Science and Literature: A Battle of the Books?

Event Date: 
23 Apr 2013

Deadline for proposals: 1st March 2013

On the 23rd of April the University of Bristol will be hosting its annual postgraduate half-day conference. This will be an opportunity for all postgraduates — taught or research — working in the field of English Literary Studies to come together to discuss the relationship between Science and Literature.

General questions to be explored include: how might one discuss the relationship between science and literature? Do the boundaries blur? Where does science end and literature begin? Are science and literature competitors in explaining the world around us, or do they complement each other?  In what ways may one be a vehicle for the other? To what extent is the way we formulate and discuss these questions dependant on historical contexts and literary forms?

Papers are welcome which deal with English literature from the Medieval period onwards. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Science and exploration in literature
  • Science and the crisis of Faith in literature
  • Eco-criticism: changing philosophical / scientific conceptions of the natural world
  • Evolution: the disruption of Darwinism in literature
  • Medicine in literature
  • Literature and the psychology of death
  • The rupture and revision of neoclassical world views

Papers will be 20 minutes long. Proposals of 250-300 words should be sent by email to: