The British Modernities Group was established in 2005 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to spur critical discussion in British studies across period boundaries. It discusses recent scholarship, workshops group members’ original work, and organizes an annual graduate student conference. Each semester, the BMG explores wide-ranging critical topics, including transatlanticism, modernity, embodiment, and imperialism. As a student-run group, we strive to create an informal setting in which faculty and graduate students can meet and share information.
Our 2015-16 theme will be “Feeling Real.” Drawing on recent scholarship at the intersection of affect theory and literary studies, readings will consider how fictional realities are a lived, felt, and experienced phenomenon. Questions we will examine include: What is the relationship between feeling and fiction? What is “real” in fiction? Can imaginative works engender alternative lived realities? In our monthly meetings, we will discuss topics such as emotion, imagination, subjectivity, genre, and embodiment.