Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)

Welcome to the 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, virtually hosted by the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 

Conference Chair: Irina Aristarkhova

Due to the ongoing uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 SLSA conference and member exhibition will be virtual.

Conference Registration Link is Now Live! Go to

Program Schedule (as of September 16, 2021):

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Dates: September 30 – October 2, 2021

Opening Keynote (Thursday September 30): Lisa Nakamura, chaired by Osman Khan

Plenary (Friday October 1): Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, and Imani Cooper Mkandawire, “Theorizing in a Void”: Towards a Theory and Practice of Black Feminist Mathematics and Science

Closing Keynote (Saturday October 2): Cristóbal Martinez with Liz Lerman, chaired by Jane Prophet

SLSA Members Virtual Poster Exhibition is here:

Partner Exhibition at the Stamps Gallery and Stamps Lecture: Stephanie Dinkins curated by Srimoyee Mitra at

Partner Exhibition with Sensorium: Center for Digital Art & Technology at York University, Re(new)All curated by Ian Garett, Melanie Wilmink and Joel Ong

Institutional Partners: Digital Studies Institute, Comparative Literature, English Language and Literature, ESC: The Center for Ethics, Society, and Computing (

Theme: Energy

SLSA21 Virtual Conference and Poster Member Exhibition will feature panels, individual papers, roundtables, workshops, arts lounges, social networking events, and creative work that deal with topics related to the expanded notion of energy. Energy (etymologically meaning “in or at work, working”) connects us to the most pressing issues of the day: mental and physical vitality or fatigue (individual and collective, personal and political, creative and professional), including in the pandemic; the sources of energy (their extraction, depletion, abundance, and exhaustion; bitcoin mining and computational infrastructures; body energy, its flow, exploitation, alienation, and finitude); scientific theories and creative imagination around the relation between matter and energy (as in electromagnetic, particle, gravitational, acoustic forms of radiation; the living and the non-living, metamorphosis). Submissions are also invited that explore how energy is connected to power, science, and profit, history and war, flesh and labor. Building on previous SLSA topics “Out of Time” and “(Out of) Mind,” in Fall 2021 you are invited to consider the meaning of having or being “out of energy.” There will also be contributions from colleagues in the sciences, engineering, technology, computer science, medicine, the social sciences, the humanities, the arts, and independent scholars and artists that share a broader interest in problems of science and representation, and in the cultural and social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine.  

Due to the uncertain nature of the pandemic year, the conference is planned as fully virtual. Though our intention is to follow the format of previous SLSA conferences with synchronous live presentations (similar to the Modern Literature Association 2021 conference), chairs will be responsible for their panels and could decide with their individual panelists if a pre-recorded presentation is necessary due to time difference or other circumstances. To facilitate SLSA community gathering opportunities, in addition to individual papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, and artwork submissions, this year we will feature organized social networking events and arts lounges to discuss and share research interests and creative work in less formal settings. 

SLSA2021 will have:

  •     Individual papers and pre-organized panels
  •     Workshops, roundtables, arts lounges, and social networking events
  •     A Poster Member Virtual Exhibition

Conference Registration costs for presenters and attendees at SLSA 2021 are:

For students, independent scholars, researchers or artists/designers, pension members, and members of sponsoring institution (U. of Michigan):  NO COST   

Those with limited institutional support for conferences/travel:      $50.00 ($25 reduced fee)   

Those with institutional support/professional development funds:  $150.00

Conference Registration Link with Membership Options (you do not need SLSA membership if you are only attending, though we strongly encourage you to join the Society):

Presenters in SLSA 2021 must be current members of SLSA. To become a member, go here:

NOTE: reimbursement of the membership fee is possible for some individuals
Graduate students, artists, and independent scholars who register for and attend SLSA 2021 (a virtual conference) and who wish to be reimbursed for membership fees will be asked to complete an online reimbursement request form that will be available on the society website ( between October 5 and December 1, 2021. Reimbursement will be in the form of a US bank check mailed to a postal address.

Accessibility: This event will be online using the Zoom plat­form with an auto-gen­er­ated Live Tran­script avail­able. If you antic­i­pate need­ing any addi­tional accom­mo­da­tions, email by August 31 so we can arrange for your accom­mo­da­tion or an effec­tive alternative.


For questions and inquiries email: 

Conference Production Team (Thank You!) :

Susan Schaefgen (June 2021 – October 2021), Cheryl Evans (Stamps School, July 2021 – October 2021), Andre Grewe at Stamps Communications (2020-2021)

Ariel Mallett (Stamps School, 2020-March 21) and Kim Karlsrud (2020)

Conference Location

Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design and partners will virtually host the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

We acknowledge that The University of Michigan, named for Michigami, the world’s largest freshwater system and located in the Huron River watershed, was formed and has grown through connections with the land stewarded by Niswi Ishkodewan Anishinaabeg: The Three Fires People who are the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi along with their neighbors the Seneca, Delaware, Shawnee and Wyandot nations.