Decodings Spring 2019 No. 2 (Updated)


Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Newsletter                     

Spring 2019, Vol. 28, No.2 (updated)

*SLSA 2019, “Experimental Engagements,” University of California-Irvine

*SLSA Awards

*Call for Volunteer or Nomination: Graduate Student Liaison

*AnthropoScene Book Series

UPCOMING MEETING: SLSA 2019: Experimental Engagements — November 7-11, University of California-Irvine, California

Co-chairs: Jesse Jackson and Antoinette Lafarge.

Keynote speakers, Andrea Polli, co-sponsored by the UCI Department of Art, and Laura Kurgan, co-sponsored by the UCI Department of Film and Media Studies.

In the past two meetings, SLSA has taken a close look at how we use concepts of time and mind to regulate our relation to the world. For SLSA 2019, we want to turn our attention towards embodied and experimental practices that engage with a world out of balance. We are especially interested in speculative and experimental engagements that take place at the margins of art, science, and literature.

A few of the concerns we imagine might be addressed at SLSA 2019 include:
• How new aesthetics and ethics of social engagement arise within individual lives and specific communities of practice
• How speculative practices tangle with reigning ideals of the utopic, communitarian, and transcendental
• How experimental practices may require working in stealth mode
• How marginal practices are defined as such, and how that can be changed
• How social media reframes the errors, failures, and missteps of experimentation as well as the possibilities of success
• How experimental practices differ from other forms of knowledge-building or making
• How counter-dominant forms and practices are attenuated or even flipped through normalization
• How engagement avoids such pitfalls as addressing symptoms rather than causes, or devolving into propaganda
• How practices and ideas written off by those in power as minor, obsolete, trivial, narrow, or crazy find a toehold
• How it might be necessary to change how we teach art, science, and literature to future generations
• How it is possible to transformatively address the center from the periphery

Meeting Location: The 2019 conference will be held on the campus of UC Irvine. Most conference panels and the keynotes will be at the Student Center, with additional events taking place in nearby venues on campus.

Conference Hotel: A limited number of rooms are available at reduced rates at the Atrium Hotel in Irvine. To reserve a room for SLSA 2019, please call 1-800-854-3012 and reference SLSA 2019 CONFERENCE.

SLSA Membership: Participants in the 2019 Conference must be 2019 members of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. For more information about joining SLSA, visit the organization’s website at


Proposals for papers/panels, workshops, and a special art opportunity at SLSA 2019 should be submitted to  You’ll note that this year we’re using EasyChair as the submissions system, and if you’ve never used it before, you will have to set up an EasyChair account. Please review the instructions below before submitting text or files; there are also instructions and an FAQ page on the SLSA website: Direct questions about proposals to

Submissions for SLSA 2019 will be accepted in three categories:
• Individual papers and pre-organized panels
• Workshops, roundtables, and unique events
• A special art opportunity

For individual papers: please submit a 300-word abstract along with title and affiliation.

Optionally, up to four papers may be pre-organized into panels—in this case, each participant should submit their abstracts individually and also make sure to enter the proposed title of the panel.

Workshops, roundtable discussions, unique offsite events, and other alternative and creative formats: are encouraged and may be submitted separately. For these, please submit up to 500 words describing your proposed activity. If necessary you may also include supporting material as a PDF.

Special art opportunity
: Submissions are being sought for a special art opportunity for SLSA members that will lead to an exhibition and publication. Please consult the “Call for Art” page on the SLSA website for details on the submission requirements.

Special Game Studies Stream:  SLSA is once again organizing set of 3-4 panels to highlight digital (and analog) game studies.  Papers engaging game studies and the conference theme “Experimental Engagements” writ large are welcome and will be grouped with similar presentations. The Game Studies Stream hopes to feature one session dedicated to game demos (think poster session but with games). Please consult the “Game Studies Stream Call” on the SLSA website for submission details and note that this has an earlier submission date of April 26, 2019.

Special ASLE CFP: The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment will be hosting a panel at SLSA 2019. This ASLE panel will address the conference theme of “Experimental Engagements” by soliciting six, ten-minute papers on materialist critiques of technology and/as ecological critique. Papers on any aspect of this broad topic are welcome. Please consult the “ASLE CFP” page on the SLSA website for submission details and note that this has an earlier submission date of April 28, 2019.

