The British Association for Modernist Studies – Executive Steering Committee election, 2023
There are statements below for both staff members and postgraduate representatives. If you are a member of BAMS you are eligible to vote in both elections.
For the staff positions there are 8 candidates for 6 places. You can vote for up to 6 candidates. The candidates are listed below in alphabetical order by surname. On the ballot the name order is randomized.
The candidates are: Claire Drewery, Sean Ketteringham, Noreen Masud, Rod Rosenquist (for re-election), Rehnuma Sazzad, Luke Seaber, Matthew Taunton (for re-election) and Nathan Waddell.
For the postgraduate representative positions, there are 6 candidates for 2 places. You can vote for up to 2 candidates. The candidates are listed below in alphabetical order by surname. On the ballot the name order is randomized.
The candidates are: Jennifer Ashby, Ishita Krishna, Ryan O’Shea, Iris Pearson, Isabelle Stuart, Serena Hor Yau Wong.
Candidate statements: staff positions
Dr Claire Drewery
Nominator: Dr Rebecca Bowler, Keele University
I am a longstanding BAMS member and regularly attend the biennial conference. I am involved in several related research networks: the Middlebrow Network, Dorothy Richardson Society, Katherine Mansfield Society, and May Sinclair Society. I am an experienced conference and event organizer, having hosted two international conferences on Sinclair, chaired panels for the BAMS conferences, held workshops for the Sinclair Society, and organized the Northern Modernism Seminar in 2021. I am also involved in maintaining the Sinclair Society website, media accounts, and mailing lists.
My organizational experience and past networking would make it natural for me to contribute to BAMS in these ways. As there is an increasing emphasis on impact and employability strategies in universities, I would be keen to explore ways in which modernist scholars could respond to developments like these, or to generate research funding.
These are also unprecedented times in UK Higher Education. The implications of decreased funding for English degree programmes, as well as the job precarity of both early career and established academics, are ongoing and increasing concerns. I would like to explore ways of supporting members through these challenges.
I have a deep appreciation of the invaluable role the Association plays in bringing together scholars from multiple disciplines to contribute to ongoing developments in modernist studies. Events hosted by BAMS have always been welcoming and collegial, as well as intellectually informative and stimulating. To play any part toward continuing the spirit of BAMS into the future would be something to consider an immense privilege.
I am a Senior Lecturer in twentieth-century literature at Sheffield Hallam University. Together with Prof Suzanne Raitt and Dr Rebecca Bowler, I am co-founder of the May Sinclair Society and General/Volume Editor of the Edinburgh Sinclair Critical Editions. I have long-standing research interests in modernism, women’s writing, textual editing and archival research, as well as aesthetic and cultural discourses surrounding the abstract intellect and material bodies. Publications include Modernist Short Fiction by Women: The Liminal in Katherine Mansfield, Dorothy Richardson, May Sinclair and Virginia Woolf, (Ashgate 2011), May Sinclair: Re-Thinking Bodies and Minds (Edinburgh 2017), and One Hundred Years of The Stream of Consciousness, Literature Compass, Special Issue: 17:6 (2020).
Dr Sean Ketteringham
Nominator: Professor Rebecca Beasley, University of Oxford
If elected to the Executive Steering Committee, I would like to focus on three main areas of BAMS’s activity: interdisciplinarity, equality and diversity, and addressing early career precarity.
First, I am a keen advocate of interdisciplinary research as a means of clarifying the social value of the arts and humanities within an increasingly strained higher education sector. BAMS must continue to be at the forefront of this debate by enabling its membership to strike out beyond literary studies. In addition to BAMS, I am an active member of the Association for Art History (AAH), the British Art Network (BAN), and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB). These organisations could provide opportunities for collaboration and mutual enrichment with BAMS, enabling us to more extensively develop the interdisciplinarity of modernist studies today.
Second, I would contribute to ongoing work to improve BAMS’s approach to equality and diversity. The AAH’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan could provide a useful model for improving BAMS’s processes by including regular progress reports, data monitoring, and a resource portal on anti-racism and decoloniality in our field. While I acknowledge the privilege I hold as a cis white man, I have recently affirmed my commitment to intersectional anti-racist action and allyship. As graduate rep in the Queen’s College’s Working Group on Race Diversity and Access I gained an insight into the challenges and benefits of implementing institutional reform.
Lastly, from first-hand experience I know that BAMS is already excellent at supporting its community of graduate students and early career researchers. Yet it could do more to maximise the resources available via its website. I would propose the creation of a dedicated ECR page on the BAMS website containing recourses from previous training events and recorded talks on topics such as pedagogy, publishing articles, monograph editing, application writing, and interview technique. BAMS might not be able to address the systemic factors creating this brutal environment of early career precarity, but it can help to equip its members to face it and ease the burden.
Dr Sean Ketteringham is an interdisciplinary postdoctoral researcher specialising in cultural formations of nation and empire in Britain in the early and mid-twentieth century. Working across literary studies, cultural studies, art history, and architectural history, his work is concerned with how creative production impacts modern communities, nation states, class, and heritage. His AHRC-funded doctoral thesis, completed at the University of Oxford in 2022, examined how modern domestic architecture and its associated literary cultures responded to the decline of the British Empire and the shifting state of English national identity between 1914 and 1948. His first article based on this work was published in Modernist Cultures in January 2022. He has worked extensively in heritage, freelance consultancy, and on research residencies including at the Harry Ransom Center, Texas, Twentieth Century Society, John Latham Foundation (Flat Time House), Grizedale Arts, Charles Moore Foundation, and Archio. From 2023-25 he will be a postdoctoral researcher at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.
Dr Noreen Masud
Nominator: Dr Cleo Hanaway-Oakley, University of Bristol
I’ve benefited from BAMS, and the opportunities for intellectual exchange that it offers, at every stage of my career: I’ve presented at NWiMS as a graduate student, at the 2017 and 2019 BAMS conferences, and at the London Modernist Seminar. I’d bring a range of skills in admin and event delivery to my committee role: I organized the first conference on Stevie Smith’s work in Oxford in 2016, as well as co-organising the English department’s research seminar series at Durham (as a postdoc), and now here at Bristol.
My interests sit slightly outwith the main currents of modernist study: I’ve always been drawn to writers who don’t sit comfortably within narratives of what ‘modernism’ might or might not be. One response might be to redefine ‘modernism’ to be more inclusive; I don’t think I’m alone, though, in the community of people studying twentieth-century literature in Britain, to feel that the word might not itself always be useful. As a result, were I to be elected, I’d seek less to redefine the term than to flag moments – in CFPs, for instance – where it might be beneficial to explicitly couple invitations for ‘work on modernist literature’ with ones defined by a time-period (for instance, ‘work on early- to mid-twentieth-century literature).
BAMS does exemplary work in supporting early-career and precarious colleagues already. Were I to be elected, I’d hope to take that further: to help coordinate and make visible BAMS policy and support around solidarity with striking members.
I’m a Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literature at the University of Bristol. I finished my DPhil in 2018, and went on to do a three-year postdoc at Durham before taking up my current role. My first monograph is Stevie Smith and the Aphorism: Hard Language (OUP, 2022) and my first trade book is A Flat Place (Hamish Hamilton and Melville House, 2023). My second monograph, nearing completion, is on flat landscapes in twentieth-century literature including D. H. Lawrence, Willa Cather and Gertrude Stein. I’m an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker 2020, and enjoy making radio programmes around my research.
Dr Rod Rosenquist
Nominator: Dr Andrew Frayn, Edinburgh Napier University
Ever since the idea of BAMS was brought for discussion to a meeting of the London Modernism Seminar that I attended, I’ve valued the supportive and encouraging network of scholars that it represents and the formal platforms it offers through conferences, training or communications. Having joined the steering committee three years ago – in which time I have organised the New Work in Modernist Studies conference in 2021 and helped to judge the BAMS essay prize in 2022 – I now see even more clearly the value offered to individuals early in their careers or sometimes isolated from scholarly communities.
The casualisation of lecturing contracts, the political contexts for higher education, and the lack of recognition of the value of literary scholarship make these dark times for those seeking or holding an academic job and provide reasons for organisations like BAMS to continue to challenge the status quo. Having personally battled through nearly two decades of teaching-only or temporary contracts and now representing those lecturing at the newer and less-research-oriented universities, I would push for a BAMS that does not shy away from addressing these realities while promoting further opportunities for those struggling to find a place in the modernist studies landscape. Arguing the value of humanities scholarship, in particular, seems an important battlefield onto which BAMS might step.
Rod Rosenquist is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Northampton. He is author of Modernism, the Market and the Institution of the New (CUP 2009) and articles on modernist celebrity, advertising and autobiography in journals including Genre, Critical Survey and Modernist Cultures. With John Attridge, he co-edited Incredible Modernism: Literature, Trust and Deception (Ashgate 2013), and with Alice Wood, he co-edited ‘Modernism in Public’, a special issue of Modernist Cultures (November 2016). He has held funded fellowships at the Beinecke Library at Yale and the Harry Ransom Center at University of Texas, and peer reviewed for OUP, EUP, Bloomsbury and Modernism/modernity, as well as serving on the steering committee for the British Association of Modernist Studies since 2020. He is currently working on a critical volume of Wyndham Lewis’s Blasting and Bombardiering for Oxford University Press.
Dr Rehnuma Sazzad
Nominator: Dr Juliette Taylor-Batty, Leeds Trinity University
My vision for BAMS includes my explanation of Global Modernity as an inevitable force, which transcends socio-political contradictions that effect contemporary cultural transformations at local/global levels. If local/global is presently the most clichéd yet dominant of all binaries, it is important to take into account the remarkable dynamism of local/global cultural products in recording the multifaceted conditions of dwelling in modernity. For example, the Arab-American intellectuals of my first monograph connected the histories of dislocations with the socio-political interdependence of human beings around the globe, as well as brought forward the complex and intersecting points among global cultural histories. Therefore, my vision of Global Modernity is not influenced by critics like Arif Dirlik, who view the persistence of colonial legacy in the phenomenon; but is inspired by polymaths like Rabindranath Tagore, who suggest that the local and global arts’ credential for enriching collective human sensibility through an ‘openness’ that invites ‘at its table all people from far and near’ is crucial for advancing modernism.
With ‘the abode of human joy’ as the objective, which my current research supports through its local/global appropriations, I propose to contribute to BAMS in the following way: hosting and attending executive meetings, organizing the annual postgraduate training symposium, connecting BAMS with ICwS through cross-over events, guest-editing Modernist Cultures, reading for the essay prize, operating BAMS’s membership, maintaining and developing BAMS’s online presence, supporting existing programmes like modernism seminars, and promoting modernist activity in Britain. Indeed, my agenda is to foster Britain’s leadership in the field.
Rehnuma Sazzad is an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS), University of London, and an Associate Tutor at the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, University of East Anglia. She is an Associate Editor and a Reviews Editor of Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and an Editorial Advisory Board Member for English: Journal of the English Association. Her first monograph, Edward Said’s Concept of Exile: Identity and Cultural Migration in the Middle East (2017), adds new depths to discourses of resistance, home and identity. She has published various pieces on postcolonial and world literatures (e.g. The International Journal of Human Rights 2021, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 2016, Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 2015, and Middle Eastern Studies 2012); and is working on her second monograph, Dynamics among Mother Language, Motherland, and Liberation Struggle: Decolonization of South Asia in Perspective. She is a regular contributor for Impakter Limited.
Dr Luke Seaber
Nominator: Professor Kristin Bluemel, Monmouth University, NJ, USA
I have an unusual job within British academia and my career path to it has been unusual. I am a permanent full-time teaching fellow on a university foundation year programme for non-UK students only, where I am lucky enough to have a lot of freedom not only to focus on research-led teaching but, because I am not within an academic department and therefore the REF does not apply, to research at my own pace and following solely my interests. I now teach post-1789 European cultural history across disciplines, but my research interest is British literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in which I did my doctorate in an Italian university after an undergraduate degree in both French and Arabic literature. I would like to bring to the BAMS Executive Committee the eclecticism that my career so far has inculcated in me: I envision an Association that is ever more open to texts not in English and disciplinary approaches examining as wide as possible a range of cultural phenomena from the early 20th century. Furthermore, I would like to see BAMS reaching out more to scholars outside Anglophone academia and the Global North, and would like to invite involvement from colleagues with whom I have collaborated in Nigeria, Italy and elsewhere.
If elected, I look forward to the fullest involvement possible, drawing on my experience since 2020 as a member of the Advisory Board of the Space Between Society (the oldest academic society dedicated to the Modernist period). I also serve on that society’s future conferences committee, and look forward to helping organize BAMS conferences as well as creating more collaboration between the two organizations.
Luke Seaber is Senior Teaching Fellow in Modern European Culture on the Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for the Humanities (of which he is also Senior Co-Ordinator) at University College London. He is author of G.K. Chesterton’s Literary Influence on George Orwell: A Surprising Irony (2012) and Incognito Social Investigation in British Literature: Certainties in Degradation (2017). He has published various articles and chapters on British literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and is co-editor (with Michael McCluskey) of Aviation in the Literature and Culture of Interwar Britain (2020) and (with Nick Hubble and Elinor Taylor) the volume on the 1930s in the Bloomsbury Decades of Fiction series (2021). He also co-wrote (with Kate Macdonald and Daniel Kilburn) the introductions to Handheld Press’s 2022 republication of the complete works of John Llewelyn Rhys.
Dr Matthew Taunton
Nominator: Dr Andrew Frayn, Edinburgh Napier University
I have served as a committee member since 2020 and as treasurer of BAMS. While this has been a turbulent time for HE, and for many of our institutions, BAMS has provided a vital point of community and solidarity for scholars of modernism at all career stages. Since I attended the inaugural BAMS conference in Glasgow in 2010, BAMS has been an important and enjoyable strand of my academic life and the association continues (in a way that I think is quite unique) to combine extraordinary, intellectually exciting research with inclusive support for early career scholars and PGRs. I have very much enjoyed working closely with the current committee and I hope that BAMS members will re-elect me as treasurer for one final year so that I have the opportunity to meet and work with the new members elected.
As treasurer I have supported the return to face-to-face conferences and events, through the necessary but unglamorous work of managing the bank account, advising the committee on the affordability of various schemes and on financial processes, and organising funds transfers for speakers, institutions and early career scholars who have benefitted from BAMS bursaries. As treasurer I will work to ensure that the financial management of BAMS continues to run smoothly and that I can hand over to my successor an organisation in good financial health.
Dr Matthew Taunton is an Associate Professor in Literature at the University of East Anglia, with broad interests in modernist, 1930s and mid-century literature and culture—with a particular focus on literature’s political entanglements. He completed his PhD at the London Consortium (Birkbeck) in 2008. He is the author of Fictions of the City: Class, Culture and Mass Housing in London and Paris (Palgrave, 2009) and Red Britain: The Russian Revolution in Mid-Century Culture (OUP, 2019), and the co-editor (with Benjamin Kohlmann) of A History of 1930s British Literature (CUP, 2019), as well as a special issue of Literature & History called Literatures of Anti-Communism (2015). He has published in journals including Textual Practice, ELH, Modern Fiction Studies and Women: A Cultural Review, and in numerous edited volumes. He is senior deputy editor of Critical Quarterly.
Dr Nathan Waddell
Nominator: Dr Andrew Frayn, Edinburgh Napier University
I’m applying to join the BAMS Executive Committee because I want, in an administrative capacity, to help modernist studies in the UK and elsewhere continue to flourish. I can bring to the Committee experience not only as a scholar who researches and teaches in modernism, but also as a Co-Director of Birmingham’s Centre for Modernist Cultures. In this role, working consultatively with my Co-Director (Dr Chris Mourant) and with the Centre’s members, I’ve contributed to an inclusive community spirit. Together we’ve created an atmosphere of trust, empowerment, and intellectual excitement for Birmingham’s network of modernist scholars, and I’d bring this same impulse to BAMS as the discipline heads into an increasingly global, tech-driven, precarious future.
My vision for the future of BAMS is to assist however I can in its efforts to make modernist studies more inclusive and diverse; to resist institutional and national agendas that cut against intellectual specialization of the kind on which modernist studies depends; and to create opportunities for scholars working in schools and in universities to collaborate on modernism-related projects. I’m particularly interested to explore ways for BAMS to put a spotlight on scholarship by academics either precariously employed or employed outwith academia. One option would be to create a regular team-based podcast series (in the spirit, say, of Oh God, What Now?) focused on precisely this idea. If appointed to the Committee, one of my priorities would be to begin searching for sponsorship for just such a podcast from relevant bodies.
