Dear BAMS members and friends
The election for up to two new Postgraduate Representatives to sit on the BAMS Executive Steering Committee opened on Saturday 10 February. If you have BAMS membership for 2018 you should have received an email from Electionbuddy with a unique link to the online election on Saturday morning. Please check your clutter and junkmail files if you have not seen this email. If you still don’t have an email from Electionbuddy contact Suzanne Hobson (email@example.com) with proof of membership (email receipt from EUP/Paypal) and we will arrange for you to be sent a ballot. The election will close on Wednesday 28 February 2018.
The four nominees are: Emily Mills, Gareth Mills, Sean Richardson and Imola Nagy-Seres. Please see below for their biographies and supporting statements.
Emily Mills, University of Nottingham
Nominated by Nathan Waddell
Emily is a third-year PhD student at the University of Nottingham. Her research, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through the Midlands Three Cities (M3C) consortium, explores to what extent modern editorial theory can illuminate and resolve the challenges involved in reading and interpreting postmodern literature. Bringing postmodern fiction into dialogue with contemporary text-editing models, her research aims to shed new light on both and to investigate what is understood by the term ‘postmodernism’ in the contexts of both fiction and editorial theory. As part of her research, Emily has undertaken a fellowship at the Harry Ransom Center (2016-17), awarded through the AHRC International Placement Scheme, and she was the recipient of a Theodora Bosanquet Bursary in 2017.
My work on postmodern fiction has had two offshoots which demonstrate my suitability for the role: a concern with how practices of editing modernist fiction can help us reformulate traditional editorial theories; and a growing interest in Ford Madox Ford, which led me to present a paper considering his work in relation to Julian Barnes and the legacies of modernism at the 2017 BAMS conference.
My vision for the future of BAMS is, therefore, to expand the range of its literary-historical focus. In addition to promoting the work of BAMS at unaffiliated conferences, I propose to organise a symposium exploring how modernist scholarship influences research on the work of different chronological epochs, and especially in the post-1950 period. Such an event would bring new scholars into BAMS, particularly those who may not consider themselves modernists, and also present different opportunities for interdisciplinary research partnerships. In this respect, I would hope to work with the Midlands Modernist Network to nurture scholarly relationships between BAMS and PhD students based at the six institutions in the M3C network (Birmingham, BCU, De Montfort, Leicester, Nottingham, and NTU).
I have excellent organisational skills, having helped to organise the M3C Research Festival in 2017; I can help manage the BAMS website and contribute to its social media accounts, having contributed similarly to the New Modernist Editing project in 2017; and given my experience with matters of proofing and copy-transmission, I would be keen to contribute to the running of The Modernist Review.
Gareth Mills, University of Reading, University of Bath
Nominated by Nicola Wilson
I am an AHRC funded second year PhD student at the University of Reading, studying Wyndham Lewis and the publishing industry. I am a contributing reviewer for the Journal of Wyndham Lewis studies and the Journal of Beckett studies, and founder and co-organiser of the Modernist Periodicals Reading Group based at Reading. Last year I founded the interdisciplinary academic outreach journal Question (www.questionjournal.com), of which I am co-editor, now available in print in bookshops and libraries in the Southwest, Wales and London. I also co-coordinate the Gender and Sexuality Research Network at Reading and manage its blog.
As the current editor of a journal and coordinator of two research groups I have developed relevant competencies in editorial processes, cross-institutional organisation, web design, administration, and social media promotion, and would be very keen to bring this experience to BAMS.
Having experience of the benefits of a setting up a lively postgraduate publishing forum with the new journal Question, one of my priorities would be the revival of The Modernist Review and its website. Where the senior quarterly publication, Modernist Cultures, offers regular insights into a current confluence of research on a specific theme (‘Global Modernism’), a postgraduate publication could not only offer a supportive, rigorous forum for new PhD work but become an exciting indicator of on-the-cusp new research in its own right.
