International Conference of Three Societies on Literature and Science

University of Birmingham
Wednesday 10 April (00:00) - Friday 12 April 2024 (00:00)
University of Birmingham campus

For 2024, the annual conferences of the British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS) and the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSAeu), together with the biennial conference of the Commission on Science and Literature (CoSciLit), will be combined into a single meeting. This will be the first time that these three societies have joined together to share research at the many intersections of literature and science. 

The conference will be held at the University of Birmingham, UK, over 10-12 April 2024. Confirmed plenary speakers include Brian Hurwitz, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and the Arts at King’s College London; Isabel Jaen Portillo, Professor of Spanish at Portland State University; a panel from the Science & Fiction Lab at Florida International University, led by the Lab’s Director Rhona Trauvitch; and the Directors of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, the Birmingham Institute for Sustainability and Climate Action and the Institute for STEMM in Culture and Society at the University of Birmingham. Sadly, Sarah Dillon, Professor of Literature and the Public Humanities at the University of Cambridge is no longer able to attend as previously advertised.

The conference will be semi-hybrid, with papers presented in person or online. Online delegates will be able to watch the plenary sessions live and recordings of papers from other panels. In addition to the main programme, there will be tours of the Lapworth Museum of Geology, Winterbourne House and Garden and the National Buried Infrastructure Facility available to delegates attending the conference in person, with an additional optional visit to the BIFoR FACE forest research facility and the Ruskin Land forest site on Saturday 13 April. As numbers for the forest tour are strictly limited, there we will also make virtual reality and online tours of these forest sites available to delegates.

There will be a follow-up session online on Saturday 27 April (14:00-17:00 UK time) for all delegates, including a plenary talk by George Levine, Emeritus Professor of English at Rutgers University, and a panel for postgraduate students on publishing literature and science research with editors from the journals Configurations, the Journal of Literature and Science and Interdisciplinary Science Reviews and the book series Explorations in Science and Literature published by Bloomsbury and Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine.



Registration for this conference is now closed.

Travel to the conference

Directions to Birmingham and to our Edgbaston campus are available on the Getting here page.  The conference will be based in our Teaching and Learning Building R32 in the red zone on our campus map


We have our Edgbaston Park Hotel on campus. (Please note we do not have rooms reserved for the conference at the hotel, bookings are made by delegates on an individual basis.) Please visit our accommodation page for advice on how to research other accommodation options. 


The conference is sponsored by Bloomsbury, and Palgrave MacmIllan publishers.

Conference leads

John Holmes
Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture, University of Birmingham, UK
President, Commission on Science and Literature

Jenni Halpin
Professor of English, Savannah State University, Georgia, USA
Chair, British Society for Literature and Science

Aura Heydenreich
Chair of Modern German Literature, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
President, European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts