Diachronic change in Bantu noun classes

We are holding our last work-in-progress session of term next week at 1 o’clock on Wednesday 2nd July in HumSS 175. Annemarie Verkerk from the School of Biological Sciences will be speaking on ‘Diachronic change in Bantu noun classes: an investigation using phylogenetic comparative methods’. She will present a case study of the use of phylogenetic comparative methods in linguistics by looking at Bantu noun classes. In this talk, Annemarie will be contributing to work describing diachronic change in Bantu noun classes (e.g. Katamba 2003, Maho 1999) by looking at ancestral state reconstructions and rates of change. Please do join us if you can.


Science in Modernist Poetry

The IRHS has been invited to give a panel at the British Association of Modernist Studies conference this week at Senate House in London. We will be giving three talks on science in modernist poetry at 1.30 on Saturday 28th June. Stephen Thomson will be talking on ‘Fables of Science and Subjectivity: Paul Valéry’s Descartes’, John Holmes on ‘Teleological Evolutionism in Modernist Epic Poetry’, and Fathi Nasaif on ‘Science and Technology in Muriel Rukeyser’s “The Book of the Dead”’. We hope that the panel will open up new avenues for approaching the complex relationships between a range of modernist poets and poetics and different scientific theories and conceptions of science itself.

Medieval Meteorology symposium

The Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies at Reading is holding its Summer Symposium this year on Medieval Meteorology, Science and Divination. The Symposium is on Wed 2nd July, 10.30-4.00,  in Palmer Building, Room 109. Speakers include:

  • Dr Marilina Cesario (Queen’s University, Belfast), ‘Wind Prognostics in Anglo-Saxon England’
  • Dr Stephen Johnston (Museum of History of Science, University of Oxford), ‘Whatever the Weather: Sun, Seasons and the Astrolabe’
  • Dr Anne Lawrence (University of Reading), ‘The Weather, the Stars and the New Technology’
  • Dr Alexandra Harris (Liverpool University), ‘Talking about the Weather’

Registration costs £10, including lunch. For more details email Anne Lawrence (a.e.mathers-lawrence@reading.ac.uk). To book your place for the Summer Symposium click here.

Evolution and Victorian poetry

John Holmes’s essay ‘The challenge of evolution in Victorian poetry’ has just been published in Evolution and Victorian Culture, edited by Bernard Lightman and Bennett Zon. This is the first book to take a look at the  significance of evolutionary thinking across the arts in the Victorian period, from fiction to dance, cinema to architecture. To take a look inside, and get a flavour of the book and its coverage, visit the CUP page for the book by clicking here.