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The British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS) is a scholarly association bringing together academics and practitioners, nationally and internationally. The association is in the process of being formally established and is currently administered by the Executive Committee, which had its first meeting in November 2016. BACLS will open for membership in January 2017.

BACLS operates according to an inclusive definition of contemporary literary studies. It is not restricted to Anglophone literary studies and ‘British’ refers simply to the location of scholars. BACLS will focus on a ‘rolling sense’ of the contemporary rather than a particular historical period. We are dedicated to a fluid and hybrid understanding of the contemporary ‘moment’ as an ever-evolving experience of the contemporary.

The rationale for BACLS is to raise the visibility and heighten the legitimacy of contemporary literary studies. The association will encourage connectivity between new and established scholars, promote research collaboration and enable the sharing of teaching practices and ideas.

As well as specialists in contemporary literary studies, BACLS is open to scholars working in cognate disciplines. These include comparative and world literatures, postcolonial studies, translation studies, linguistics, performance studies, media theory, comics studies, video games studies, adaptation studies, the study of popular music, cultural studies, critical theory and digital humanities.

Our mission statement is as follows:

The British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies brings together scholars and practitioners from across the UK and beyond in order to explore the current moment and its contexts. We are committed to literary studies in the broadest sense, including written, visual, performative and audible texts, in English and in other languages. We aim to foster research at every level and to support both practice and pedagogy.

If you would like to find out more about BACLS, please use our contact form.


Featured image by julie rohloff under a CC BY-SA license.