Nathan is an Associate Professor in Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Birmingham. He’s the author of Moonlighting: Beethoven and Literary Modernism (2019) and has edited or co-edited several essay volumes, including Wyndham Lewis and the Cultures of Modernity (2011), Utopianism, Modernism, and Literature in the Twentieth Century (2013), Wyndham Lewis: A Critical Guide (2015), and The Cambridge Companion to Nineteen Eighty-Four (2020). He’s also active in Orwell scholarship. He has edited the Oxford World’s Classics version of Orwell’s A Clergyman’s Daughter (2021) and is a few months away from finishing work on The Oxford Handbook of George Orwell. His current research, on Wyndham Lewis and fascism, is funded in the 2022-23 academic year by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.
Candidate statements: postgraduate representatives
As a participant in Hopeful Modernisms and New Work in Modernist Studies, I have been struck by the encouraging intellectual community of BAMS and I would love to contribute more actively as a Postgraduate Representative.
Continuing in-person, hybrid events is essential but running regular online events is an effective way to encourage cohesion and widen outreach. After enjoying its successful implementation at the International Society for the Study of Surrealism, I suggest similarly hosting free, public, virtual book launches where scholars can present their latest publications but with Early Career Researchers (ECR) chairing discussions.
I support establishing a Postgraduate Directory so members can promote their research and connect over shared interests. I would work closely with the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer to do this and to initiate the ECR mentorship programme suggested at the Annual General Meeting.
Sophie Oliver asserted, in the TLS, that The Modernist Review ‘testifies to the exciting expansion of the field’ and, as an interdisciplinary researcher, I am keen to join the editorial team. I have experience as a freelance proof-reader, was editor of Balliol College’s literary arts publication Scrawl, and have peer reviewed for UCL’s Moveable Type and Lost Modernists.
I have run professional social media accounts, including that of the literature festival Ways with Words, various small businesses, and the EUI Queer and Feminist Studies Working Group. With the success of BAMS hashtags, I would trial live tweeting major events and boosting ECR work through guest threads linked to The Modernist Review content.
Jennifer Ashby is a modern literature studies and art history PhD researcher at the European University Institute, Florence. Her ongoing thesis explores the intersection of early twentieth century spiritualities and scientific discourse with avant-garde aesthetics, focalised through the artist and poet Mina Loy. She is a coordinator of the interdisciplinary EUI Queer and Feminist Studies Working Group. She loves ginger tea, beachcombing with her dog, and visiting ancient stone circles.
I am interested in engaging with and contributing to a larger cohort of modernist scholars and fostering a multidisciplinary approach to modernist studies. As often noted, modernist studies have long been monopolised by western and Eurocentric voices. I am interested in bringing an emphasis on a pervasive decolonial approach through postgraduate activities to the existing valuable work of the organisation. I believe that my experiences of being the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Representative of my department and having worked as a committee member of my University’s Centre for Modernist Studies PG forum will help me make valuable contributions to the organisation. As a part of the latter, I was involved in organising research seminars and conferences, monitoring emails, managing social media, creating cfps, budgeting, and scheduling for the centre’s activities of offering a platform to new modernist researchers. Furthermore, I have some editorial experience, having worked as the editor of my department newsletter both at present and during my BA, and as an editorial assistant and intern at a publishing house and a news agency in the past.
I am interested in curating engaging activities for new postgraduate researchers by, for instance, creating a space for them to share works-in-progress to help them exchange feedback and share ideas with a wider audience. As research can often feel like working in isolation, I would also like to create more informal salons (for example, in the form of reading groups, book clubs, field trips etc) to encourage discussion on underexplored ideas and texts in modernisms beyond the anglophone canon. I think my experience of working in a similar committee on a smaller scale, my EDI and editorial work, and my interest in encouraging postgraduate engagement will be an asset in contributing to the valuable work of the organisation.
