BSLS Winter Symposium 2020

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BSLS Winter Symposium 2020

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The BSLS Winter Symposium is being jointly organised between the University of Sheffield and the University of Aberdeen on Saturday the 28th of November 2020.

As with the successful online conference earlier this year, this virtual Symposium will be held on Microsoft Teams. Speakers from the planned April conference will be providing their papers in various formats, hosted on the BSLS website during the week of the 23rd of November.

The keynote speaker will be Professor Angela Wright (University of Sheffield) and a separate training session for PGRs and ECRs will also be provided.

This event is free and open to all, but please register for the Symposium (and separately, if relevant, for the PGR/ECR session) via Eventbrite by the 18th of November.

Schedule of Events:

23rd of November:

Papers/panels made available online to view over the week

28th of November:

1.15 -1.30pm – Welcome and Introductory Remarks from Chair and Organisers

1.30 -3.00pm – PGR/ECR Training Session, led by Gemma Curto and Ellen Packham

3.00-3.30pm – Coffee break

3.30-5.00pm – Keynote and Q&A by Professor Angela Wright (Sheffield)

5.00-5.30pm – Informal drinks



1) Arwa F. Al-Mubaddel, ‘Radical feminism, Feminist Evolutionary Biology, and the Transgendered Female Body in Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve (1977)’

2) Joshua D’Arcy, ‘The Weird Engine: Bodies, Sustainability, and Train Fantasies in Snowpiercer’

3) Harry Smith, ‘Scientific Rhetoric and the Aesthetics of Possibility in Contemporary Utopian Fiction’


1) Camilla Allen, ‘Telling the story of the trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker – forest scientist or literary ecologist?’

2) Gemma Curto, ‘Imagining a climate-change future in the works of Margaret Atwood’

3) Karsten Levihn-Kutzler, ‘Colonial Romance and the Epistemologies of Extinction in W.H. Hudson's Green Mansions’

4) Bradley Osborne, ‘Golding’s “Gaia novel”: A Case Study of James Lovelock’s Influence on the Work of William Golding’

Feminist Biopolitics

1) Fatima Borrmann, ‘The Degenerate Spouse: Eugenics and Marriage in Arabella Kenealy’s The Marriage Yoke and Gabriele Reuter’s “Eines Toten Wiederkehr”’

2) Anna Farkas, ‘“A Study in Puerperal Mania:” Alienating the Audience through a Realist Performance of Disease in the Early-Modernist British Theatre’

3) Becky Spear, ‘Letters to Marianne: Madness, Liberty and Proto-feminist Protest in Jane Austen’s Love and Friendship (1790)’


1) Peter Adkins, ‘Consciousness and Materiality: Reading Joyce in the Noosphere’

2) Sarah Daw, ‘Quantum Physics, Process Philosophy, and the Mid-Twentieth Century Origins of Ecopoetics’

3) Joana Formosinho, ‘Materiality beyond machines: Reading early Haraway’

Embodied Minds

1) Chloé Germaine Buckley, ‘Minds and Machines in Children’s Fantastika: Locating Consciousness in the Mesh of Nature’

2) Joan Passey, ‘"The revolting mass": The Speciation and Maiming of the Mining Body in the Nineteenth Century’

3) Rebecca Sheppard, ‘Physiology and Pathology in Wilkie Collins’s Legacy of Cain and George Gissing’s Nether World’


1) Sonja Andrew, ‘The Decoded Lab’

2) Catherine Charlwood, ‘“Twas all one!”: Literary and Scientific Culture in C19th Welsh Mutual Improvement Societies’

3) Jennifer Pien, ‘On the Wings of The Pegasus: Creating and Sustaining a Creative Writing and Narrative Medicine Organization’

Popular Science

1) Melanie Keen, ‘Hours with the Flowers: The Temporalities of Juvenile Gardening in Nineteenth-Century Britain’

2) Christine Müller, ‘Re-Imagining British Women in Science – Mary Anning, Caroline Herschel, and the Feminist Politics of the Contemporary Biographical Novel’

3) Sofia Varino, ‘Sentient Symphony: Life as a Category of Knowledge in the Popular Science Narratives of Lynn Margulis’

Styles of Science

1) Ana Berdinskikh, ‘Imagining a Future Sound: Velimir Khlebnikov and Early Soviet Radio’

2) Ros Powell, ‘Body Knowledge: Self-Experiment in the 18th Century’

3) Alice Rhodes, ‘“The most scientific and poetic production that ever came from the pen”: Erasmus Darwin and the Problem with Philosophical Poetry’

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