CFP: I Realigned the Cosmos: Lyric Poetry and Science (SLSA 5/9/16; 11/3-6/16)

by Jessica C. Murphy

I Realigned the Cosmos: Lyric Poetry and Science
Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), 3-6 November 2016, Atlanta, GA

“Ain’t no one can / chart me,” says ex-planet Pluto in a 2015 poem by Fatimah Asghar. The remark may well also double as self-reflexive commentary regarding the relationship between lyric poetry and the objects of scientific study, such as the cosmos, ecological systems, the human body, the laws of physics, natural history, technology, and much more. It is often acknowledged that poems take up these subjects—but the work poems do with them is often considered along the lines of “expression” or “representation.” While not seeking to discount either of those concepts, this panel nevertheless aims to move away from the conception that they are poetry’s sole purchases on these objects of study. Instead, this panel asks: what happens if we take seriously the notion that, like scientific disciplines, lyric poetry and poetics create knowledge about these subjects? What kinds of knowledge in these realms have been created by specific poems, poets, tropes, devices, figures, and so on? If we grant that there are “scientific methods” of inquiry, are there such things as “poetic methods”? Does poetry experiment, invent, hypothesize, calculate, build, study?

We seek abstracts that address, expand, or complicate these questions; all periodizations and theoretical approaches are welcome. Please submit a 250-word abstract and a 1-page CV with the subject line “SLSA Panel Submission” to Sumita Chakraborty at by Monday, May 9. The 2016 meeting of the Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts (SLSA) will have the theme “Creativity.” Please see for more details about the conference.

Source: cfp | call for papers