Winter Speaker Series
© Andrea Wan

art credit: Andrea Wan



How does collective vision shape the impact of science and technology on our daily lives? How has narrative been used to re-imagine and reform institutional and cultural forms of science, despite their ongoing connections to power and oppression? The CELLS winter speaker series brings together scholars and writers to discuss the significance of the literary imagination in (non)fictional accounts of science and technology, as well as in theoretical debates in academia and beyond.

These evening lectures are hosted online via Zoom in English. They are open to the public (registration required) and free of charge. Live captioning will be provided. 

Series Moderators: Matthew Sample (CELLS) and Anna Nguyen (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)


Dr. Tita Chico (English, University of Maryland)

"I want to sustain wonder" : On Science and Literature, December 10 5-6pm CET

Abstract: “I want to sustain wonder,” announces Katherine McKittrick in Dear Science and Other Stories (2020). In this talk, I take up McKittrick’s call to argue that wonder is an affective epistemology that enables the reimagination of what it means to know the natural world and an individual’s place in it. Through encounters with René Descartes, Adam Smith, Luce Irigaray, and Sara Ahmed, I present an archaeology of 18th-century wonder as a heuristic wherein difference is unreconciled, where self and other are unfamiliar. As the archive of 18th-century scientific and literary texts reveals, the space-time of wonder produces its own form of knowability with powerful implications for a more radical epistemology and a more just sociability.   Bio: Tita Chico (Professor, English) is a scholar and teacher of British literature of the long eighteenth century. She is the author of The Experimental Imagination: Literary Knowledge and Science in the British Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 2018), Designing Women: The Dressing Room in Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture (Bucknell University Press 2005), and the forthcoming Wonder: Literature and Science in the Long Eighteenth Century (under contract with Cambridge University Press).


December 17

12pm US Eastern / 6pm CET

Dr. Travis Chi Wing Lau

Poet, Asst. Professor of English (Kenyon College, USA)

January 2022

Speaker TBA

(check back for updates)