The increasingly central place of archival work to modernist studies in general stands to benefit from BAMS’ national outreach. I would support the growth of information-sharing workshops to complement the wealth of existing skills-based support, which is mostly aimed at newer members.
Finally, I would encourage the current trend in AHRC backed doctoral training consortiums of linking publications in journals, such as The Modernist Review, to more popular online news and opinion sites. The Conversation and Aeon are emerging as influential news sources backed by academics which have had, as yet, a sporadic engagement with modernist research. Opportunities for engagement would have a good impact on early membership uptake too – thereby getting newer PGRs in the BAMs information loop earlier.
Imola Nagy-Seres, University of Exeter
Nominated by Suzanne Hobson
Imola is in the third year of her PhD studies in English Literature at the University of Exeter. Her research focuses on the phenomenology of touch in the modernist novel. She holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Leeds and completed her BA studies at Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. Her reviews have been published in the Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, and she is currently working on an article for the inaugural issue of the Elizabeth Bowen Review. She has written shorter pieces for The Virginia Woolf Blog and The University of Exeter Doctoral College Blog.
I have attended events organised by BAMS for two years. In 2016 and 2017 I presented papers at the New Work in Modernist Studies Conference in London and Leeds, and in April 2017 I participated at the Postgraduate Training Day in Leicester. I have found these events not only intellectually challenging but also reassuring in the sense of making doctoral students feel part of a larger community of like-minded peers and academics.
As a postgraduate representative I will contribute to the maintaining and strengthening of community spirit within BAMS. Writing a doctoral dissertation represents a challenge, but there are many ways in which students’ academic skills and mental wellbeing can be improved. I would like to organise study days with a specific focus on research skills, such as writing and editing dissertations and journal articles, preparing for the viva, and revising the thesis into a monograph. While many universities offer general workshops on these topics, I think that students would benefit more from subject-specific training and the possibility to talk to journal editors. As the representative of Graduate Teaching Assistants at Exeter, I have gained experience in organising a series of workshops for PhD students teaching English literature.
Finally, as a postgraduate representative I will ensure that BAMS continues to offer support for students to share innovative ideas on online platforms such as The Modernist Review. As stated in my biography, I have experience in writing blog posts for non-academic audiences, and would be happy to relaunch The Modernist Review.
Sean Richardson, Nottingham Trent University
Nominated by Andrew Thacker
Sean Richardson is a second-year doctoral candidate at Nottingham Trent University. He is the host of the Modernist Podcast, the founder of the Midlands Modernist Network, the curator of the Forster50 museum exhibition and the organiser of Queer Modernism(s), Transitions: Bridging the Victorian-Modernist Divide and Orientations: A Conference of Narrative of Place, amongst other conferences. He likes biscuits.
I believe BAMS is currently doing excellent work to support its postgraduate community and, if elected, would seek to continue building on the achievements of the outgoing postgraduate representatives. To do this, I would focus on:
One: Collecting feedback from our existing members. Last year, BAMS ran its first postgraduate survey. I would like to follow this up yearly, adding to the existing questions and collecting case studies. This data will elucidate how to best support BAMS members, as well as illuminate pathways for progression once the PhD has finished.
Two: Continuing to foster academic achievement at postgraduate level. Our postgraduate community is doing fantastic work, and this deserves recognition. I would like to work to produce a ‘BAMS Certificate of Excellence’. BAMS members would be able to nominate PhD students for this award, providing a mark of recognition.
Three: Diversifying our postgraduate membership. Currently comprised of mostly literature scholars, I believe BAMS can do more to reach out to those in fields such as art history, modern languages and book history, allowing for further interesting, interdisciplinary discussions.
Having run the Modernist Podcast, set up the MMN and blogged extensively on higher education issues, I am heavily invested in platforming postgraduate voices in the modernist community on a local and national level. I would love to continue this structural work as BAMS postgraduate representative, as well as provide a friendly face for members old and new. If you have any questions, you can tweet me at: @southldntabby