Conference: Biological Discourses around 1900

I’m delighted to have been invited to present the opening keynote at “Biological Discourses: The Language of Science and Literature around 1900”, which takes place at St John’s College, Cambridge, 10-11 April 2015.

The programme looks fantastic. It can be downloaded as a poster here. Or take a look at it below. I’m looking forward to the next two days!

Biological Discourses: The Language of Science and Literature around 1900

A Postgraduate-Led Conference at St John’s College, Cambridge

Friday, 10 April 2015

10.00 Registration

11.00 Welcome

11.15 Keynote Lecture
Heike Bauer (London): Death and Inversion

12.00 Panel 1: Sexology
Linda Leskau (Bochum): Vegetal Perversions in Texts by Alfred Döblin

Cyd Sturgess (Sheffield): Constructing the Boundaries of Desire: Theories of Sexual ‘Inversion’ and Sapphic Self-Fashioning in Berlin and Amsterdam (1918-1933)

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Panel 2: The Racial Other
Aisha Nazeer (St Andrews): The Degenerate, Racial ‘Other’: Reading the Abject in Marryat’s The Blood of the Vampire and Haggard’s She

David Midgley (Cambridge): The Legacy of Haeckel in the Writings of German Anti-Racists

15.00 Panel 3: Infections and Infestations
Michael Wainwright (London): The Lair of the White: Stoker’s Literal Projection of a Helminthic Nightmare

Marie Kolkenbrock (Cambridge): Gothic Infections: Discourses of Bacteriology and Occultism in the Literature of Prague and Vienna around 1900

16.00 Tea

16.30 Panel 4: Reproductive Issues
Michael Eggers (Cologne): A Kiss is not just a Kiss. Adalbert Stifter’s Novella ‘The Kiss of the Sentze’ and the Reproduction of Mosses

Charlotte Woodford (Cambridge): Biology and the Romance: Eugenic Thinking in Early Twentieth- Century Fiction by Women

18.00 Graduate Workshop
An Opportunity to Present Research Plans and Seek Advice

Saturday, 11 April 2015

9.00 Panel 5: The Darwinian Legacy
Elena Borelli (New York): The Beast Within: Darwinism and Desire in the Fin de Siècle

Anahita Rouyan (Bologna): Resisting ‘Excelsior Biology’: H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine and the Late Victorian (Mis-)Representations of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

William Dodd (Birmingham): From Hitler to Darwin? Dolf Sternberger’s Panorama or Views of/from the Nineteenth Century (1938) as Cultural History in the Shadow of National Socialism

10.30 Coffee

11.00 Panel 6: Psychology and Aesthetics
Tracey Loughran (Cardiff): Biology, Trauma and History: ‘Shell-Shock’ in British Medical Literature and Fiction, ca. 1914-1930

Sarah Cain (Cambridge): Attention and Efficiency: The Experimental Psychology of Modernism

Rey Lawson-Conquer (Oxford): ‘Synaesthesia is the art of perceiving, itself’: The Uses and Abuses of a Cross-Disciplinary Metaphor

12.30 Commentary
Angus Nicholls (London)

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Panel 7: Literary Transformations
Robert Craig (Cambridge): ‘I looked for myself … but found the world’: Looking for a New Hermeneutics in Alfred Döblin’s Literary Anthropologies and Biologies

Annja Neumann (Cambridge): ‘Literarische Naturbetrachtung’. Arthur Schnitzler’s Literary Dissection Theatre in his Ärztestück and Professor Bernhardi

16.00 Keynote Lecture
Staffan Müller-Wille (Exeter): Heredity around 1900

16.45 Tea
17.30 Conference Closes

Conference organisers: Robert Craig, Ina Linge and Annja Neumann (Cambridge)

Advance registration required by Friday, 27 March 2015. Conference fees: £30 (standard rate one or both days); £25 (Friends of Germanic or Italian Studies at the IMLR); £20 (students).

Register online at, using the form overleaf/at > events or, or contact (tel: 01223 335 037)


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