Archive for January, 2014

The 24th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, co-sponsored by Loyola University Chicago and Northern Illinois University, will take place in Chicago, Ill. in the U.S.A.,  June 5-8, 2014.

24th annual conference poster

Most conference activities will take will take place in Mundelein Center on Loyola University’s lakeshore campus.

Call for papers

Virginia Woolf: Writing the World” aims to address such themes as the creation of worlds through literary writing, Woolf’s reception as a world writer, world wars and the centenary of the First World War, and myriad other topics.

Conference organizers invite proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, and workshops on any aspect of the conference theme from literary and interdisciplinary scholars, creative and performing artists, common readers, advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and teachers of Woolf at all levels. Possible themes include but are not limited to:

  • Woolf as a world writer, including reception and/or influence of her work
  • Writing as world creation
  • Globalization of Woolf studies
  • Feminist re-envisionings of the world Lesbian, gay, and/or queer worlds Living worlds
  • Natural worlds
  • Cosmology, physics, different kinds of worlds Geography(y)(ies) and/or mapping the world “First” and “Third” worlds
  • Postcolonialism
  • The centenary of World War I
  • The World Wars
  • Peace, justice, war, and violence
  • Feminist writers of 1914 and/or suffragettes and WWI Pacifist and conscientious objector movements
  • Class and/in Woolf’s world(s) Writing the working class Socialists “righting” the world Expatriate worlds
  • artistic worlds
  • Inter-arts influences, including painting, cinema, music, and journalism
  • The publishing world
  • Transnational modernisms and postmodernisms
  • Woolf and/on international relations
  • Imperialism and anti-imperialism
  • Teaching Woolf in global contexts
  • Teaching Woolf outside of the traditional 4-year college classroom
  • Woolf and the new global media
  • Woolf and Chicago connections/reception

Download the Call for Papers as a PDF.

Submission Guidelines

For individual papers, send a 250-word proposal. For panels (three or four papers, please), send a proposed title for the panel and 250-word proposals for EACH paper. For roundtables and workshops, send a 250- to 500-word proposal and a brief biographical description of each participant.

Because organizers will be using a blind submission process, please do not include your name(s) on your proposal. Instead, in your covering e-mail, please include your name(s), institutional affiliation (if any), paper and/or session title(s), and contact information. If you would like to chair a panel instead of proposing a paper or panel, please let organizers know.

Deadline for proposals

January 25, 2014. Email proposals as a Word attachment to Woolf2014@niu.edu.

Get more information

For more information about the conference, including the keynote speakers, go to http://www.niu.edu/woolfwritingtheworld/.

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Anne Olivier Bell, editor of The Diary of Virginia Woolf, a 25-year labor of love, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours 2014. She was cited “For services to Literature and the Arts.”

Bell, of Lewes, East Sussex, is also a trustee of the Charleston Trust. In August, an article in The Guardian celebrated her part in repatriating works of art following World War II.

The film The Monuments Men, as those who protected the greatest works of art and buildings were called, will be released Feb. 7. It stars George Clooney as George Stout and Cate Blanchett as Rose Valland, a member of the French resistance who tracked down thousands of stolen works of art.

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The Bloomsbury Group’s Memoir Club met around 60 times over the course of 45 years. During that time, 9781137360366_largethe group read about 125 memoirs, and around 80 of those have survived, a quarter of them unpublished. The Bloomsbury Group Memoir Club by the late S.P. Rosenbaum shares these details and sketches a history of the club, along with its impact on the work of its participants.

Rosenbaum, a leading scholar of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group,  left more than five completed chapters of the volume before he died in the spring of 2012. In them, he explains the origins of the club, details its original members and their contributions, and explores the impact of club meetings on the members’ individual work. He also links the authors and their writing with the politics and history of the early 20th century.

Chapter one in the volume introduces the Memoir Club, talks about its meeting schedule, and discusses the meaning of the term “memoir.” More significantly, it explores the significance of World War I on its members and their work, even though no one in the club was a combatant. Rosenbaum details the war-related writing of members that were relevant to their later memoirs — from Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians to Maynard Keynes’ The Economic Consequences of the Peace.

