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William Bateman attended the British Association for Modernist Studies Postgraduate Networking Day on 12 October 2018. 

Organised by Séan Richardson (Nottingham Trent University), Ruth Clemens (Leeds Trinity University, Utrecht University), and Gareth Mills (University of Reading, Bath Spa University), this one-day event brought together postgraduate researchers from across the field of Modernist Studies, offering insight into the opportunities for collaboration and personal development afforded by postgraduate research. In addition to providing an opportunity to meet with fellow modernist researchers, the day offered introductions to BAMS and the relaunched Modernist Review, as well as short presentations from experienced researchers regarding Research Networks and the International Student Experience.

The session focussing on the creation and development of research networks proved particularly useful. David Rush (University of Strathclyde) offered interesting insight into the Middlebrow Network, an AHRC-funded interdisciplinary project concerned with stimulating debate around the idea of the ‘middlebrow’. This session was followed by Evie Heinz (Birkbeck, University of London) introducing the Avant-Garde Study Group, a fortnightly forum for the discussion of all aspects of the Avant-Garde, based at Birkbeck, University of London. Finally, Lillian Hingley (University of Oxford) introduced the interdisciplinary Oxford Critical Theory Network. Combined, these introductions offered an engaging and thought-provoking overview of the value and potential impact of research networks in doctoral research. When starting out on a doctoral project, the potential isolation of research can be a daunting prospect. Hearing about how new students can incorporate collaboration into our work was inspiring as well as reassuring. It must also be noted that the parallel session, led by Jivitesh Vashisht (University of Leeds) and Lilly Markaki (Royal Holloway, University of London), which addressed the experience of International Students engaging in research in Modernist Studies, proved similarly popular among those attending

Rachel Eames (University of Birmingham), Heather Green (Nottingham Trent University), and Séan Richardson ended the day by offering further insight into the breadth of opportunities afforded by postgraduate research. Describing their own extensive experiences, the session sought to diversify and broaden our understanding of the meanings of what we research and what it can involve. In discussing their experiences, Rachel, Heather, and Séan offered thought-provoking examples of how we can extend the reach and dissemination of research and suggested how we can use such opportunities to develop our academic and professional skillsets while working on things we enjoy and are passionate about.

With its emphasis upon collaboration and opening up research, this event not only proved hugely informative and inspiring, but also provided a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow modernist researchers and to hear about the diverse array of projects currently being undertaken in the field; an opportunity whose value should not be understated.