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Archive for September 2nd, 2023

California State University, Fresno, in Fresno, Calif., will host the 33rd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: “Woolf, Modernity, Technology,” June 6-9, 2024, and the call for papers has gone out.

Call for papers

Organizers invite paper, panel, workshop, and exhibition proposals that engage with the 2024 theme, “Woolf, Modernity, Technology.”  Technological innovation regularly inspires a social, cultural, artistic, and political revolution.

Though evolving artificial intelligence programs are the most recent iteration of this, epistemological and ontological crises underwritten by technics reverberate through modernity. This conference embraces the expansive, cosmopolitan, and transnational turn in modernist studies to trace the interaction of networks with the aesthetics, techniques, and vocabulary of modernisms and the way in which these modernisms are indebted to modernity’s technological ruptures and innovations.

Accelerating technological climates force us to ask, what does it mean to be human? If a machine can make and replicate art and literature, and possibly even innovate in the arts, where does that leave space for us as creators and contributors? Do human-agent interactions redefine relations again, redoubling what Woolf said in 1924, that “All human relations have shifted,” which leads to “a change in religion, conduct, politics, and literature”?

Where do we locate the nexus of the “little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark” that Woolf wrote about in To The Lighthouse?  Is it (can it be?) contained in the output of an algorithm?

“Woolf, Modernity, Technology” brings into relief relations and tensions between literature, art, technology, modernity, and humanity that modernism broadly, and Woolf specifically, has long negotiated. Here, we define both modernity and technology in their most expansive and loosest expressions: modernity invites historical, political, economic, cultural, and theoretical approaches – among many others – and technology invites thinking on technê and technics, technology, technicity, technique, tool, on art, writing, and praxis as technologies.

Possible topics might include: -gender, race, sexualities, and relationships in the rise of modernity and an age of innovation -modernity and/or technology and ontology, metaphysics, ethics, epistemology -technê, tech, technics -technology’s and modernity’s relation to nature or the natural -digital humanities, critical digital pedagogy, or pedagogical experiments with technology -writing, communication, or travel technologies  -extended, augmented, and virtual realities  -aesthetic innovation, poiesis, art and artistic production, art and AI -technologies of peace  -technologies of war, imperialist expansion, or capitalism -explorations of what it means to be human, animal, or machine -medical humanities and scientific approaches  -technologies of printing and publishing  -neural networks, network theory, collaboration, loops, and circuits -human-agent interaction -modernist technologies and temporality

While this list offers suggestions or possible entrances into a conversation, we welcome all ideas and approaches and seek to traverse disciplines and time periods. Anyone interested in presenting is invited to submit a proposal for a paper, panel, roundtable, workshop, or exhibition on Woolfian or Bloomsbury topics.

Exhibitions could be digital (as in digital humanities projects) or could include displays of crafts or material objects related to the conference theme. Interactive workshops of 90 minutes will also be offered throughout the conference and we welcome submissions for non-traditional formats.

Please specify in your proposal if you are submitting: 

  • An interactive workshop (abstract of 500 words)
  • Panel or Roundtable (abstract of 500 words for the entire panel or roundtable)
  • A paper (abstract of 250 words)
  • A digital/material object exhibition or display (abstract of 250 words)
  • A non-traditional form of presenting (abstract of 250-500 words)

Deadline and submission link

The deadline for paper proposals is January 15, 2024. You can submit proposals online.

Before and after the conference

Pre- and post-conference activities will be held June 5 and 9, with trips to Yosemite National Park and Sequoia/Kings Canyon.

Got questions?

Email conference organizer Ashley Foster, associate professor at CSU, Fresno, at foster@csufresno.edu or at woolf2024@mail.fresnostate.edu with any questions.

Download the conference flyer.

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