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Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions received about BritGrad over the years, as well as more general questions many people have when attending their first academic conference. However, if you have a question that isn’t answered here, please get in touch with us at britgrad.conference@gmail.com and ask us anything you like! Any questions we receive that seem useful to answer more widely will be added to this FAQ page.

General Questions:

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What is the difference between a delegate and an auditor?

A delegate is someone who is presenting at BritGrad (either in a panel, seminar, or workshop), whilst an auditor is someone who is just attending the conference. Being an auditor can mean different things at different conferences. At BritGrad, the only difference is whether or not you are presenting, everything else about your BritGrad experience will be exactly the same.

Who can attend as a delegate?

Delegates are typically postgraduate students studying towards an MA, PhD or similar postgraduate qualification. Those who have attained an MA or recently completed a PhD (Early Career Researchers) are also welcome to attend as delegates. Please be advised that your qualification should in some way relate to Shakespeare and/or Renaissance studies. If you’re unsure whether you qualify to attend as a delegate, please get in touch.

Who can attend as an auditor?

Auditors can come from a wider field than delegates, and include undergraduate students, postgraduate students, alumni, and those more generally interested in the subject area. Again, if you’re unsure whether you qualify to attend as an auditor, please get in touch.

Do I have to be from a British university to attend BritGrad? 

 

No you do not. BritGrad prides itself on having delegates and auditors from across the globe. So whether you are joining us from Argentina or Australia, Spain or Bahrain, Ghana or Botswana, we would love to have you join us.

Do I have to attend BritGrad in person? 

 

No. Both delegates and auditors are welcome to attend either in person or online. Scroll down for more details about attending BritGrad online. 

What is a plenary?

A plenary is a session at a conference which can be attended live by all attendees, as no other sessions are occurring concurrently. Plenaries are typically a range of academic and practitioners from around the world who specialise in the early modern field. At an average BritGrad, there are approximately two of these sessions each day, generally made up of a 40 minute talk followed by a 15-20 minute Q&A. Our 2024 plenaries will be announced on our website and on social media soon.

What is a panel?

Each panel is made of three papers given by delegates. These panels are put together by the BritGrad committee once we have received all  abstract submissions. We theme each panel around a specific subject or idea (e.g. Shakespeare and Feminism), allowing the papers to complement each other and auditors in attendance to get more from hearing the papers together. Each paper lasts up to 20 minutes, with 15 minutes for questions for all three panellists afterwards. Delegates may also submit their own panels in addition to the panels curated by us, as long as they submit a 200-word abstract for each paper along with a 100-word rationale for their proposed panel. There are usually three panels running concurrently during any panel session. Details regarding the structure of BritGrad 2024 panels will be announced soon.

What is a seminar?

While similar to panels, seminars follow a slightly different format. A seminar is an hour long and involves a group of delegates (in-person and/or online) with a shared interest writing papers on their chosen topic in advance of the conference (usually a month or two prior). In advance of the seminar, those participating share their papers with fellow participants and prepare questions for each other. We recommend seminar leaders set the response deadline at least two weeks before the start of BritGrad 2024. 

 

During the seminar participants outline their papers for attendees, ask their fellow participants questions about their papers and discuss any connections in their work. Those auditing the seminar are also invited to ask questions. The seminar leader (or co-leaders) is expected to lead the discussion.

What is a workshop or a creative session?

BritGrad also encourages practice-based proposals.

Following a more creative style, a workshop leader (or co-leaders) runs a one-hour activity-based session (in-person and/or online). Workshops may focus on: theatre practice, creative approaches to Shakespeare and/or his contemporaries, original practices, original writing, Shakespeare and film, Shakespeare and art, Shakespeare and music, Shakespeare and dance, or any related area. If a workshop proposal is approved, the workshop leader(s) will need to conduct a risk assessment to ensure the safety of all participants. After this, the workshop leader(s) will work with the BritGrad committee to disseminate sign-up opportunities amongst BritGrad attendees.

The format workshops can take is flexible. The below examples from BritGrad 2023 demonstrate the variety of workshops we will consider. We strongly encourage original ideas and thinking outside the box.

 

“The Quest for the 21st Century Shakespeare: Contemporary Variations on Romeo and Juliet” was ran by Emily C. A. Snyder and questioned how contemporary playwrights adapt Shakespeare’s ideas about the play to the 21st century. This heavily practice-based workshop gave participants the opportunity to explore new poetic verse drama scenes that riff off Shakespeare’s play. 

