Poetry, Science and Technology
Guest editors: Irmtraud Huber (Berne), Wolfgang Funk (Mainz)
In the preface to Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth famously calls poetry ‘the first and last of all knowledge’ and describes the poet’s task as carrying ‘sensation into the objects of science itself’. The editors invite contributions that explore relations between poetic and scientific knowledge, an association commonly neglected in favour of a focus on narrative. Moreover, we seek to explore how technological advances such as the invention and development of eveÍr more sophisticated machinery or changes in the means of communication find echoes in the imaginary and structure of poetry.
By focusing on these connections and correspondences between apparently dissimilar ways of world-making, this issue aims to offer new perspectives on the interplay between scientific and technological innovation and poetic form. It will attempt to trace how paradigm changes such as Darwinism, post-Newtonian physics or non-Euclidean geometry find correlatives in poetry. The editors also wish to promote a critical dialogue between poetic and narratological approaches to relations between literature and science at different historical moments. We welcome critical engagements with specific case studies of poetic or scientific works, as well as theoretical reflections on the relations between poetry and science and technology from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century.
Relevant topics in this context might include, among others:
- poetry and science as complementary and/or competing epistemological structures and forms of knowledge conservation and dissemination
- concepts and metaphors common to both poetry and science, like the experiment, the model, innovation or abstraction
- formal transformations in poetry in relation to scientific and technological paradigm changes
- shifts in the cultural authority of science and poetry
- poetry as a possible mediator between abstract scientific knowledge and its technological application
- representations of scientific procedures and knowledge as well as technological innovation in poetry
Potential contributors are reminded that EJES operates a two-stage review process. The first is based on the submission of proposals and results in invitations to submit full essays from which a final selection is then made. THE DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS IS 31 OCTOBER 2016, WITH DELIVERY OF COMPLETED ESSAYS BY 31 MARCH 2017.