Making it new: on the future of modernist studies


Helen Saunders, Kings College London and British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS)

Stephanie Boland, Exeter University and BAMS

Jeff Wallace, Cardiff Metropolitan University and BAMS

For BAMS’s first Shared Futures panel, postgraduate representatives will be presenting findings from a recent survey of the BAMS membership. Looking first at patterns and idiosyncrasies within our community, we’ll then move to a discussion of members’ thoughts, hopes and expectations of working in English studies, particularly within a modernist remit. In discussing the survey findings, we’ll present both quantitative and qualitative data alongside illuminating case studies.

Building on this, the second part of the panel will then explore BAMS’s postgraduate activities, including its recently launched blog, ‘The Modernist Review’. This, along with BAMS’s extensive social media reach, has allowed the organisation to develop a strong online presence. While such activities are performed across English studies, we aim to explore how these might be especially exciting and useful within modernist studies in particular.

Bringing these two strands together, the panel will finish with a discussion of the translatability of the skills and experience gained by BAMS postgraduates, drawing on our recent MSA panel on ‘Modernism’s Employability’. How might modernist PhD students flourish both in further subject associations (including regional academic networks) and in the range of professional fields that can benefit from such skills, including arts heritage, curation, literary journalism, and more? Ending on a positive note, the panel will highlight the extensive benefits of training in modernist studies for a range of career options.

Wednesday 5th July