Thanks to those of you who have registered for the Modern British Studies Conference in July. We are really looking forward to hosting this. Because of support from the University of Birmingham and the Economic History Society we have been able to make registration and catering costs completely free for over 100 postgraduates, people on temporary contracts and those that are currently between posts. Our excellent PGs will be sharing some news about the PG/ECR workshop they have organized in the near future.
Part of the challenge we have set ourselves is to make sure that we involve new scholars in the on-going conversations around the conference and feed these into proceedings. We also want to make sure that those unable to come along are able to tap into some of the discussions which take place.
We have, therefore, been grappling with how we might capture the energy, new ideas, reflections, questions and criticisms that come out of a conference and put these to use. We have various ideas about making sure some of the conference contributions are made sustainable – including podcasts, Twitter, but would welcome any bright ideas on this.
As part of this, we are also asking everyone who has registered for free to offer some reflections on the conference as part of the MBS blog.
We are very open minded about what might be posted here (feel free to browse through our somewhat eclectic back catalogue of posts), but we are really eager to share conference reports, feedback notes, reflections on projects, responses to specific papers, questions, or agendas, social media responses, photo essays, reviews of the plenary sessions, etc.. etc.. we hope people will feel free to be as creative or even formulaic as you like.
MBS people at Birmingham have been thinking a lot about the various funding models that exist for academic conferences and their different inequities. We hope that by showing the energy and ideas that can be brought to an event by making it both relatively low-cost and, hopefully, accessible to emerging scholars will, perhaps, help set an example for future events.
A series of blog posts by those who have been able to come and contribute because of the omission of fees will, we think, demonstrate in a modest way the value in rethinking our funding models for conference more widely.
Our experiments with blog writing have, for the most part, been fun, challenging and rewarding and we have been surprised and delighted that each post has been generally widely read.
We hope you like this idea. Part of the plan for MBS at Birmingham is to create different spaces for conversations – please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, suggestions or ideas. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you all here in July.