One of the loneliest things about life online, I’ve found, is that it denies us the full sensory range of human interaction. In lockdown I realised how much I missed not only seeing and hearing other people (sensory modes which Zoom can just about convey, even if unsatisfyingly) but how much I missed touching and even smelling other people.
Mike Collins recently developed, recorded, edited, and hosted a three-part podcast series called the Plague Lit Pod, with contributions from Dr. Jon Day, Dr. Kelina Gotman, and Dr. Emrys Jones on the subject of the relationship between literature and pandemics. The podcast is available through Spotify. Here, he reflects on the history of podcasting, his personal experience of the form, and how he intends to use it in future in research and teaching. Dr. Collins has previously published online on fiction podcasting at Alluvium and in collaboration with Danielle Barrios-O’Neill (Falmouth) for the journal Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural
by Sarah Mir Sarah is a 21-year-old soon-to-be English Literature graduate from King’s College London who has an avid interest in writing/editorial work.
A common epithet to describe the coronavirus has been “the invisible enemy”. Not only does the use of the chosen adjective, ‘invisible’, hint at the nature of a biological threat, but it also perpetuates an understanding of the virus as an abstraction, this other-worldly description questions its reality. Continue reading Class of 2020: Graduating From a Distance→
There is a gravity to this situation. He has broken my heart. We are waging a war on cancer. Our closest neighbour is Andromeda. Synapses permit neurons to communicate with each other.
Warning: this post is ripe to bursting with metaphors.
Thomas Kuhn argued that you don’t see something until ‘you have the right metaphor to perceive it’ (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962). How then might we perceive the literary and scientific dimensions of the metaphor in itself?
Metaphor negotiates across the ‘two cultures’ of science and humanities at the university. Does the metaphor stay the same in its transmission/translation or does it transform, transgress, transcend? Are metaphors necessarily rooted within a particular historical context or can productive analogies between literary and scientific texts across disparate historical periods be discovered? Can we (should we?) read a neurological metaphor into a text which pre-dates neurology? Should we (can we?) read a scientific metaphor aimed at pedagogical elucidation like we might a poetical metaphor: an immanent stitch of image which nevertheless troubles and growths beyond itself (by our invention or its design)?
On Saturday 4th November 2017, the Centre for Humanities and Health and the English Department will host the British Society of Literature and Science’s (BSLS) annual winter symposium. The symposium will be an opportunity for many of us to try our hand at solving these questions, or asking even more.