Kfir Lapid-Mashall’s “Strained Mercy: Censorship and the Search for Guilt in the 1936 Self-Imposed Trial of “HaBima” Theatre” involved a mock trial with two delegates performing. In 1936, the Hebrew theatre “HaBima” put itself on trial following its production of The Merchant of Venice. Kfir’s mock trial was adapted from the 1936 trial; the first performer embodied the prosecution and the second the defence. The other attendees acted as jurors, voting on whether to ban future performances of the play. The workshop focused on anti-semitism in Shakespeare and engaged with current debates about the freedom of artistic expression. 

​Who can participate in workshops?

 

Both delegates and auditors can sign-up to participate in workshops. Further details about this will be disseminated via our mailing list and social media once the BritGrad programme has been released.

 

Where can I find the full programme for BritGrad 2024?

Once the Call for Papers has closed for 2024 and the events have been finalised, the full programme will be released on our website and emailed to registered delegates and auditors.

 

Why do you usually charge for the conference?

BritGrad is a not-for-profit organisation, and we budget to break even. In the event that we end up with a surplus, the money goes towards subsidising some of the following year’s conference costs. Some of the costs we have incurred will be visible at the conference – like food and drink – but we also have dull but necessary expenses like insurance and public liability to pay for. We fundraise to enable us to charge the minimum to delegates and we think we compare well with sector conferences on this scale.

Details regarding fees for BritGrad 2024 will be released soon.

Why should I submit an abstract or register as an auditor?

In the words of a recent BritGrad attendee: ‘BritGrad is a very supportive space for people who are uncomfortable with or nervous about presenting their research. Some people may be far along in quite sophisticated research projects, while others might be using the conference as a “test run” for new ideas: there’s room for everyone.’ Another attendee commented: ‘BritGrad has the most supportive, encouraging and welcoming audiences. It has the reputation and intellectual rigour of an international academic conference but the intimacy and support of a local graduate conference.’

BritGrad attendees can immerse themselves in some of the most exciting current research across Shakespeare, Early Modern, and Renaissance Studies. The conference also offers them the opportunity to make connections with peers; there’s a long history of BritGrad delegates going on to even greater heights in academia (and beyond). We also have an array of optional social events (both in-person and online) as part of the conference, which gives attendees the opportunity to network further and to meet people with similar interests.

If I sign up for BritGrad, am I expected to attend all three days? 

 

No. Conference ticketing offers the option of purchasing tickets for all three days or individual day tickets. You can also choose whether to buy an in-person ticket or an online one (or indeed both). 

Why is BritGrad hybrid?

 

BritGrad prides itself on being a hybrid conference, which is not something many other conferences offer. By having the option to attend the conference online, those who cannot make it to Stratford-Upon-Avon  in-person can still be a part of the buzzing BritGrad community. The Shakespeare Institute has some snazzy new tech equipment and, with the assistance of IT specialists from the University of Birmingham, the 2024 committee are undergoing tech training to ensure technology runs as smoothly as possible during the conference. 

If I’m presenting, do I need to have a PowerPoint?

 

We strongly encourage those presenting in panels to have visual slides for attendees to follow. Doing so tends to offer a richer and more accessible presentation. However, PowerPoints are not mandatory. Generally seminars do not include PowerPoints, however you are welcome to create one if you think it would be helpful to attendees (e.g. you have images you would like to share). With workshops we will leave it up to you to decide if it would compliment the particular session you have in mind or not. Please note that we also accept slides in other formats that PowerPoint, such as PDF or Google Slides. Once papers have been approved, the committee will inform delegates of the deadline for emailing us your slides. We will be ensuring they all work smoothly on the big screens in the days before the conference, so this is why we will be asking for slides to be emailed in advance. 

How can I stay up to date with BritGrad? 


There are a number of ways you can stay up to date with Britgrad. If you scroll down on our website homepage, you will see an invite to sign-up to our mailing list. Alternatively, all updates will be posted on our social media accounts, make sure to follow our X (formerly twitter), Instagram and Facebook pages.

Attending Online

What online platform are you using for the conference?

BritGrad 2024 will be hosted in person at the Shakespeare Institute and online via Zoom. Links and passwords to the relevant Zoom meetings will be emailed to individuals about a week before the conference begins.

Do I need a Zoom account to attend the conference?

No, a Zoom account is not required if you are strictly joining Zoom meetings as a participant. A Zoom account is only required if you are creating your own meetings and inviting participants to join. You can see the Zoom FAQs here.

I’m going to be in a different time zone to GMT during the conference, will I have to present in the middle of the night? 

 

BritGrad commonly have attendees from a plethora of different time zones and is able to avoid this occurrence, so please do not worry. We will do our best to offer you a time slot that is not at an inconvenient hour for you. 

How can I contribute to online discussion?

Use the hashtag #BritGrad2024 across social media, follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @BritGrad, Instagram @_britgrad, and on Facebook. Zoom also has the benefit of a chat box function which facilitates live discussion as the panels progress, without interrupting the speakers.

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