Decodings: Spring 2022 (April edition, updated Apr 9)

Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Newsletter                     

Spring 2022, Vol. 31, No.3 (April edition)

*SLSA 2022: Reading Minds, Purdue University, Call for Papers: Abstracts due April 22, 2022

*Awards: Travel, Essay, Book, Lifetime

*2022 Elections: Ballots due April 29, 2022

*Committee Members and Appointments: Social Media

*Membership Renewal

*Policies: Respectful Behavior and Freedom of Speech


*AnthropoScene Book Series

*European Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts

SLSA 2022, Purdue University, Call for Papers and Artworks—deadline April 22, 2022

Reading Minds: Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks, and the Reading Human

The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts invites submissions for its 35th annual meeting which will take place October 6-9, 2022, at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Center for NeuroHumanities in the School of Languages and Cultures and co-sponsors will host SLSA2022 as an on-site conference (subject to future guidelines relating to COVID-19). For Purdue University’s response to the pandemic, please refer to for updates.

The conference theme is “Reading Minds: Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks, and the Reading Human.”

Engaging scholars of literature, science and the arts in questions pertaining to the nature of reading inevitably suggests new lines of enquiry which extend beyond disciplinary fields, and reach to apprehend the “grand challenges” of the twenty-first century. Historically, the definition of reading has been narrowly defined as a human mind deciphering text, as written traditions of communication replaced the oral. With machine learning, natural language processing, and imaging, both the understanding of “reading” and “mind” are in flux. Over the course of the pandemic, the pivot to remote work and social distancing have led to an augmented virtual experience with the attendant consequences of new patterns of reading and an accumulation of data from that engagement.

We seek papers, panels, workshops, and creative work that might address the following concerns, broadly defined:

  • Artifacts of reading: print and digital
  • The embodied mind problematized from the perspective of AI
  • Natural language processing, especially machine translation and natural language generation
  • Neuro networks: human, animal and other organisms
  • Data mining and data mine analysis
  • Imaging, reading images, AI-assisted imaging and / or image reconstruction
  • Cognitive processes of reading, and how they relate to the construction of meaning
  • Theory of Mind in relation to reading, data mining and algorithms
  • Empathy, and its simulation, through cognitive and affective lenses
  • Creativity and computer-assisted processing and generation of art and literature
  • Critical discourse in academia in the contexts of increasingly sophisticated algorithmic reading and the digital humanities, including future directions and caveats 

Papers/panels on all SLSA-related topics are also welcome.

We invite proposals for:

  • Individual papers, posters, and pre-organized panels
  • Workshops, roundtables, arts lounges, and social networking events
  • Creative work

The submission deadline for abstracts is April 22, 2022. Please submit all abstracts and proposals for panels, etc. to the submission portal through EasyChair:

Participants in SLSA 2022 must be current members of SLSA. For membership inscription, please refer to the society’s website:

For updates and further information, as it becomes available, please see the conference website: Please address enquiries to

Conference attendees will be able to book accommodation at the newly renovated on-campus Union Club Hotel, where a block of rooms is reserved: In addition, there are a number of other options for accommodation, both in West Lafayette and Lafayette. For conference participants arriving by air, the closest airport is IND (Indianapolis). Information about accommodation and travel will be posted to the conference website in the coming weeks.


Conference Travel: 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.

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 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, 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. 

Lifetime Achievement: The SLSA Lifetime Achievement Award committee is seeking nominations for candidates whose significant, interdisciplinary scholarship is exemplary of SLSA. If you would like to nominate a scholar whose lifetime of work has made a great contribution to the interdisciplinary study of literature, science, and the arts, please explain in a brief statement (about one double-spaced page, or about 250 words) why you think this candidate would make an ideal recipient of the SLSA Lifetime Achievement Award. Please send your statement to all three committee members (, Elizabeth Donaldson (, and Raymond Malewitz ( by May 30th, 2022.

We look forward to reading your submissions. Nominations from previous years are carried over to future years, so if your candidate has not been selected, she or he will be considered in future years.

The Lifetime Achievement Award Committee is ALSO looking for a Graduate Student member to join the Nomination Committee, so please don’t hesitate to suggest a name (with their permission) or to nominate yourself.

SLSA 2022 Elections

The SLSA  2022 election opened on March 28, 2022, at 12:00 AM EDT and will close on April 29, 2022, at midnight EDT.  Please visit and log in with your user name and password to cast your ballot for Second Vice President and the two-year position of Member-at-Large. Note that both candidates are running unopposed.

Voting is open to all active members. All current members should have received the link to the 2022 SLSA ballot in an email from the executive director that was recently sent by Johns Hopkins University Press. If necessary, you can renew your membership for 2022 at

Having trouble logging in? Visit to have your user name sent to you or to reset your password.  You may also contact customer service at 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-5:00 pm, or via e-mail at

Second Vice-President  [to serve consecutive two-year terms as 2nd VP, 1st VP, and President]

Adam Nocek, Associate Professor, Philosophy of Technology and Science and Technology Studies, School of Arts, Media + Engineering, Arizona State University

I would like to be considered for the position of Second Vice-President for the SLSA. I am currently Associate Professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and Founding Director of the Center for Philosophical Technologies at Arizona State University. I have been a member of the SLSA since 2008, and in this time, I have given numerous papers, chaired panels, co-organized a conference (2017), and served as Member-at-Large (2020-2021). I’m particularly interested in expanding on the experimental nature of SLSA to attract new members and host transdisciplinary events that weave together theory, art, and socially engaged practice. 

