BAMS Elections: A Representative Dialogue

10 December 2021

Emily Bell: As the annual New Work in Modernist Studies approaches, Jennifer and I are reminded that nearly a year has passed in our tenure as Postgraduate Representatives for BAMS. That means our dear colleagues and friends, Bryony & Josh, will be shedding the mantle of PG Rep duties, leaving two opportunities to join the team behind them. In TMR tradition, we want to take this moment to talk candidly about the experience of being a PG Rep. 

Jennifer Cameron: Maybe we can begin with the basics. What experience do you need to be a PG Rep?

EB: Really, the only requirement is that you’re a doctoral student in any area of modernist studies in your first or second year. There are duties, of course – like editing and publishing The Modernist Review each month, running BAMS’s social media and helping out with events – but those only require enthusiasm! Approaching the role with an openness to collaboration is important, but it’s far more about your willingness to be part of the team – in other words, the experience you’ll gain rather than what you have done before. 

What have you learnt about yourself in the process? 

JC: That I can work wordpress and really enjoy it! Every month we publish The Modernist Review (TMR) online and I was a bit apprehensive about doing this as I had absolutely no experience of doing this but I really enjoy it and love to see the finished issues each month. 

In the interests of full disclosure, what have been the best and worst things about being a Rep so far?

EB: Well, the best for me has certainly been my warm welcome into the BAMS community: at New Work in Modernist Studies 2020 and then behind the scenes with the other PG Reps and the Executive Committee. That’s probably tied with editorial-writing for TMR – it’s great to have a relevant outlet for procrastinatory writing! Admittedly, I do not love the social media duties. For a part-time scholar of the digital humanities (and a millennial), I’m surprisingly something of a luddite. But owing to the shared nature of the role, we play to one another’s strengths, so none of the responsibilities ever feels like a burden. 

And what is your favourite part of the duties? 

JC: Probably getting to see all the new and interesting research that is being carried out in the modernist academic community. We are part of this not only through our involvement in BAMS NWIMS (New Work In Modernist Studies) annual conference but also the BAMS conference. Additionally, we are approached by all levels of students and academics with ideas for TMR articles and publishers contact us with new academic titles for review.  

How much of your time does being a Rep take up?

EB: It ebbs and flows – as I said before, we share the duties, not in a predetermined sense, but according to our schedules and fortes. I try to check in at least every week, and there’s always more to do in the run-up to putting out an issue of TMR, but if one or other of us has an upcoming deadline or other priorities, we’re good at communicating this and re-balancing the workload between the rest of us.

What do you look forward to in the second year of your term as PG Rep? 

JC: Firstly, it has to be welcoming the new postgraduate reps in the same warm and extremely helpful way we were welcomed by Bryony and Josh. Then I think I’m looking forward to keeping up the good work they have done with TMR and who knows, maybe we will be able to all meet in person again next year. The main thing though is simply to enjoy being part of this very friendly and supportive community. 

How to apply:

Applications for 2 two-year postgraduate representative positions are sought from registered doctoral students in their first or second year of study (or PT equivalent). The elected representatives will join Emily Bell and Jennifer Cameron, who are a year into their own two-year term as PG Reps for BAMS.

Responsibilities include attending two Exec meetings a year and participating actively in PG events and workshops organised by the Association (travel expenses paid). Responsibilities shared between the four PG reps include editing The Modernist Review, running BAMS social media, answering emails and sending welcome emails to new members. There are also opportunities to launch new initiatives such as the BAMS networking day organised by our current PG reps.

Candidates are asked to submit a brief biography as well as a 250-word proposal outlining their vision for the future of BAMS, their suitability for the role, and their envisaged contribution to the association. BAMS especially welcomes applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) postgraduate members, and we are firm and unflinching in our commitment to a vision of an inclusive and diverse Exec.

Candidates for the Postgraduate Representative positions do not require a nomination from an existing member of BAMS. They must themselves be members of the association. Instructions for joining BAMS can be found on the website: The final selection will be made through an online election process open to all BAMS members.

Applications should be emailed to the BAMS Chair, Claire Warden ( no later than 14 January 2022. If you would like some more information about the roles before applying, please do write to Claire, Jennifer or Emily.

Cover Image: Sodales – Mr Steer and Mr Sickert, 1930, Henry Tonks, Bequeathed by Mrs Violet Ormond 1955. © Tate, Photo: Tate.

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