CFP: Neurology and Literature, 1800-present (9/15/05; NEMLA, 3/2/06-3/5/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Anne Stiles
contact email: 

March 2-5, 2006.

Panel: Neurology and Literature, 1800-present

Submissions are invited for a NEMLA panel on intersections between British, European,
and North American literature and neurology from 1800 to the present. While there has
been much excellent work in the past two decades on the complex relationship between
science and literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the topic of
neurology in relation to literature is decidedly under-theorized. Rather than
suggesting that literature simplistically reflects contemporary neurological theories,
the panel will explore ways in which literary authors actively critiqued or even
directly influenced the development of scientific conceptions of the human brain.
To this end, we seek essays on literature examined in its scientific context, as well as essays performing literary analyses of scientific

Panelists may address topics including (but not limited to):
-Mental illness
-Debates regarding localization of brain function
-Theories about gender in relation to brain function
-Aphasia and other communication disorders
-Motor automatism (including somnambulism, automatic writing, etc.)
-The work of the Society for Psychical Research in relation to fin-de-siècle
-Biological vs. psychoanalytic perspectives on mental function
-Controversial treatments, such as electroshock therapy, rest cures, etc.
-Hypnoid or dissociative mental states
-The legacy of phrenology and physiognomy in late-Victorian literature and
-Comparison of British and Continental scientific methodology
-The ethics of psychological experimentation
-Doctor-patient relations

Paper abstracts (circa 300 words) must be submitted by September 15, 2005.
Please include a one-page CV along with your abstract.

Please send inquiries and submissions (preferably electronically in MS word
format) to

Anne Stiles (

If you do not have access to email, please send your abstract to:

Anne Stiles
UCLA Department of English
2225 Rolfe Hall
Box 951530
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1530

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Received on Wed Jun 15 2005 - 17:27:09 EDT