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Decodings Archive

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2006 Fall

Fall 2006
vol.15, no.2


*Call for papers, SLSA 2007, Portland

*Nominations for SLSA member-at-large

*In Memoriam: Michelle Kendrick 

*Essay Prizes and Travel Awards

*NEW Associate Bibliographer positions

*Minutes from SLSA 2006, New York, meetings

*Financial Report 2005-06

*SLSA 2008 Berlin

*SLSA Listserv

CALL FOR PAPERS, SLSA 2007, Portland

The 21st Annual Conference of the SLSA (Society for Literature, Science,
and the Arts)
November 1-4, 2007, Portland, Maine (USA)
Topic: CODE
Deadline for paper and panel submissions: March 15, 2007
Plenary Speakers: N. Katherine Hayles, UCLA; Brian Massumi,
Université de Montréal
Conference organizers: Susan McHugh, University of New England,
Arielle Saiber, Bowdoin College, Logistics; Aden Evens, Dartmouth
College, Program
Conference website: http://www.slsa07.com/

Biological and algorithmic, protector of secrets and porthole to
mysteries, universal 
and singular, code is an invitation to thought. Code can be
"wet" (genetic, organic, human), 
"dry" (digital, mathematical, logical), something in-between,
neither, or both (linguistic, 
symbolic, religious, moral, legal). Code is the meeting ground of
strange bedfellows, the 
cipherer and decipherer, the domain of law and its subversion,
communication and privacy. 
Code is about patterns, sequences, systems, translations, substitutions.
It can bind, trick, 
and free. Modern technologies are affording us more and more keys to
unlock nature's code 
and more opportunities to manipulate it. 

We welcome paper and panel submissions that explore any
type/aspect/nature/culture of code 
in any period of history.  Also welcome are submissions on any aspect of
relationship with literature and the arts, including ones presented in
formats (such as film/video, performance, music, or visual art). For
more information, 
please see http://www.slsa07.com/


Nominations and self-nominations for candidates to run for the
member-at-large post 
currently held by Lisa Yaszek should be directed to one of the members
of the nominating 
committee: Eve Keller (ekeller@fordham.edu), Richard Nash
(nash@indiana.edu), Susan Squier

The elected member-at-large will serve for two years and will be
expected to attend 
Executive Committee and business meetings at the annual conferences in
2007, 2008, and 2009.


SLSA member Michelle Kendrick died on September 30, 2006, after a
five-year battle with cancer. Her husband David Smith has set up a
memorial fund for Michelle at Washington State University-Vancouver,
where she was associate professor and founder of the Digital Technology
and Culture program. Donations to support scholarships and a lecture
series at Washington State should be directed to:

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations
Michelle Kendrick Memorial Fund
WSU Vancouver
14204 NE Salmon Creek Avenue
Vancouver, WA  98686

Please make checks payable to the WSU Foundation.  The memo section
should note "Michelle Kendrick Memorial Fund."

Michelle's obituary can be seen at

SLSA will establish a book prize in Michelle's memory, an effort
coordinated by Robert Markley and 
Laura Otis. Those wishing to donate funds to endow the Kendrick Book
Prize should contact Carol Colatrella (carol.colatrella@lcc.gatech.edu)
for information.  


SLSA awards two essay prizes and several travel subsidies each year. See
information at http://slsa.press.jhu.edu/awards.html 


SLSA seeks to appoint up to three Associate Bibliographers to assist
compiling annual bibliographies
of items of interest to SLSA members. Under the supervision of
Bibliography director Sue
Hagedorn, Associates will search multiple resources for suitable
publications, exhibits, and
dissertations, assign key words/phrases to each source, and format the
sources for publication
of the bibliography.  These tasks would take about one to two hours per

Graduate student associates are especially welcome. Interested parties
should send Dr. Hagedorn a brief statement stating their interest in the
position, their
field(s) of special interest, and their preparation for the position.
Associates appointed will
have SLSA membership and annual conference registration fees waived in
the year(s) of their
participation. The SLSA bibliography is posted at


At the Executive Committee meeting, Incoming 2nd VP Richard Nash and new
member-at large Victoria
Alexander were introduced by outgoing President Eve Keller. Carol
Colatrella presented the financial report.

