Decodings Fall 2022 (October edition, updated Oct 31)

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Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Newsletter                     

Fall 2022, Vol. 32, No.1 (updated October 31 edition)

*Call for Papers SLSA 2023: Alien, Arizona State University

*SLSA 2022: Reading Minds, Purdue University, Conference Report

*2022 Election Results

*Executive Committee Quarterly Meeting & Annual Business Meeting
*SLSA 2022 Awards

*Committee Members and Appointments: Social Media

*Policies: Respectful Behavior and Freedom of Speech
*New Book Series: Proximities: Experiments in Nearness

*AnthropoScene Book Series

*European Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts

CALL FOR PAPERS FOR SLSA 2023: Alien, Arizona State University

Organizers Adam Nocek and Stacey Moran announced that the Center for Philosophical Technologies in the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University will host SLSA 2023 in Tempe. The theme is “Alien,” and the meeting is scheduled for October 26-29, 2023. The organizers are arranging for conference meeting space and hotels and will soon post a more detailed call for papers.

REPORT ON SLSA 2022, Purdue University: October 6-9, 2022
Reading Minds: Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks, and the Reading Human

The Center for NeuroHumanities in the School of Languages and Cultures and co-sponsors hosted SLSA2022 as an on-site conference at Purdue, October 6-9, welcoming approximately 200 participants to the West Lafayette campus. Keynote speakers included artist Anna Ridler, author K Allado-McDowell, and physicist Donald Spector.

On behalf of members, President David Cecchetto thanked conference organizer Paula Leverage and her Purdue team on their careful preparation and their significant work in managing logistics for this in-person meeting and in programming an exciting set of research panels, workshops, and keynotes. The conference was a resounding success on all fronts and helped us as a Society to successfully transition back to in-person events.

Notes on SLSA Executive Committee Quarterly Meeting, October 7, 2022, and Society Business Meeting, October 8, 2022

President’s Report:  David Cecchetto congratulated the incoming Second Vice-President, who beginning in fall 2022 will 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 Universityand to the new Member at Large, who will serve a two-year term (fall 2022-fall 2024), Amanda K. Greene, Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Research Associate, Lehigh University.

David agreed to accept the executive committee’s August invitation to serve two more years as president until fall 2024 when current 1st Rajani Sudan will become president, and Adam Nocek will become 1st vice-president.

David noted that he and Arielle Saiber co-edit the book series Proximities. See details about the series below and at

Journal Report: Editors requested that members submit papers and volunteer for reviewing submissions to Configurations. They plan to publish three open issues and a 30th anniversary issue in 2024. Contact Melissa Littlefield and Rajani Sudan at, and book review editor Jeff Karnicky at Members can also search through the journal archive in supporting their research or teaching; each download of a journal article generates funds to support the journal and other society initiatives. Because of pandemic considerations, the editors plan to delay issue 31.1 until April 2023, while issue 31.2 should appear in May 2023. Publication will resume its regular schedule with the final two 2023 issues, assuming submissions and reviewer availability continue to trend upwards.

Bylaws: The executive committee discussed updating the bylaws to reflect current practices. The society’s bylaws are linked at  If any member would like to suggest a revision, please send it to The executive plans to propose revised bylaws for member discussion in early 2023.

Conference Guidelines: Dennis Summer suggested updating the conference guidelines and sharing these with prospective organizers. Paula Leverage, Adam Nocek, and other members should send recommendations about organizing conferences to Carol Colatrella (


2022 Bruns Prize Essay Winner: Douglas James Stark, “Playing with Habit: David Sudnow’s Video Game Pilgrimage”

Stark’s essay reappraises the dominant habits of academic games criticism through a close reading of David Sudnow’s 1983 book Pilgrim in the Microworld. The essay’s guiding question is: how does gaming foster “a uniquely disciplined way of life characterized by an intimate relationship with a technical device” (2)? Sudnow’s disciplined engagement with the game Breakout, which builds upon his previous ascetic journey of learning to play jazz piano, offers the ideal account of such a way of life. Notably, Stark’s essay resists the temptation to reduce a video game player’s achievements to being mere microcosms of neoliberal discipline; instead, he situates video games within a more encompassing history of training practices. Stark contends that if we first embrace the satisfactions that come with intentionally pursuing life-changing habits, then we would be better able to address the overarching social systems that may rely on such habituation as a means for control. This point comes through most clearly when addressing how Sudnow himself walks back his initial framing of video games as creative instruments. Instead, the ur-habit of video game play becomes the recurrent payment of quarters at the arcade. Such a contraction of perspective, however, contradicts Sudnow’s own account of experimental asceticism. When he paid too much attention to the invisible hand, Sudnow stopped listening to what his own hands continued to communicate. With an eye for the grace of losing oneself in quotidian skillful repetitions, Stark teaches us how habit provides a ready concept for thinking ecologically in a manner that prioritizes mediation without precluding an appreciation of situated traditions. He writes, “it is by means of reflexive but nonetheless mundane asceticism that we broker awareness of and, thus, responsibility for our participation in an ecology of processes” (49). The prize was judged by David Rambo.