I am a PhD student researching literary and theatrical objects in modernist drama. I began my research in 2021 at the University of York, after completing my BA and MA in English Literature from the University of Delhi, India. My project engages in a study of subject-object encounters in modernist drama. I propose that the relatively understudied field of objects offers a new lens and a heretofore overlooked approach for theatre, literary and modernist studies wherein objects become active interpreters offering alternative perspectives that complicate or contradict established readings of plays and facilitate comparisons between text and its productions. My interdisciplinary research traverses the fields of literature and theatre, combining my interests in fin-de-siecle literature, realism, transatlantic modernisms, 20th century drama, theatre semiotics and phenomenology, objects and the nonhuman in literature, feminist criticism, affect studies, and performance analysis.
After attending the fantastic NWIMS and seeing the work of the organisation with its brilliant issues of The Modernist Review and Modernist Cultures, I would love to join the BAMS postgraduate committee and continue the work of this collaborative research community.
In terms of experience, I am familiar with WordPress, having acted as a Fiction editor of a student creative writing publication (From the Lighthouse) and having worked freelance for an online film magazine (Tilt Magazine).
I have also previously acted as a facilitator for the interdisciplinary ‘Durham Castle Conference’ in 2021. This resulted in the publication of a postgraduate journal showcasing the work of a few of the speakers, of which I was a sub-editor (‘Durham Castle Journal 2021’ on Issuu.com).
I would aim to bring this editorial experience to the role, and would be thrilled to work collaboratively on the publications of The Modernist Review. I would second the idea of more issues looking at transnational modernisms especially as my own research aims to look at modernisms across cultures and religious traditions. More themed issues which expand our understandings of ‘modernisms’ would be invaluable.
Possible contributors could be gained by contacting those at modernist-adjacent conferences, creating contacts with writers who could convert papers into articles. #ModWrite has brought researchers together and is a tradition that I would love to help continue. Overall, it is this sense of an exciting and collaborative community that drives my application to the committee: it would be a pleasure to join the team.
Ryan O’Shea is a first-year PhD candidate at Queen Mary University of London, funded by The London Arts and Humanities partnership. His research focuses on the representation of spiritual mortification, involving the self-infliction of pain or the abstinence from pleasure, in modernist literatures across different religions. He has previously been published in the Postgraduate English journal.
As Postgraduate Representative, I would look forward to developing the Modernist Review, using my experience as Theatre Editor for Cambridge’s student newspaper. I would like to increase publicity for the Review, and to rethink publication frequency, considering whether we could host pieces on a blog throughout the year, combining them into an annual edition. I would consider introducing a graduate peer-reviewing system in order to heighten the Review’s attractiveness as a place to publish.
Thinking about BAMS as a whole, I am interested in widening the society’s sense of ‘modernism’ to include twentieth- (and twenty-first-) century literature which experiments with language, form, and expression, without the need for explicit reference to the movement of modernism. I hope that this widening would increase membership and boost access, and I would also contribute to this by working to promote the society within faculties and graduate communities at universities.
At Oxford, I am one of three convenors for the Modern/Contemporary Graduate Forum, which offers a space for PhD students working in the period to present on their research in a supportive and low-stakes environment. I also have experience on the organising committee for the Oxford English Graduates annual conference (both online and in-person), and these roles make me well-equipped to help organise NWiMS and other graduate workshops. My organisational skills would make me generally successful in this role: working as an independent tutor alongside my PhD has forced me to complete tasks efficiently, while maintaining accuracy and creativity.
I am a second-year PhD student at the University of Oxford, working on form and readerly affect in late twentieth-century experimental novels by Muriel Spark, B.S. Johnson, Anthony Burgess and Angela Carter. These works betray the influence of high modernists such as Joyce and Beckett, but my thesis seeks to redirect attention away from the pedantries of literary labels, foregrounding instead on the capacity of formal experiments to cultivate readerly affect. I received my undergraduate degree from Cambridge, and an MSt in English Literature 1900-Present from Oxford. I have presented at conferences in Brussels, Loughborough and Oxford (and will soon speak in Chicago) and have published a paper on two experimental Argentine novelists in the Latin American Literary Review. A thorough summary of my research and teaching experience can be found on my website: https://www.irispearson.com/.
