'Popular Science, Altered Consciousness and Twentieth-Century Culture'

Call for expressions of interest

A call for papers will be circulated in 2013
Date: November 2013 (one-day conference to be held on a Saturday)
Venue: Queen Mary, University of London
Funded by the British Society for the History of Science
Supported by the Centre for the History of the Emotions and the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London
This conference will bring together scholars working on altered consciousness in relation to popular science, medicine and literature during the period 1918-1980. The interdisciplinary meeting will initialise a network for future exchange and collaboration between historians of mind science and literary critics.
Many literary and popular authors during the mid twentieth-century represented altered states of consciousness in their writing, responding to and participating in research relating to such topics as ESP, clairvoyance, telepathy, mind-altering drugs, psychic therapies, spiritualisms, conversion, revivals, somnambulism, precognition, distraction, group mind, multiple personality, hypnotism, lucid dreaming, Vedanta, hysteria and automatism.
What was the continuing legacy of nineteenth-century approaches to mind and spirit? How did work at the fringes of psychiatry and psychology intersect with mind sciences that consolidated their authority during the mid-twentieth century? What are the key interactions between British, European, North American and non-Western sources?
Please send queries and expressions of interest to k.price@qmul.ac.uk
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