Friday, October 16, 2015



 Interdisciplinary Conference 18 June 2016
Newcastle University

Call for Papers

‘Sciences we now retrospectively regard as heterodox or marginal cannot be considered unambiguously to have held that status at a time when no clear orthodoxy existed that could confer that status upon them’ (Alison Winter, 1997). The nineteenth century witnessed the drive to consolidate discrete scientific disciplines, many of which were concerned with the body. Attempts were made to clarify the boundaries between the ‘scientific’ and the ‘pseudoscientific’, between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’. This conference asks what became lost in separating the orthodox from the heterodox. What happened to the systems of knowledge and practice relating to the body that were marginalised as ‘pseudoscience’? Was knowledge and insight into the human condition lost in the process? Or is it immortalised within the literature of ‘pseudoscience’?

This interdisciplinary conference considers how different discourses of the body were imagined and articulated across a range of visual and verbal texts (including journalism, fiction, popular science writing, illustration) in order to evaluate how ‘pseudoscience’ contributed both to understandings of the body and what it is to be human and to the formation of those disciplines now deemed orthodox.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
·      Acting on the body – the body as a site of experimentation and scientific contestation
·      Pseudoscience and the gendered body
·      The entranced body as the conduit for knowledge of the self
·      The ‘scientifically’ prescribed body – an attempt to rationalise the irrational?
·      ‘Pseudoscience’ and the speculative nature of ‘science’
·      Scientific disciplines – a move towards self-authentication and professionalization or a loss of universal truth?
·      Pseudoscience and abnormality
·      The discourse of gender in the séance room
·      Visual interpretations of the ‘pseudoscientific’
·      Victorian periodicals / popular science journals and ‘pseudoscience’ of the body
·      Reading the body – fiction immortalising the pseudoscientific
·      The attraction of the ‘pseudoscientific’ for C19 poets and novelists
·      Visual interpretations of the ‘pseudoscientific’

Please submit a 250 to 300 word abstract, together with a brief biography, by 31 January 2016 to

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

INCS 2015 Essay Prize

INCS 2015 Essay Prize

  • The $500 award recognizes excellence in interdisciplinary scholarship on any nineteenth-century topic.  See below for eligibility rules.
  • We encourage members of INCS to nominate an essay written by a current member of INCS or to submit their own work. 
  • The winner will be announced at the 2016 conference, sponsored by Appalachian State University in Asheville, NC, from March 10-13, 2016. The winner will be invited to put together a panel for the 2017 INCS conference.
Please send an electronic copy of the nominated essay (PDF preferred) to Professor George Robb (William Paterson University) at no later than January 22, 2016 in the case of an essay that appeared only online, a durable link is acceptable in lieu of a PDF. Specific questions about the 2015 essay contest may be directed to George Robb at

Eligibility Rules
  • Only current (2015) members of INCS are eligible (membership is for the calendar year).
  • Articles that appeared in print in a journal or an edited collection in 2015 are eligible; if the date of publication is not 2014, but the essay appeared in 2015, it is eligible. Essays published in online, peer-reviewed journals are considered to be “in print” and are thus eligible.
  • The essay must make a significant contribution to the field of nineteenth-century studies.
  • Current INCS Board Members’ essays are not eligible for consideration.
  • Former INCS Board Members’ essays are not eligible until five years have passed since their service.
  • Those not yet members who wish to have their essays considered are permitted to join INCS for the year of the essay’s nomination up until just before judging commences a week or so into the new year.

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