Decodings Winter 2017


Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Newsletter          

Winter 2017, Vol. 26, No.1

*Call for Papers–SLSA 2017, Tempe Arizona

*Call for Reviewers and Contributions—Configurations

*Report on MLA 2017 Forum for Literature and Science Sessions

*Election Statements from Candidates for Member-at-large (2017-2019)

*Call for Nominations of Graduate Student Liaisons

*SLSA Bibliographers Needed

*SLSA Website: Contributions welcome

*AnthropoScene: SLSA Book Series

*SLSA Europe: Empathies

Call for Papers –SLSA 2017 Arizona: The SLSA 2017 meeting “Out of Time” will be located in Tempe, Arizona, November 9-12, 2017; the meeting is sponsored by Arizona State University, and will be organized by Ron Broglio and Adam Nocek. Deadline for submissions at the conference submission site is: Wednesday, May 15, 2017 (midnight EDT).  The conference website for SLSA 2017 in Tempe is at this link:

Membership: All participants in SLSA 2017 must be 2017 members of SLSA. To join/renew membership click on this link:
or call the Johns Hopkins University Press Journals Division at 1-800-548-1784 (US & Canada only, all others call 410-516-6987). Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm, Fax: 410-516-6968, Email:

Configurations Call for Articles and Reviewers: Journal editors Melissa Littlefield and Rajani Sudan invite articles and book reviews to appear in the society’s journal. The editors and book review editor also called for volunteers to serve as manuscript and book reviewers and asked that members interested in doing so complete the survey at

Report on MLA 2017: At the annual MLA meeting in Philadelphia, the Forum for Science and Literature, chaired by Pamela Gossin, offered two guaranteed sessions and one co-sponsored session, all of interest to (and featuring presentations by) SLSA members:

  1. The panel Humanities vs. STEM: Two Cultures Reboot? featured Cary Wolfe and others examining the (re)current rhetoric of opposition/consilience within academic, public and educational discourses, including the possibilities of STEAM, DH and the post-humanities. Presenters included: Carol Colatrella, Edward Slingerland, Josh DiCaglio and Armanda Lewis.
  2. Fiction and the Brain. Organized and chaired by Anne Stiles, discussed literature and neurology, offering historical as well as cognitive approaches.
  3. Astrology/Astronomy as Science and Literature. Co-sponsored Session with the Forum for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies: Renaissance and Early Modern. Organized by Ralph Bauer and Pamela Gossin; presenters explored the role of astrology and/or astronomy in the history of scientific and literary modernity from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century.

Elections: Johns Hopkins University Press emailed all 2017 members of SLSA and supplied a link to the society’s ballot. Any 2016 members who have not yet renewed can do so online or by contacting the press (see the information above).

Statements and Biographies from Candidates for SLSA Member-at-Large (2017-19)

Candidate Statement for Chris Foltz:
I am honored to be nominated for Member-at-Large for SLSA. Although I have only been a member of the Society since 2016, I am excited to be part of a community of scholars whose primary concern is developing cohesive theories, practices, and pedagogy among the arts, sciences, and literature. My education is in computer science, poetry, and literary theory, so I have always sought ways to mediate the rigor of scientific inquiry with traditional artistic endeavors found in the humanities. The Society has been an inclusive and inviting organization for young scholars, and I hope to contribute to its broader campaign of developing innovative initiatives, publication themes, and future outreach to new and existing Society members. I am particularly interested in how the Society will define its mission and approach over the next few years given the rapid change in scientific knowledge and the growing interest within the Academy in interdisciplinary studies. As a young scholar, I hope to represent the Society as Member-at-Large, and to develop close ties with existing members to better SLSA’s mission. Thank you in advance for your vote of support.

Candidate Biography
Chris Foltz is a PhD candidate in Literary Studies at the University of Texas, Dallas. He holds degrees in English and Computer Science, and has published poems in ISLE, The Comstock Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, and an article in the Journal of Arts and Humanities on Ezra Pound and the American poetic avant-garde. Chris recently presented a paper at SLSA’s national conference in 2016 on poetry and biosemiotics, and his research interests include posthumanism, biosemiotics, animal rights/studies, and literary theory. His dissertation investigates how posthuman philosophy engages novel definitions of poetic thought through recent descriptions in biology, quantum physics, and biosemiotics. He is founder and editor for Battistrada Arts Review and has served as a poetry reader for ISLE over the last four years. Chris lives in Dallas, Texas.