I’ve found BAMS, and especially the postgraduate community, to be really welcoming in the first couple of years of my PhD, so would be keen to help it grow in new directions. I would be able to bring editorial experience to The Modernist Review, from my work as editor-in-chief of The Oxonian Review and editorial assistant for The Cambridge Humanities Review. In terms of new initiatives for the publication, I think that inviting guest editors from different modernist sub-fields could be a great way to reach new contributors. I would also propose starting an interview series with a focus on early to mid-career modernist scholars, to increase transparency and encourage open conversations in the field.
Pre-PhD, I worked in climate communications, a part of which involved managing social media output. The role gave me great experience of the less exciting but useful elements of that work, such as post-scheduling software and CMS, including WordPress. Given both ModWrite’s success and Twitter’s ongoing algorithm shifts, introducing an image-based series could increase engagement in the new year: interesting snippets from the archives, for example, or asking followers to submit pictures of a page of their notes or planning processes for some behind-the-scenes insight.
Given my DPhil’s emphasis on performance, I would also be keen to keep members informed about, and perhaps also organise events centred around current modernist-related performances; the great work done by Dead Poets Live, for example, or the upcoming restaging of Wayne MacGregor’s ballet inspired by Virginia Woolf.
I am a second year DPhil student at Oxford. During my MPhil, I split my time between Victorian poetry, modernist prose poetry and late twentieth century novels before settling down to modernist poetics for my DPhil My project explores the influence of poetry performance practice and theory on the development of modernist poetics from 1890 to 1945, focusing on the intersection between verse speaking cultures and key features of modernist poetics. As things stand, it comprises chapters on W. B. Yeats, Harold Monro’s Poetry Bookshop, T. S. Eliot and BBC poetry performance. I am supervised by Michael Whitworth at Merton College, and co-funded by the AHRC, Worcester College and a Clarendon Scholarship. In between my MPhil and DPhil, I worked in climate communications for FAIRR, the world’s fastest growing ESG investor network, which informed my adjacent interest in the environmental humanities.
I value BAMS’ ongoing effort to diversify its discussions across national contexts and look forward to seeing more conversations that challenge Eurocentric understandings of modernisms and modernity in its future projects. In particular, as BAMS continues to promote dialogue that surround understandings of the global and international, I hope to see the association include in its space of inquiry more narratives that consider the unequal power structures in modes of knowledge exchange. I believe it is important to acknowledge the varied ways in which the term ‘modernism’ has come to be interpreted from different national perspectives, and I would thus like to see an increase contribution to BAMS’ critical discourse from scholars who use research methods and materials existing beyond the Western academia(s).
As a BAME academic, I offer a voice that adds representation to BAMS’ dialogue on modernist studies. I am fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, and my education in Hong Kong, England and Scotland has also allowed my familiarity with a range of literatures from both English-speaking and Chinese-speaking worlds. My experiences as a person growing up in Hong Kong’s transition period from British to Chinese rule have moreover heightened my sensitivity to the postcolonial relations at play on the global stage. My linguistically and culturally diverse background is useful in communications with different groups of people across national boundaries, and I am also acquainted with Asian (and particularly Chinese) academic platforms, which puts me in an advantageous position to promote conversations between BAMS and extended communities.
I have also had experience in conference organising and journal editing, and can navigate several software applications well including WordPress and Adobe Photoshop. These skills will help me confidently take on the duties associated with the role of BAMS’ postgraduate representative.
Serena Wong is a PhD student in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. Her doctoral study situates itself at the crossroads of British modernisms and Chinese modernity, with a focus on the orientalism in Virginia Woolf’s stylistic and formal representations of China. Her research also looks at theoretical and creative studies of ornamentation, which she positions as an important dimension of orientalist thought. Serena holds an MLitt with Distinction from the University of Glasgow (2020) and a LLB with a minor in English from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2019). She has presented her work at conferences including The Aesthetics of Global Modernism organised by MSIA and BAMS in 2021, and will be presenting at the upcoming 2023 MLA Annual Convention. She has served, too, as co-organiser of the 2022 conference Autotheory: Thinking through Self, Body and Practice. She is currently working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in English Literature at the University of Glasgow and is entering her final month as co-editor of the university’s postgraduate journal eSharp.