In chapter two, Rosenbaum explains the literary and discursive traditions that shaped the formation of the club after the Great War had dispersed the Bloomsbury friends. These range from the life-writing of their English tradition, such as Ruskin and Gosse to the life-writing of family members, such as Leslie Stephen and Edward Fry.

Membership in the club was exclusive and began with a personal invitation, according to chapter three, titled “Beginnings.” All 25 members were either related in some way or were undergraduate friends of the Cambridge Apostles. Membership changed over time, from Old Bloomsbury before World War I to Later Bloomsbury from the 1920s through the 1930s. This chapter also details the memoirs shared by its members, describes the reactions of listeners, and ties them to the members’ work.

Chapter four, “Private and Public Affairs: 1921-1922,” covers Clive Bell’s, Maynard Keynes’,  E.M. Forster’s and Strachey’s memoirs, which dealt with the recent present and moved from impersonal childhood memories to “intimately private or controversially public affairs.” This chapter summarizes the memoirs and describes the reaction of club members to them. It also discusses the readings done by Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, which Leonard Woolf described as “‘a fantastic narrative of a labyrinthine domestic crisis’.”

The last complete chapter written by Rosenbaum documents the club’s hiatus — from 1922 to 1927 — during which time The Charleston Bulletin was published. The family newspaper founded by Woolf’s nephews, Quentin and Julian Bell, included memoir writing of its own — a life of Vanessa Bell written by Woolf, anecdotes about Duncan Grant, the life of Clive Bell, and the life and adventures of the Keynes.

Rosenbaum’s work, published by Palgrave Macmillan this month, stops just before Woolf’s reading of “Old Bloomsbury,” meaning that some of Woolf’s and other members’ most significant work was yet to come. As editor James M. Haule notes in his Introduction, the task of finishing the volume “now falls on us.”

Read a review in The Independent.



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101.Colum-McCan-Trans-AtlanticColum McCann’s latest novel, TransAtlantic, is a fascinating account of the lives of four generations of fictional Irish women woven into recorded history, from Frederick Douglass’ visit to Dublin in 1845 to gain support for the abolitionist cause to Senator George Mitchell’s mediation of Irish peace talks in 1998 on behalf of the Clinton Administration.

Woolf makes an unexpected appearance well into the novel in the story of Emily and Lottie Ehrlich, mother and daughter, journalist/poet and photographer, on a transatlantic journey from their home in Newfoundland to Great Britain in 1929.

They had packed as little as possible in their wooden trunk in the hope that they would be able to move easily from place to place. A few changes of clothes, some weather gear, two copies of the same Virginia Woolf novel [Jacob’s Room], notebooks, photographic film, some medicine for Emily’s arthritis.

The days were lengthy. The hours drifted. The sea stretched a round majestic gray. In the distance the horizon curved. Mother and daughter sat on the deck and looked backwards as the evening sun flared red.

They read the Woolf novel in tandem, matched each other almost page for page. “The voice had an extraordinary sadness. Pure from all body, pure from all passion, going out into the world, solitary, unanswered, breaking against rocks—so it sounded.” What Emily liked most of all was the appearance of ease that Woolf brought. The words slid so easily into one another. There was a sense of a full life being translated. It was, in Woolf’s hands, a display of humility.

She envied the young Woolf. The command and promise the Englishwoman showed. Her profusion of voices. The ability to live in several different bodies.

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Woolf sessions at the MLA

Dates: Jan. 9-12, 2014mla2014-logo
Location: Chicago, Ill.
MLA Convention 2014
Read more about Dining with Virginia at the MLA.

Hermione Lee – 15th Annual Virginia Woolf Birthday Lecture

Date: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2 p.m.
Location: Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, University of London

Virginia Woolf and Visual Culture

Senate House, University of London

Date: April 5, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: University of London

Hosted by Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London, for the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain.  The conference (all welcome) will follow the Virgina Woolf Society AGM (VWS of Great Britain Members only).

24th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Writing the World

Dates: June 5-8, 201424th annual conference poster
Location: Loyola University’s Lakeshore Campus, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Call for Papers: Proposals for papers, panels, roundtables and workshops on any aspect of the conference theme: the centenary of WWI; peace, justice, war, and violence; writing as world creation; Woolf as a world writer; the globalization of Woolf studies; or other topics of your choosing.

Proposal Dealine: Jan. 25, 2014

Read about more Woolf events.

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