Decodings Winter 2023 (February 7 edition)


Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Newsletter                     

Winter 2023, Vol. 32, No.2 (February 7 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, October 26-29

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 encourage proposals and inquiries.  

Aliens are among us. They’re welcomed, subjugated, theorized, fetishized, and abhorred; they’re of this world and out of this world, in time and out of time, human and inhuman, with and without reference. And they’re also deeply embedded within the critical and speculative discourses of 21st century art, design, science, and theoretical humanities: from systems of political, economic, and legal alienation to alien forms of computational rationality, and the onslaught of xeno- architectures, feminisms, and materialisms, aliens are clearly among us. For these reasons, the alien landscape of the Sonoran Desert will play host to 2023 annual conference for the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.

     We invite papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, and creative work that engages with the theme of Alien, broadly defined. We also welcome proposals addressing topics on other SLSA-related themes.
The link for proposals is now open at

Possible Topics

Immigration, citizenship, bordering/critical border studies, border-crossing, hybridity, (re)(de)territoriality, territory/neighborhood/urban/Cultural borderlands

Environmentalism, native/alien species/invasive/indigenous and overcoming the dichotomy, microbes, biodiversity

Astrobiology, weird life

Alien landscapes, geographies

Alien encounters

Alienation, immigration, race and nationality; race, culture, identity

Alienation and economy Alienation and education

Alienation and belonging

Alien intelligence, animal intelligence (plant intelligence)

Alien reasoning, AI, computational rationality

Xeno-feminism, architecture, art, design, materialism

Disciplines that are ‘alien’ to one another

Monstrous other, feminism, racism, queer, abject

Science fiction, alien encounters, mythmaking

Violence exclusion and the making of alien bodies

Theoretical outsides Artistic outsides exo-planet

Reshape the relation between the in/human, extra/terrestrial, familiar/alien

Strangers to/in/of/… this world

All submissions are due by March 15, 2023.

-Stand-alone papers: please submit title, 250-word abstracts, and bio

-Panels and streams: please provide a 250-word panel/stream description along with titles, individual abstracts, and bios

-Roundtables and workshops: please provide a 250-word abstract along with names and bios of participants

SLSA 2023 Organizing Committee: Conference Organizers: Adam Nocek, Stacey Moran
Art Exhibition Curators: DB Bauer, Luke Kautz, Erika Hanson Operations Coordinator: Silvia Neretti

Questions and concerns:

Quarterly Executive Meeting, February 3, 2023

Attending: David Cecchetto, Rajani Sudan, Josh DiCaglio, Amanda Greene, Raymond Malewitz, Anne Hudson Jones, Melissa Littlefield, Elizabeth Donaldson, Paula Leverge, Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal, Edmond Chang, Wayne Miller, Dennis Summers, Jay Labinger, Alan Rauch, Carol Colatrella

President’s Report: David reported that he and Arielle Saiber have received many proposals for the Proximities book series, and he indicated that the 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. A call for papers for the series is posted at

Configurations: Journal editors Rajani and Melissa indicated that contributors and reviewers are taking longer to complete their work, which affects the production schedule.

2023 Conference: Wayne reported that Adam and Stacey have selected Easy Chair as the platform for the 2023 SLSA at ASU. The link for proposals is now open at

2024 Conference: Rajani will plan the conference with Dallas area colleagues, including Pam Gossin.

Update to Conference Guidelines: Josh, David, Rajani, Melissa, Ed, Ranjodh, Elizabeth, and Dennis engaged in discussion about the pros and cons of incorporating “streamed” panels of papers at SLSA. After the meeting, David added this note summarizing the executive’s perspective on the issue to SLSA conference guidelines: “There is a standing practice of individuals organizing “streams” at SLSA, which typically consist of two or more pre-formed panels. It is helpful to include reference to this practice in the CFP, and to ask people who plan to organize a stream to reach out to organizers early in the process. The CFP should include a statement advising people to subscribe to the list-serv so that they don’t miss specific calls for participants on streams. In many (but not all) cases, it is appropriate to suggest that stream organizers post their specific calls to the list-serv.”

Social Media: Email Ed Chang and Ranjodh with news to be posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Bylaws Update: The executive committee has proposed updated SLSA Bylaws to reflect current practices. Members are requested to review the proposed Bylaws now posted at Email Carol with any suggested revisions by April 1, 2023. Members attending SLSA 2023 at ASU will be asked to vote on the proposed Bylaws.

Quarterly Executive Committee Meeting, December 9, 2022

2023 Committees Formed: Laura volunteered to chair the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee, and Elizabeth and Dennis will also serve; send nominations for the award to,, and

Candidates for Member-at-Large: Alan Rauch volunteered to chair the Nominations committee, and Josh and Amanda will also serve on it. Members should send nominations or self-nominations for the two-year (2023-2025) elected member-at-large position and/or nominations for volunteer graduate liaisons to you three–Alan Rauch <>, Josh DiCaglio <>, and Amanda Greene <>–by March 15, 2023.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL: All participants in annual SLSA conferences should be members of the society. Elections will be held in March for 2023 members. 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