Clarke (program chair) and Victoria Alexander (site coordinator)
reported on the SLSA 2006 Conference. There were 263 speakers and 325
paid registrants in New York. Bruce and Tori were thanked for their
hard work in organizing an exciting conference.

Rauch gave the Editors' Report on Configurations. He indicated that
several issues are in production with a number scheduled to be printed
and mailed in late 2006 and early 2007. Contributions are welcome.
Contact information is at

Hagedorn presented the Bibliographer's Report and indicated a delay in
publishing recent issues. Susan Squier recommended creating associate
bibliographer positions.

Miller's Electronic Resources Coordinator's Report noted the creation
of a new SLSA listserv. Directions for subscribing are below. The
parallel SLSA website at litsci.org has been redesigned. Bruce Clarke
will work with Wayne Miller, Sue Hagedorn, and Carol Colatrella to
redesign the SLSA Web site.
Questions about the SLSA University of Michigan book series should be
directed to Susan Squier.

At the annual business meeting,
travel awards were presented to Christine Kanz, Martin Potschka,
Terence H. W. Shih, Elizabeth Throesch, and Tobias C. Van Veen.

and endowed by former President of SLSA Lance Schachterle in honor of
his parents, the Schachterle Prize is awarded annually to the best
published essay by an untenured scholar. This year's prize was awarded
to Susan McHugh for her essay "The Call of the Other 0.1%: Genetic
Aesthetics and the new Moreaus," which appeared in AI and Society
(20.1: 2006) as "Genetic Technologies and Animals." McHugh's
argues neither the human nor the transgenic are "stable
forms"; both
are incessantly rearticulated in relation to one another, as the film
adaptations of The Island of Dr. Moreau demonstrate. 

Bruns Prize for the Best Essay by a Graduate Student Member was
established by former SLSA President N. Katherine Hayles, Professor of
English at UCLA, in honor of her father, Edward Bruns. The 2006 winner
of the Bruns Prize is Vera Bühlmann, graduate student at the
of Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland for her essay "Intelligent
Skin: Real Virtual." Bühlmann's essay outlines the
underpinnings of the "Oikoborg"—a "corporate
identity" (in this
context, the team that created the media façade) that evolves
interactions between humans, technology, and buildings themselves. 

Mentions were awarded to Bernard Geoghegan (Northwestern University's
Program in Screen Cultures, Media, Technology, and Society) for his
well-researched and cutting-edge essay on artificial intelligence,
"Embodied Agents: Gesturing Toward an Aesthetic." 

Azzarello (Graduate student in English at CUNY's Graduate Center) for
his thoughtful and exceptionally well-written essay "Queer Theory
Environmental Studies in Bram Stoker's Dracula"


discussion about the difficult logistics of a NYC conference,
especially the need either to stay in a single location or to walk
long-ish distances among venues. Most felt, however, that the trade-off
was worth it: glorious NYC, plus the advantage (same issue viewed
positively) of having self-generated mini-conferences at each locale

of the pros/cons of announcing streams in the programs. It was
generally agreed that creating/recognizing streams is necessary for
program planning. Some thought it's good to make the streams explicit
in the printed program (easier to track one's interests); others
thought it best to keep them hidden (better chance of not constraining
choice). One person suggested the labor-intensive but useful extra step
of sending panel names (once they're determined) to all panel chairs to
give them the opportunity to indicate those panels they'd like to not
be in conflict with.

agreement that entering the submissions/abstracts on the email list
worked well since it led to many self-organized panels and got
conversations started before the conference began

that SLSA would be establishing an annual book award in Michelle
Kendrick's memory and that Bruno Clarke, Bob Markley, and Laura Otis
would confer with the Executive Board to work out the details

Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, Financial Report,
Prepared by Carol Colatrella, Executive Director, October 10, 2005

Click here to view Financial Report


The next European meeting will take place in Berlin in 2008, hosted by
the Zentrum für Literatur- und 
Kulturforschung (ZfL: http://www.zfl.gwz-berlin.de)
in collaboration with a number of other institutes in this most
attractive city. The ZfL will also be the home of the planned
SLSA-Europe. More information on both endeavours will be provided at
the Annual Conference in New York. 


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