MBS2021: An Update

Two years ago, I was eagerly anticipating welcoming a few hundred Modern British Studies scholars to Birmingham for three days of cutting-edge research presentations in overly warm rooms and intense discussions in the sunshine over buffet lunches. For obvious reasons, nothing of that sort will be possible this summer.

So, first, the sad news: there won’t be a full-scale MBS2021 this summer.

The good news: a team of brilliant postgraduates is working on a smaller-scale set of online conversations organized around the theme of Resistance and Recovery. Make a note in your diary for the week of 5 July, and watch this space.

Like most of us, I’m giving a lot of thought these days to what conferences of the future should be like. Even once it’s safe to gather again, we will need to think carefully about the climate impact of our gatherings. I want to think equally carefully about how to foster conversations that work against the systems of borders and global hierarchies that structure and often stifle our work. I hope that the wider MBS community can be a site for those conversations, and I hope that we find ways to nourish the vitality of our shared work despite the overwhelming pressures of the last year.

by Mo Moulton, director of the Modern British Studies Centre.

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