Candidate Statement for John Hay:

I have been involved with SLSA since 2010, when I traveled to Indianapolis for my first conference as a graduate student (with a paper on literary criticism and evolutionary psychology). It was a great experience, and I became a regular SLSA conference attendee. I remain very impressed by SLSA’s organization–not just the wonderful annual meetings (and dances) but also the enhanced journal (in which I recently published a review), the revamped website, and the useful listserv. I’d love the opportunity to play a larger role in the organization and to spread the word about the excellent work that we all do. I especially value SLSA’s welcoming attitude toward graduate students, an attitude I would continue to emphasize if given the chance to serve on the Executive Council. I am passionate about the interdisciplinary scholarship that SLSA fosters, and I will work tirelessly to reach out to others to continue to grow our membership.

Candidate Biography:

John Hay is an assistant professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he specializes in nineteenth-century American literature and science. He is the author of the forthcoming book Postapocalyptic Fantasies in Antebellum American Literature (Cambridge UP, 2017). His essays and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in The New England QuarterlyESQPhilosophy and LiteratureNineteenth-Century ProseScience Fiction Film and TelevisionLiterature in the Early American Republic, the Journal of the Early Republic, and Configurations. In 2016 he was the recipient of both a six-month fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Schachterle Prize from SLSA. John received his PhD in English Literature from Columbia University in 2013.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS of Graduate Student Liaisons: Call for volunteers to apply for two graduate student liaison positions with terms running 2017-19. If appointed by SLSA officers, these graduate students will replace Sara DiCaglio and Kari Nixon beginning in fall 2017. Nicole Keller Day will continue through 2018.

Note: all of the awards described below 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.

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 at the conference business meeting.

SLSA NSF Travel Grants: The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA) is a member of a consortium of science societies (led by the History of Science Society) that have received funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to support travel costs to the annual SLSA meeting for graduate students, independent scholars, artists, and recent PhD members who present papers or are involved in governance activities at the conference. The maximum award will be $1,000 for international travel and $500 for domestic travel (airfare will only be provided for travel on U.S. flag air carriers, or on airlines with code-share agreements, or under open skies agreements as stipulated by NSF requirements). Any other airlines, including British Air, Air Berlin, etc. are ineligible unless the flight is code-shared with a US carrier. Please note that, even though airlines may belong to the same “Alliance” (e.g., Star Alliance), their routes don’t automatically have a codeshare. The travel award will be provided as a reimbursement for expenses upon receipt of an official expense report, the appropriate receipts, and documentation of student status for those graduate students applying. A US citizen requesting reimbursement from employment and residence abroad should provide a copy of his/her US passport. SLSA NSF funds can only be awarded to SLSA members who are graduate students, independent scholars, artists, or recent PhDs with formal roles at the meeting. An awardee must be a 2017 SLSA member who is a US citizen or a graduate student enrolled in a US higher education institution. More information and links are at

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 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 Tech 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.

SLSA 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 July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. The winner will receive $250.00.To be considered for this year’s Kendrick Prize, please send three copies of your book by June 30 to: Professor Robert Markley, Department of English, 608 South Wright Street, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801. Donations for the Kendrick Prize (check written to SLSA, with Kendrick in memo) can be sent to: Carol Colatrella, SLSA Executive Director, LMC, Georgia Tech, 686 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0165

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. Members of the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee are Bob Markley ( and Suzanne Black ( Please send inquiries about requirements and nominations for the award to both.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE SLSA WEBSITE: New publication announcements, course syllabi and other material for display on the website are welcome. Please see the site for details, or contact Wayne Miller, SLSA Electronic Resources Coordinator, at with any questions or comments.

NEW SLSA BIBLIOGRAPHER NEEDED: Bibliographer Jennifer Rhee is recruiting a successor to serve as Bibliographer. Contact her at for more information.

ANTHROPOSCENE: NEW SLSA BOOK SERIES FROM PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS: 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 examine, 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 AnthropoScene 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

SLSAeu Conference 2017 – EMPATHIES –
Registration for the 11th conference of the SLSAeu (, the European sister organization of SLSA, will open in March. The Society also welcomes membership and support from friends and colleagues beyond Europe 


Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Executive Board (2017-2018)
President: Ron Broglio, Arizona State University
Executive Director: Carol Colatrella, Georgia Institute of Technology
First Vice-President: Marcel O’Gorman, University of Waterloo
Second Vice-President: David Cecchetto, York University, Toronto
Members-at-Large: Rebecca Perry, University of Virginia (2016-2018); 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: Robert Markley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;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