NEW Configurations Book Reviewer Editor

*SLSA Bibliography—Contributors Needed

*European Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts



SLSA 2015 “After Biopolitics” will be held in Houston, November 12-15, 2015, and sponsored by Rice University. Cary Wolfe, Director of 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at Rice,Thien Le, Center and Events Coordinator, 3CT, and Maria Whiteman, Independent Scholar and Artist, are organizing the program and the site arrangements. See the SLSA 2015 conference website URL

After reviewing proposals, conference organizers emailed responses on July 1, 2015, to those who proposed papers and/or sessions. A/V requests for speakers and/or a projector should be sent to by September 1st. PLEASE let organizers know if you won’t be able to attend so that they can rearrange sessions as needed. Direct questions about the program to Cary Wolfe OR to Thien D Le at

Hotel reservations can be made at the Wyndham Hotel Medical Center, 6800 Main Street, Houston, TX 77030. The conference sponsor, 3CT, has reserved room blocks for the SLSA and arranged *special discounted rates for conference attendees staying at The Wyndham.  When booking, please contact the Wyndham Reservations desk  (713) 577-1230 and specify that you are with “SLSA” or to book your room online, please visit the site:

Please keep in mind that the conference hotel, the Wyndham Houston Hotel and Suites–Medical Center, can only guarantee the special conference room rate of $99-129 dollars a night (depending on the room booked) through October 31.  SLSA this year coincides with the Rice University Homecoming weekend, however, and area hotels within walking distance of the conference venue are filling up quickly, so organizers strongly encourage participants to book hotels rooms as soon as possible.

Information about travel and accommodations appears at

The conference registration page will be available in the coming weeks at

Remember: You must be a current (2015) member of SLSA to present at the Houston SLSA conference. Membership information is available on the conference website. If you are renewing and don’t know your SLSA Membership number, you can find it on the mailing labels for Decodings and Configurations, or by going to:


SLSA Inaugural Rest of the World Conference will take place in Perth, October 1-3, 2015. Its theme is “Non-Western Approaches to Life.” Oron Catts, SymbioticA, will coordinate the meeting, the first SLSA to be staged outside of Europe or the United States. 2015 represents the 20th anniversary of the public outing of regenerative biology. The call for papers opened November 1, 2014, and the deadline for proposals to be submitted via the SLSA website at or was March 21, 2015.
SLSA 2016, to be held in Atlanta, November 3-6, 2016, will be a joint meeting with the History of Science Society and the Philosophy of Science Association. The conference will take place at the downtown Westin Peachtree Hotel and will be coordinated by Carol Colatrella (Georgia Tech) and Laura Otis (Emory University). The SLSA 2016 theme will be “Creativity,” and papers/panels on all SLSA-related topics are welcome. A CFP will be available in fall 2015 and posted on the SLSA website.



There was a tie in the election for member-at-large to serve as a member of the executive from the conference in 2015 through the conference 2017; therefore, Andrew Pilsch and Rebekah Sheldon will both serve on the Executive Committee, replacing James Housefield and Jenell Johnson. Sara DiCaglio received the most votes in the election for graduate student liaison and will replace Nicole Keller Day. Andrew, Rebekah, James, Jenell, Sara, and Nicole are all invited to participate in the 2015 Executive Committee meeting on Friday, November 13, 2015, 7-9am. Thanks to all candidates, including Lorenzo Servitje and Stephanie Peebles Tavera who ran for graduate liaison.



Appointed by SLSA officers, Pamela Gossin of the University of Texas at Dallas has joined the Publication Committee to serve a three-year term. Other members of the committee are Susan Squier (Penn State) and Ronald Schleifer (University of Oklahoma). The Publications Committee recently approved a contract between Penn State University Press and SLSA to sponsor the series “Anthroposcene,” for which Lucinda Cole and Robert Markley will serve as series editors (see below).



At SLSA 2014 in Dallas, a proposal to increase dues by a modest amount passed with only one nay vote and no abstentions, with approximately 170 members present voting aye: beginning in 2016, SLSA will charge regular faculty members $55 per year, students will be charged $29, and those with an income and/or pension under $20,000 will be charged $33. The dues increase will accrue to the society and will generate approximately $5,000 more annually to support conference expenses and travel subsidies for students, artists, and others with limited incomes.



SLSA Travel Awards: Members of SLSA who present at the annual conference may apply for travel subventions to the 2015 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, 2015. 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. Notifications of funding will be sent in early September.

Applications for SLSA NSF Travel Awards will also be due August 1, 2015. Members who are students, artists, or recent Ph.Ds. may apply. The URL for the online application form is posted on the SLSA website at You may need to save this file and open it in Adobe Reader because of the form fields in the document. Each applicant will be notified in early September 2015 about decisions.

NOTE about travel awards: Eligible members may separately apply for both SLSA and SLSA NSF Travel awards, which cover different expenses.