Member at Large [to serve one two-year term]

Amanda K. Greene, Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Research Associate, Lehigh University

I am passionate about building spaces, dialogues, and vocabularies that can not only bridge the distance between the humanities and the sciences, but that also allow new questions and methods to emerge from that contact. This commitment drives my own research agenda and has been the goal of my postdoc position over the past three years, where I have been lucky enough to help build Lehigh University’s Humanities Lab and to facilitate a culture of interdisciplinarity across campus. SLSA enables such generative exchanges to occur at a much larger and more broadly impactful scale than a single institution. I would welcome the opportunity, as a Member-at-Large, to influence their shape, while also learning from colleagues with more experience and different perspectives.


Wayne Miller, Electronic Resources Coordinator, asks for new images for the SLSA website homepage ( Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal has joined Ed Chang in developing SLSA social media, Twitter and Facebook respectively. SLSA members interested in contributing to social media on behalf of the society are encouraged to email Ed ( ) and Ranjodh (

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL: Please remember to renew your membership; 2022 rates are noted here: Benefits of membership include the newsletter Decodings, the LITSCI listserv, and the journal Configurations, which explores the relations of literature and the arts to the sciences and technology. Founded in 1993, the journal continues to set the stage for transdisciplinary research concerning the interplay between science, technology, and the arts.

Members can access the Configurations online archive of articles, useful resources for teaching and scholarship at the above link.

Policies Adopted: Respectful Behavior and Freedom of Speech & Call for Ombudspersons

SLSA officers and the executive committee have developed two new policies and have shared them with members through the listserv. After incorporating revisions suggested by several members, the policies have been approved the executive committee and adopted by the society. The updated policies are posted here:

In accordance with the policies, SLSA is recruiting individuals to serve as ombudspersons who would receive and mediate any issues raised by members/conference attendees. Any member interested in volunteering to serve as ombudsperson, should apply by emailing Carol Colatrella (; include a short statement of why you are interested in serving in this role and what experience you can bring the position.

Current officers will review applications to make appointments.

Role of SLSA Ombudsperson                                                            

Each Ombudsperson is an impartial entity who strives to see that SLSA members and SLSA conference attendees are treated fairly and equitably. Any member/attendee can seek the advice of an Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson is impartial, neutral, and confidential. The rights and interests of all parties to disputes are considered, with the goal of achieving fair outcomes. The primary responsibilities of the Ombudsperson are:

  1. To work with individuals to explore and assist them in determining options to help resolve conflicts and problematic issues or concerns.
  2. To bring concerns about the organization to the attention of leadership for resolution.

Ombudspersons: Marcel O’Gorman ( and Kari Nixon (

ANTHROPOSCENE: SLSA BOOK SERIES FROM PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS 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 the series.

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.

Founding editors Lucinda Cole and Bob Markley have stepped down. Penn State Press will continue to work with the authors who already have submitted manuscripts to the series; there are a number of manuscripts under consideration and others under contract. Send questions to: Kendra Boileau, Assistant Director and Editor‐in‐Chief, at Or contact the SLSA liaison for the series, Pamela Gossin at or

AnthropoScene: The SLSA Book Series
Electromagnetism and the Metonymic Imagination by Kieran Murphy
Love in a Time of Slaughters: Human-Animal Stories Against Genocide and Extinction by Susan McHugh
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
The Art of Identification. Eds. Rex Ferguson, Melissa M. Littlefield, and James Purdon
Fear and Nature: Ecohorror Stories from the Anthropcene. Eds. Christy Tidwell and Carter Soles
Fragments from the History of Loss by Louise Green
Oil Fictions. Eds. Stacey Balkan and Swaralipi Nandi.
Under the Literary Microscope. Eds. Sina Farzin, Susan M. Gaines, and Roslynn D. Haynes.

SLSA Member Discount from Penn State University Press: Use promo code NR21 for 30% off AnthropoScene titles purchased directly, plus free domestic shipping and discounts on foreign shipping!

EUROPEAN Society for Literature, Science, and the Art is the sister organization of the international, USA-based Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. SLSAeu welcomes colleagues in the humanities, the social sciences, the arts, and all fields of science, medicine, engineering, and computer sciences as well as independent scholars, artists and scientists.


President: David Cecchetto, York University, Toronta (

Executive Director: Carol Colatrella, Georgia Institute of Technology (

First Vice-President: Maria Whiteman, Indiana University (

Second Vice-President: Rajani Sudan, Southern Methodist University (

Members-at-Large: Elizabeth Donaldson (2020-22); Adam Nocek (2019-21); Joshua DiCaglio (2021-23);
            Anne Hudson Jones (2021-23)

Graduate Student Liaisons: Ben Platt (, Another position open

Configurations Editors: Melissa Littlefield, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and 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: Pamela Gossin; Raymond Malewitz; Bruce Clarke

Electronic Resources Coordinator: Wayne Miller (

Arts Liaisons: Dennis Summers (; Maria Whiteman (

Social Media Liaisons: Ed Chang (; Adriana Knouf (; Ranjodh
           Singh Dhaliwal (

Ombudspersons: Marcel O’Gorman ( and Kari Nixon (
Past Presidents: Marcel O’Gorman, University of Waterloo; 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

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