The Trouble with Modernism: a Dialogue Continued

15 September 2020

In 2019, the Modernist Review published a dialogue on the state of Modernist Studies in several instalments, taking as its namesake the title of BAMS’ own conference: Troublesome Modernisms. It began (as so many things do) with a series of tweets in 2018 from Luke Seaber (UCL) who conjectured that ‘current Modernist Studies has something of an academic Ponzi scheme about it’. This sparked a dialogue between he and an independent researcher, Michael Shallcross, about the ‘New Modernist Studies’ and the professional demands of the modern academy. We published responses to this dialogue by Nick Hubble (Brunel University), who believed that ‘it’s time to move…to more democratic conceptions of modernity that lie beyond modernism’, and Emma West (University of Birmingham), whose own encounters with troublesome modernism found her ‘draw[ing] up a pros and cons list for including the word “modernist” in the title of [her] first monograph’. Naomi Milthorpe, Robbie Moore and Eliza Murphy intervened with their own reflections on being Modernism-Adjacent at the University of Tasmania, where ‘the spatial politics of the New Modernist Studies are particularly acute’. Luke and Michael reflected on both of these thoughtful interventions in their own final responses.

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BAMS Virtual Writing Sessions: A Zoom of One’s Own

You’re invited to Modzoom, a ‘Zoom of One’s Own’! 

We’re really missing our offices, library spaces, chats over coffees and – most of all – our BAMS PGR Networking Day. We’ll be running virtual writing sessions for all BAMS members, setting up an informal space for us to see some friendly faces over zoom, share what you’re working on and get some words down on the page!

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Special Issue CfP: Modernism’s Late Temporalities

Margaret Anderson once advertised ‘THE LITTLE REVIEW IS IMMORTAL’ and suggested that readers should subscribe ‘If you want to keep eternally young’. Yet, for its final issue in 1929, Jane Heap counter-claimed that the ‘23 new systems of art’ the magazine had championed were ‘(all now dead)’. Hyperbole, sure, but the rapid swing between immortality and death speaks to some of the ways modernism has been characterised as late before it even began.

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BAMS PG Representative Update 2020

With the BAMS Elections held in January 2020, we welcome a whopping ten new committee members to the team: postgraduate representatives Bryony Armstrong (Durham University) and Josh Phillips (University of Glasgow), and board members Rebecca Bowler (Keele University), Daniel Moore (University of Birmingham), Beryl Pong (University of Sheffield), Rod Rosenquist (University of Northampton), Matthew Taunton (University of East Anglia), Juliette Taylor-Batty (Leeds Trinity University), Alex Thomson (University of Edinburgh), Adam Watt (University of Exeter).

Today, current postgraduate representatives Cécile Varry (Université de Paris) and Polly Hember (Royal Holloway, University of London) look back on last year’s achievements, while Bryony and Josh tell us what they hope to accomplish next. 

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Teaching Materials Resource Pack: We Need Your Help!

After a very successful crowdsourcing campaign to create our Community Resources Pack, we’re delighted to be partnering with Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism to compile a helpful guide to teaching modernist studies and database of bibliographies, reading lists, lesson plans, specific tasks, projects, feedback methods, methodological approaches reflective pieces and more.  

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BAMS Elections Open.

Today the BAMS Elections open. As postgraduate representatives, this is a particularly exciting time for us. We know that in a few short weeks we will be welcoming new team members on board to work with us, challenge us and invigorate our ideas. When we came on board in 2018, Helen Saunders and Stephanie Boland were finishing their tenure and Ruth Clemens was in the position we are today, right in the middle of her role. Together, we continued the hard work of Stephanie and Helen and built on the foundations they laid, relaunching the Modernist Review, undertaking a new BAMS Postgraduate Survey and organising a bevy of training days to help members get to grips with modernist studies today. We are further excited by the positions open on the Executive Steering Committee of BAMS and wish everyone running the best of luck.

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