BAMS Postgrad Rep Election 2020: Candidate Statements

Here are the candidate statements for the three candidates for the open BAMS postgradauate rep positions.  Members who are eligible to vote should have received an email with a link.  There are two positions available.  Candidates are presented in alphabetical order by surname.

Members who are eligible to vote should have received an email with a link.

 

  1. Bryony Armstrong

I am a first year PhD student in English Studies at Durham University, following a joint MA in English and Mathematics and an MPhil in Modern and Contemporary Literature. My research is on the modernist kiss, with a focus on touch, looking at the work of D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster and Elizabeth Bowen, among others.

My vision for BAMS is to grow its lively community, promote its learning resources, and expand its digital presence. Through its responsive Twitter page, networking events, training days and conferences, BAMS fosters a supportive and inclusive postgraduate community. I hope to build upon the collaborative work of the association, and continue to listen to and meet the needs of its members.

Proposal:    As well as supporting existing schemes, I envisage three new contributions to develop my vision. The Modernist Review currently offers the opportunity to publish pieces online; I wish to expand this platform by creating an accompanying podcast that records spoken papers, allowing members to engage with content in a flexible format. I would also develop the Community Resource Pack by introducing modernist-specific writing resources, such as literature review examples and skeleton thesis chapter plans, alongside the existing application advice. Finally, I would like to connect directly with universities to make their students, particularly those who do not use social media, aware of BAMS’ community and how it can enhance their postgraduate studies.

I can bring a range of relevant experience to this role. I am co-convenor of Durham’s Late Summer Lecture Series 2020, which involves releasing Call for Papers, engaging with the national literary community, and organising events. I also co-edited Label Press for two years. Having joined the magazine at its inception, I successfully established both a team of writers and a readership base. I wrote and edited articles, made publication schedules, and promoted on social media.

 

  1. Will Carroll

I am a second-year PhD student at University of Birmingham, researching small-town American narrative in the early-to-mid twentieth century across literature, art, and photography. I am a proactive researcher with a keen interest in publishing and presenting my work. I have had work published in Screen, ASAP/J, Question, U.S Studies Online, among others; I have also presented papers at BAMS 2019; New Works in Modernism; PG BAAS; Modernism in the Home, and many others.

As a newly-enrolled PhD student, the BAMS postgraduate networking day (September 2018) was the first formal event I attended and became a formative experience in shaping my experience of doctoral study to this point. The welcoming and friendly nature of the BAMS community, made so by my fellow researchers and the hosting BAMS PG reps, immediately dispelled the worries of isolation and solitude I had harboured regarding doctoral study. The warmth of sharing ideas and finding common ground; the excitement of liaising with newly-made contacts for conference panel proposals; socialising with researchers equally new and nervous – all of this was made possible because of BAMS’ commitment to creating spaces and events where postgraduates are welcome.

Proposal:    I am applying for this position because, put simply, I want to help provide this same environment of community, warmth, and stimulation to other postgraduate researchers who are perhaps uncertain, as I was, about the challenges innate to doctoral study. Whether this is through fostering community via networking days; creating an important sense of active community on social media; or providing a supportive place for publishing new and exciting work with thoughtful, considerate feedback (care of The Modernist Review), I will strive to work with the current PG reps, and BAMS’ executive committee, to achieve a sense of belonging and camaraderie to new and existing postgraduates alike.

As a scholar, I operate very much on the fringes of modernism and am eager to draw together equivalent scholars with established, conventional modernists in a bid to broaden the remit and definition of ‘modernism’ within the academy. I have extensive experience working directly with The Modernist Review, including a special issue I edited on ‘Visual Modernism’ which aimed to directly disturb our expectations and definitions of modernism and provoke new questions for the field. My enjoyment of editing work and engaging with exciting new scholarly material would make me an ideal permanent editor of The Modernist Review, a forum for new academic inquiry which I believe is vital in moving Modernist studies forward.

I am eager to bring my interdisciplinary interests to BAMS in a bid to bridge gaps within the discipline, engaging with scholars and creatives alike who are interested in probing the fixity of traditional modernist ideologies. Thank you for considering me for this role, and I hope that my message of community and support resonates with the BAMS committee. I hope that, through this role, I will be given the chance to give something back to this research network.

 

  1. Josh Phillips

Josh Phillips is a second-year PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow, researching Virginia Woolf’s late manuscript drafts. His article ‘Thoughts on Peace in a Wine Cellar’ is forthcoming from Woolf Studies Annual. In 2019, he helped to run the ‘Theory Now’ symposium at Glasgow. He is a contributor to The Year’s Work in English Studies and has written for The Modernist Review. Prior to starting his PhD, he worked in a number of digital marketing and editorial positions.

Proposal:  One of the most professionally and personally satisfying aspects of BAMS is the way that the organisation works to build a modernist community. While events like the BAMS conferences or NWiMS are justly high points of the BAMS calendar, more can be done to foster community beyond these national events. To this end, I would work in conjunction with affiliated modernist networks such as the Scottish Network of Modernist Studies, the London and Northern Modernist Seminars, or the Modernist Network Cymru to run smaller local events, such as seminars on professionalisation and career development for modernist PGRs. These would create opportunities for networking and the exchange of ideas while seeking to mitigate the economic and environmental costs associated with cross-country conference travel. These would be supplemented with ongoing digital initiatives, such as an online modernist ‘Salon’ hosted on The Modernist Review website which would provide a space for virtual discussion and collaboration, and a series of virtual writing ‘retreats’ which would allow attendees to share, discuss, and get feedback on their writing and build on the success of #ModWrite.

My background in digital marketing and editorial roles has given me a set of skills that I believe will help implement these proposals. Digital marketing work has taught me how to use social media and email platforms to communicate effectively online, while editorial work – both copy-editing and editorial planning, often to tight deadlines – stands me in good stead for working on The Modernist Review. Put simply, I know how to pull shenanigans on Twitter and love wrangling semicolons.