We strongly request that you limit yourselves to one proposal per category, so that we are able to include as many participants as possible.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: To join/rejoin the society and to register for the 2019 meeting, see

SLSA 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. Some applicants may also be eligible to apply for SLSA NSF Travel Grants (see below).

SLSA NSF Travel Grants

Applicants must be a US Citizen or at a US institution. An applicant must be a grad student, independent scholar/artist, or recent PhD (received in the last 5 years). The grant only covers travel to and from the meeting and registration costs. The grant does not cover travel during the meeting or hotel expenses. Airfare must be booked on US-flag airlines. Each successful applicant must participate in meeting to apply for award and will receive reimbursement after submitting receipts and completing an online form. See detailed directions and link to the reimbursement form 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, has 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.

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. Click for the Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize winners.

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 and June 30 for awarding in the following fall. The winner will receive $250.00. NOTE: The committee will consider books published from July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018 for the 2018 award and books published from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 for the 2019 award.

To be considered for the Kendrick Prize, please send or arrange with your publisher to send three copies of your book by June 30, 2019 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

At the fall 2018 annual meeting, the SLSA Executive Committee appointed a committee to seek and review nominations for the SLSA Lifetime Achievement award. Nominations for the award should be sent to Laura Otis (, Raymond Malewitz (, and McKenzie Stupiča ( The Lifetime Achievement Awards Committee will consider nominations for candidates whose significant, interdisciplinary scholarship is exemplary of SLSA. The committee members will review 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 during the annual meeting.

Information about 2019 Travel Awards, Essay and Book Prizes, and the Lifetime Achievement Award appears at

SLSA GRADUATE STUDENT LIAISONS: SLSA welcomes Tyler Gabbard of Purdue University and Ben Platt of Oregon State as graduate student liaisons joining McKenzie Stupiča. Tyler:, Ben:, and McKenzie:


AnthropoScene is a book series from Penn State University Press, published in collaboration with the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. 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 include specialized studies for scholars in a variety of disciplines as well as widely accessible works of interest to broad audiences. They 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.

Submissions 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. Send submissions or questions to: Kendra Boileau, Assistant Director and Editor‐in‐Chief, at Or contact the series editors: Lucinda Cole at and Robert Markley at

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.

Announcing a New Title in AnthropoScene: The SLSA Book Series
Love in a Time of Slaughters: Human-Animal Stories Against Genocide and Extinction by Susan McHugh
            “[A] vital contribution to one of the most urgent conversations of our time.”—Daniel Justice, author of
Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History

In this book, Susan McHugh examines a diverse array of contemporary narratives in which genocide and extinction blur species lines in order to show how such stories can promote the preservation of biological and cultural diversity. These narratives show the vulnerabilities of affective bonds as well as the kinds of loss shared when interspecific relationships are annihilated. In this thoughtful critique, McHugh explores the potential of these narratives to become a powerful, urgent strategy of resistance to the forces that work to dehumanize people, eradicate animals, and threaten biodiversity.

Also in this series:

Anthropocene Reading: Literary History in Geologic Times. Edited by Tobias Menely and Jesse Oak Taylor

Editing the Soul: Science and Fiction in the Genome Age by Everett Hamner

SLSA Member’s Only Discount from Penn State University Press: Use code SLSA30 for 30% off any AnthropoScene title purchased directly from PSU Press, plus free domestic shipping and discounts on foreign shipping!

Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Executive Board (2019)

President: Marcel O’Gorman, University of Waterloo
Executive Director: Carol Colatrella, Georgia Institute of Technology
First Vice-President: David Cecchetto, York University, Toronto
Second Vice-President: Maria Whiteman, Indiana University
Members-at-Large: John Hay, University of Nevada-Las Vegas (2017-2019); Raymond Malewitz (2018-2020)
Graduate Student Liaisons: McKenzie Stupiča, Northwestern University (to fall 2020); Tyler Gabbard, Purdue University (to fall 2021).

Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Executive Board (2019) (continued)

Past Presidents: Ron Broglio, Arizona State University; 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: Kari Nixon, Whitworth University. Email:
Electronic Resources Coordinator: Wayne Miller, Duke University (
Arts Liaisons: Dennis Summers (; Kiki Benzon (;
Maria Whiteman (
Social Media Liaison: Nicole Fletcher (

The Executive Director can be reached at (404) 894-1241 or

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