Decodings Fall 2022 (Dec 11 edition)


Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Newsletter                      

Fall 2022, Vol. 32, No.1 (December 11 edition) 

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

*Executive Committee Quarterly Meeting  

*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: Meeting May 18-21, 2023, Erlangen  

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, Tempe AZ, will host the next annual meeting. 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.  


Attending: David Cecchetto, Ed Chang, Carol Colatrella, Joshua DiCaglio, Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal, Elizabeth Donaldson, Pamela Gossin, Amanda Greene, Anne Hudson Jones, Jay Labinger, Paula Levenger, Melissa Littlefield, Wayne Miller, Adam Nocek, Marcel O’Gorman, Laura Otis, Rajani Sudan, Dennis Summers 

President’s Report: David indicated that the Proximities book series from University of Minnesota Press will soon publish two books and more proposals for volumes have been accepted for publication. Send inquiries and proposals to him and Arielle Saiber. A call for papers for the series is posted at

Financial Report: Carol presented the annual financial report, noting the uptick in memberships resulting from participation in the 2022 Purdue conference, the distribution of 12 SLSA and 11 SLSA NSF travel grants to graduate students and underfunded scholars and artists attending the meeting, and the submission of state and federal tax forms for 2021-22. For information about travel awards, see

Journal Report: Melissa and Rajani reported that numbers of submissions and reviewers have increased, and they encourage more submissions and more members to accept reviewing articles when they are contacted. There are several special issues in the pipeline, including the 30th anniversary issue“Impact.” If you are interested in contributing to the anniversary issue, please submit a 500 word abstract to by December 15th, 2022. If your abstract is selected for consideration in the issue, you will be notified by December 30th, 2022. Complete manuscripts (3000-5000 words) will be due for review by February 15, 2023. 

2022 Purdue Conference Report: David thanked Paula for hosting a successful conference that has been universally praised by attendees. There were 165 submissions of papers, panels, and exhibits, and 258 individuals attended the meeting. Paula explained that there were constraints in using EasyChair as the conference system and recommended future organizers consider other mechanisms to collect submissions and to organize the program and correspondence. Josh noted that 4S uses AllAcademic. 

2023 Arizona State Conference Report: Adam indicated the call for papers for the conference with the theme “Alien” would be issued soon; the meeting will be held on Halloween weekend (October 26-29, 2023). Dennis suggested that the call for papers emphasize that organizers (Adam and Stacey Moran) also welcome submissions on other topics related to science, literature, and the arts. Adam noted that plans for exhibits and meeting spaces are underway. 

2024 Conference Planning: Rajani and Pam will begin to organize the annual meeting to take place in Dallas in fall 2024. 

2023 CommitteesFormed: Laura volunteered to chair the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee, and Elizabeth and Dennis will also serve; send nominations for the award to, and Alan Rauch volunteered to chair the Nominations committee, and Josh and Amanda will also serve on it. Send nominations for a two-year elected member-at-large position and/or nominations for volunteer graduate liaisons to, and  

Twitter: Ed explained that he, Ranjodh, and Wayne would continue use Twitter to distribute information about the society’s initiative. A Twitter feed appears on the homepage ( If there are future problems with the platform, the social media liaisons will make a recommendation. 

Bylaws: The executive considered several changes to the society bylaws and anticipate sharing a draft of the updated bylaws with members via email in spring. After executive committee members review and approve draft of bylaws, it will be presented at the 2023 Arizona State meeting for a membership vote. 

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. The next meeting of SLSAeu will be hosted by the Center for Literature and Natural Science in Erlangen, Germany, and will be held May 18-21, 2023. A call for proposals with contact information is available on the SLSA homepage:



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
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