Archive for November 19th, 2023

The Virginia Woolf Miscellany has issued a call for papers for Issue 102, the Spring 2024 issue, on the special topic of Twenty-First-Century Perspectives on Virginia Woolf: Feminisms, Genders, Politics, and Patriarchy.

Details are below.

Proposal guidelines and deadline

Send a proposal or an essay (an essay should not be much longer than 2,500 words, including the Works Cited section). The deadline for submissions is Jan. 31, 2024. Please send submissions to both: kimbec@bgsu.edu and neverowv1@southernct.edu


Guest Editor: Kimberly Coates at kimbec@bgsu.edu
Editor: Vara Neverow at everowv1@southernct.edu

About the topic

Activists in the twentieth-century Second-Wave feminist movement coined the phrase “the personal is political” to confront the patriarchy. Today, at least half a century later, the concept still applies, and one must still hold the patriarchy accountable for the marginalization and exploitation of cis-women and trans women alike.

About the call for papers

In this call for papers, the editors invite a variety of contributions that explore, define, and document a range of topics that cluster around Virginia Woolf’s own viewpoints and texts regarding patriarchy and its impact on girls and women (whether cis-born or trans). These approaches can align or clash with differing contemporary sexual and gender-based politics.

Contributions can be in the form of essays, poetry, and artwork. Note: the electronic edition of the issue will include color, but the print version will be in black-and- white format.

Possible questions to address

The editors hope to examine the evolution of this complex historical moment from multiple perspectives. While the editors offer a range of rhetorical questions below, they also encourage contributors to feel free to craft their own approaches.

  • How do Woolf’s works intersect with reproductive rights; reproductive justice; girls, women’s and trans healthcare; and the representation, construction, and control of “female” bodies whether cis-born or other?
  • How do Woolf’s political insights play into the current opportunities and constraints of women’s rights in the workplace, in professions, and in labor?
  • How does Woolf’s advocacy for women’s financial stability and independence intersect with twenty-first variants of exclusion and inclusion of feminisms and womanism?
  • How can Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw’s diagramming of intersectionality, discrimination, privilege, and marginalization—for example, ablism, ageism, class, gender and sex, race/ethnicity/nationality, religion, physical appearance including skin-tone—be applied to Woolf’s own advocacy?

Placing Woolf in 21st-century context

The editors envision articles that might place Woolf in the context of creative twenty-first-century conversations with feminist writers and advocates from Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

They also welcome feminist perspectives from the late-nineteenth through to the mid-twentieth century. For example, such British and Western European activists as Josephine Butler, Annie Besant, Sylvia Pankhurst, Millicent Fawcett, Ray Strachey, and Simone de Beauvoir might provide relevant perspectives—but there are many other approaches.

Woolf’s own critical reception as feminist and activist evolved at the same time that Second-Wave advocates, scholars, and novelists, primarily in the United States and Canada, were expressing their views and offering their insights to a feminist readership.

These works published over the years include Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto (1967), Andrea Dworkin’s Woman-Hating: A Radical Look at Sexuality (1974); Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider (1984); Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985); Marilyn French’s Beyond Power: On Women, Men and Morals (1986); Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (1990); and bell hooks’ Feminism Is for Everybody: PassionatePolitics (2000).

The editors are interested in essays that address how these types of perspectives might influence twenty-first century feminisms. Twenty-first century works by such feminist advocates as Roxane Gay, Sara Ahmed, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are highly relevant, as are essays that focus on the work of feminist activists in such fields as politics and climate change and that intersect with elements in Woolf’s own oeuvre.

Evolution of intersections and Woolf’s reception

Over the decades, generations of feminists (we are now in the Fifth Wave) have addressed the increasingly complex perceptions associated with the evolving intersections of sexuality and gender, while also tackling the politics of patriarchy.

Similarly, Woolf’s reception has become ever more intricate and more global as patriarchy has continued to encroach on the lives of women and girls, whether cis-born or trans.

Multiple approaches welcome

The editors welcome multiple approaches. Contributions can be confrontational and passionate but must also speak to collaborative inclusive efforts.

The editors hope that submissions will feature methods, solutions, and possibilities that are centered in Woolf studies and function as counterpoints to the escalating patriarchal and political attacks on feminism, on women and girls, and on trans and queer people in the twenty-first century.

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