2022 Schachterle Prize Winner: Michelle Nancy Hwang, “Racial Disintegration: Biomedical Futurity at the Environmental Limit,” American Literature, Volume 93, Number 3, September 2021.

Michelle Nancy Huang’s “Racial Disintegration: Biomedical Futurity at the Environmental Limit” analyzes how Asian American dystopian fiction, especially Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, deploys what Huang calls “studious deracination” to reframe race as not corporeal but structural. Huang illuminates how this fiction critiques biomedicine’s imbrication with environmental deregulation to form a racist infrastructure in which unequal access to healthcare, not embodiment, determines individual and community outcomes. The essay thus demands an ethical reframing of technomedicine and a reconception of what we mean by public health, while also charting a means to navigate American racial formation that is inclusive of Asian American perspectives. The prize was judged by Blake Leland and Jennifer Tuttle.

2022 Kendrick Book Prize Winner: Tobias Menely, Climate and the Making of Worlds: Toward a
      Geohistorical Poetics 
(University of Chicago Press)

Honorable Mention: Michael Black, Transparent Designs: Personal Computing and the Politics of User-
(Johns Hopkins University Press)

Honorable MentionAlan Stoekl, The Three Sustainabilities: Energy, Economy, Time (University of Minnesota    


Honorable Mention: Heather Davis, Plastic Matter (Duke University Press)

Bob Markley coordinated judging the Kendrick book prize.

2022 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Roald Hoffmann
for his groundbreaking creative work and his tireless support of critical investigation at the intersection of science, literature, and art.Lifetime Achievement Award committee members Alan Rauch (chair), Raymond Malewitz, and Elizabeth Donaldson were judges.

MEMBERS volunteering to serve on the Nominations Committee, which will recruit candidates for member-at-large to serve 2023-25, or willing to serve as a judge for the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award: please contact Carol Colatrella (

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL: Please remember to renew your membership; 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.


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 (

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 (

NEW SLSA BOOK SERIES Proximities: Experiments in Nearness, from University of Minnesota Press: Adjacencies abound. We are past the moment of merely thinking in terms of how opposites attract and nodes network. Today, disciplines and fields move consciously proximate to one another, in conversation and growing together. Further, the future is no longer sometime in the distance, but appears near to us, often grasped as an impending horizon of political, social, economic, and environmental catastrophe. Now more than ever, so much is so close. See the Call for Proposals ( for more information.

Books in the Proximities series think proximately, that is, in disciplinary tandem, about the relationships within and between the arts, literature, and science, as well as how scholarship can best be in active dialogue with communities and the world around us today, and in the future. Published in association with the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, this series not only thinks across disciplines, but thinks about the continuities and crossings themselves, interrogating how and why their disciplinary proximities matter. Proximities publishes work that is crafted with nearness in mind: human nearness to one another and the world around us; nearness to one another’s thoughts; to our written and unwritten pasts; to critical trends and crises; to our futures ahead. This kind of scholarship powerfully catalyzes awareness of what it means to work interdisciplinarily by challenging assumptions about disciplinary thinking from the outside in, and the inside out. If interested in submitting a proposal, please contact the editors with a short description of your book project.
Series Editors: David Cecchetto—York University (Toronto, Canada) and Arielle Saiber—Johns Hopkins University

ANTHROPOSCENE: PREVIOUS SLSA BOOK SERIES, 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. 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, Toronto (

Executive Director: Carol Colatrella, Georgia Institute of Technology (
First Vice-President: Rajani Sudan, Southern Methodist University (

Second Vice-President: Adam Nocek, Arizona State University (

Members-at-Large: Joshua DiCaglio (2021-23); Anne Hudson Jones (2021-23); Amanda K. Greene (2022-24).
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 Carol Colatrella, Executive Director, SLSA, School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Tech, 686 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA  30332-0165.  SLSA websites: and