CFP Insects and Texts: Spinning Webs of Wonder, Toulouse, May 4-5 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Explora, University of Toulouse, France

Insects and Texts: Spinning Webs of Wonder
Explora International Conference
4-5 May 2010
Toulouse Natural History Museum/CAS (UTM)

Vladimir Nabokov, both writer and entomologist, once explained that he could not "separate the aesthetic pleasure of seeing a butterfly and the scientific pleasure of knowing what it is" [Interview with Robert H. Boyle, Sports Illustrated, 1959]. This conference proposes to examine man's fascination with the world of insects as reflected not only in the rich history of entomological research, from amateur or professional collecting to scientific expeditions, but also in more artistic forms of expression - myth, literature, painting, photography, cinema and music. Whether insects stimulate man's curiosity or inspire fear, whether parallels or contrasts are seen between human society and the astonishing skills of insects, this conference aims to explore the relation between man and insects. Through the study of either scientific and technological developments in entomology, or artistic concerns with insects, we invite specialists of entomology and/or the arts to reconsider the relationship of man to nature through the magnifying glass of an entomologist. Papers that offer an interdisciplinary approach on science and art are especially welcome.
We invite 20-minute papers that engage with, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- the history of entomology and insect classification
- the history of insect collecting
- the popularization of entomology
- entomology and scientific expeditions
- entomology and technological development
- insects and biodiversity
- representations of insects, ecosystems and ecology
- the resurgence of insect worlds in human society
- entomology and naturalist painters
- entomology and photography
- insects in literature
- insects in illustrated books
- insects in cinema/films
- insects and the fantastic
- insects and music
- entomological metamorphoses in science and art

Please send 300-word proposals (attached as a .doc-file) together with a short biographical note to Deadline for submissions: 15 February 2010.