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 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 2015 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 2015 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, books had to have been mailed 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) can be sent to: Carol Colatrella, SLSA Executive Director, LMC, Georgia Tech, 686 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0165

NOTE: Prizes 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 Award 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. Send nominations for the Lifetime Achievement to committee chair Susan Squier ( and members Suzanne Black ( and Richard Nash (



AnthropoScene is a new book series from the Pennsylvania State University Press, published in collaboration with SLSA While not all scientists have accepted the term “anthropocene” as part of the geological timescale, the idea that humans are changing the planet and its environments in radical and irreversible ways has provoked new kinds of cross-disciplinary thinking about relationships among the arts, human technologies, and nature. This is the broad, cross-disciplinary basis for books published in AnthropoScene. Books in this series will include specialized studies for scholars in a variety of disciplines as well as widely accessible works of interest to broad audiences. They will ex- amine, in a variety of ways, relationships and points of intersection among natural, biological, and applied sciences and literary, visual, and performing arts. The AnthropoScene series represents the depth and breadth of work being done by scholars in literature, science, and the arts, putting innovative juxtapositions within reach of specialists and non-specialists alike.

Series Editors are Lucinda Cole, University of Illinois, and Robert Markley, University of Illinois. Series Advisory Board members are Stacy Alaimo, University of Texas at Arlington; Ron Broglio, Arizona State University; Carol Colatrella, Georgia Institute of Technology; Heidi Hutner, Stony Brook University; Stephanie LeMenager, University of Oregon; Christopher Morris, University of Texas at Arlington; Laura Otis, Emory University; Will Potter, Washington, D.C.; Ronald Schleifer, University of Oklahoma; Susan Squier, Penn State University; Rajani Sudan, Southern Methodist University; and Kari Weil, Wesleyan University

Submissions to the series should include a three- to five-page proposal outlining the intent of the project, its scope, its relation to other work on the topic, and its intended audience(s). Please also include two to three sample chapters, if available, and your CV. Questions or submissions? Contact Penn State Press:  Kendra Boileau, Editor-in-Chief, at or (814) 867-2220. Or email the series editors: Lucinda Cole at and Robert Markley at


UPDATED SLSA WEBSITE: The society has a newly designed website! Thanks are due to the website redesign committee members Wayne Miller, Dennis Summers, Jim Housefield, Rebecca Perry, and to designer Beth Farley for her redesign of the website and the society’s logo. Your new publication announcements, course syllabi and other material for display on the website are welcome. Please see the site for details, or contact Wayne, SLSA Electronic Resources Coordinator, at with any questions or comments.



Thanks to Alison DuShane for serving as book review editor for the journal. Journal editors have selected Jeff Karnicky at Drake University as the new book review editor for Configurations. Presses should send books on SLSA-related topics for review to Jeffrey Karnicky, Department of English, 2505 University Avenue, Drake University, DesMoines, IA 50311. Members interested in reviewing books for the journal should contact Jeff and indicate their disciplinary areas of specialization. His email address is


SLSA CONTRIBUTORS TO BIBLIOGRAPHY NEEDED: Bibliographer Jennifer Rhee is recruiting additional contributors to the annual bibliography. Contact Jenni Rhee at



Website: | Facebook:

SLSAeu is the sister organisation of the international, USA-based Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. It welcomes colleagues in the humanities, the social sciences, the arts, all fields of science, medicine, engineering, computer sciences as well as independent scholars, artists and scientists as well as interested members of the larger public. It has since 2000 hosted international conferences (now annual) in major European cities. SLSAeu last convened in mid-June in Malta ( The next conference will take place in Stockholm, 14-17 June 2016, dedicated to the theme of CONTROL: www.control2016. The SLSAeu is looking for Ambassadors from a number of European countries still, see Governance page of the website to see which countries are already represented. Please consider becoming a member in 2015 still in support of the society. Any donations are most welcome. Contact information in general: Dr. Manuela Rossini, SLSA Europe, c/o Department of English, University of Basel, Nadelberg 6, CH-4051 Basel,

Switzerland, email:



To receive publications of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), including Configurations and Decodings, and to participate in the society’s next annual conference, SLSA 2015 “After Biopolitics,” which will be held in Houston, November 12-15, 2015, and sponsored by the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at Rice University, you must be a 2015 member of the society. To join/renew membership, 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 established an additional category of membership for individuals. You can become a Lifetime Member for $1,500. The site for membership renewals/subscriptions is

To subscribe, send a plain-text email message to with the following in the body of the message: subscribe LITSCI-L
The list archive and additional subscription information, including how to receive the digest format, are available at:



Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Executive Board (2015-2016)

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

Executive Director: Carol Colatrella, Georgia Institute of Technology

First Vice-President: Ron Broglio, Arizona State University

Second Vice-President: Marcel O’Gorman, University of Waterloo

Members-at-Large: James Housefield, University of California-Davis & Jenell Johnson, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013-2015); Rebecca Perry, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History & New School for Architecture and Design (2014-2016); Andrew Pilsch, Arizona State University & Rebekah Sheldon, Indiana University-Bloomington (2015-2017)

Graduate Student Liaisons: Nicole Keller Day, Northeastern University (; Kari Nixon, Southern Methodist University (; Sara DiCaglio (

Past Presidents: Laura Otis, Emory University; 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: Jeffrey Karnicky, Department of English, 2505 University Avenue,
Drake University, Des Moines, IA 50311. Email:

Publications Committee: Susan Squier, Penn State University; Ronald Schleifer, University of Oklahoma; Pamela Gossin, University of Texas at Dallas

Bibliographer: Jennifer Rhee, Virginia Commonwealth University (

Electronic Resources Coordinator: Wayne Miller, Duke University (

Arts Liaisons: Dennis Summers (; Kiki Benzon (

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