Decodings Summer 2023 (July 11 edition)


Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Newsletter                     

Summer 2023, Vol. 32, No.4 (July 11 edition)

*SLSA 2023: Alien, Arizona State University

*Election Results: Incoming Members-at-Large

*Membership Renewal
*SLSA Awards: Travel, Essay, Lifetime

*Executive Committee Quarterly Meeting Notes
*Updating SLSA Bylaws

*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

SLSA 2023: Alien, Arizona State University, October 26-29

Adam Nocek and Stacey Moran will host the next annual SLSA meeting, sponsored by the Center for Philosophical Technologies in the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University, Tempe AZ. The theme is “Alien,” and the meeting is scheduled for October 26-29, 2023. The organizers have arranged for conference meeting space and hotels and have reviewed and responded to proposals for sessions and exhibits. If you have questions, contact conference organizers at Reserve hotel rooms as early as possible because Tempe is a popular destination.

See SLSA2023 website @

Transportation & Hotels:
Keynote speakers: Karen Barad, Nnedi Okorafor, Sarah Walker:

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. Sessions will include papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, and creative work that engages with the theme of Alien, broadly defined as well as topics on other SLSA-related themes.

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:

2023 ELECTION: Paula Leverage of Purdue University and Shane Denson of Stanford University are incoming members-at-large and will soon begin to serve two-year terms concluding in fall 2025.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL: All participants in annual SLSA conferences should be members of the society. 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.


Travel Awards: SLSA provides a limited number of travel awards for underfunded individuals attending the annual conference of the society. Members of SLSA who present at the annual conference may apply for travel subventions by emailing their name, title of their SLSA presentation, an indication of how long one has been a member of SLSA, and any information about their funding for the conference to Carol Colatrella, Executive Director, 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 US check at the conference business meeting. SLSA travel funds can be used to defray hotel, registration, transportation, or other travel expenses.

NSF Travel Awards: SLSA members who are US citizens or students enrolled in US institutions may apply for NSF funds to be applied to transportation to and from the conference and for conference registration. at by August 5. Recipients will also need to upload receipts within two weeks after the conference at this link:

NOTE: If eligible, members may apply for both travel awards. See details 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 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

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.  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. To be considered for the Kendrick Prize must send three copies of the book by June 30 to:  Professor Robert Markley, Department of English, 608 South Wright Street, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801. Contact:

Note: All 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: Laura Otis, chair of the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee, and members Elizabeth Donaldson and Dennis Summers reviewed nominations for the award that were submitted in spring 2023. The 2023 recipient will be announced at the fall meeting.

Quarterly Executive Meeting Notes, April 21, 2023 (edited July 2023)

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

President’s Report: David reported the 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

2024 Conference: Rajani will plan the conference with Dallas area colleagues.

New business: Dennis requested that annual conference organizers establish a standard deadline for proposals. Carol will include a note in the conference guidelines that the deadline should be in the range of May 1-15. Ranjodh and others discussed how the society and the conference could provide more resources, including mentoring for graduate students.

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

Bylaws Update: The executive committee has worked to update SLSA Bylaws to reflect current practices. Members are requested to review the draft of the Bylaws at Members attending the annual meeting in October will be asked to vote on the new version.


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

The updated policies are posted here:

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 hosted by the Center for Literature and Natural Science in Erlangen, Germany, was 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),

             Paula Leverage (2023-25), Shane Denson (2023-25).
Graduate Student Liaisons: Ben Platt (, Elana Maloul (

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