Archive for the ‘feminism’ Category

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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Do crafting and feminism go together? The answer is yes.

At least they made a great duo on the afternoon of day two of this year’s Virginia Woolf conference. And they are now the topic of a Zoom event set for Wednesday, Nov. 15, at  6-8 p.m. GMT (2-4 p.m. EST).

About the conference craft workshop

Amy E. Elkins, Melissa Johnson, and Catherine Paul presented a craft workshop at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf and Ecologies at Florida Gulf Coast University. Using typewriters, card catalogues, needle, thread, fabric, paper, and glue, each presenter showed participants how to create a craft that connected to Woolf — or another member of the Bloomsbury group.

About “Crafting Feminism”

Now Elkins is back, along with multi-media artist Kabe Wilson, with a “Crafting Feminism” event she is offering on Zoom, along with Decorating Dissidence, an online platform exploring the role of craft and the decorative from modernism to today.

The event also celebrates the one-year anniversary of Elkins’ Crafting Feminism from Literary Modernism to the Multimedia Present (2022).

Elkins and Wilson will be “in conversation to think through all things modernist archives, methods and materials.” And you can attend for free.

How to register

Sign up for a free ticket.

Read more

For more on crafting feminism related to Woolf — please read “Walking in Mrs. Dalloway’s shoes — literally.” You may also want to check out Crafting With Feminism, a book full of “25 girl-powered projects to smash the patriarchy” and/or the Feminist Activity Book.

Catherine Paul (standing) shows Alice Lowe, Amy Smith, and Lisa Coleman how to use simple embroidery techniques to create a new expression of their feminism, as well as their love of literature, during the craft workshop at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf.

Craft workshop participants at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf used manual typewriters to type new and meaningful verbiage on old cards from library card catalogues.

This was the old card catalogue entry that Woolf scholar Mark Hussey chose at the craft workshop at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf.

Hussey chose to add this wording to the back side of the card above, using a vintage typewriter.

Workshop participants at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf also cut up text, which they threaded through a page with an image of their choice to create interesting juxtapositions.

This was Alice Lowe’s finished project at the craft workshop during day two of the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, held June 8-11 at Florida Gulf Coast University.



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The way I see it, there are several connections between Greta Gerwig, her blockbuster film Barbie, and Virginia Woolf. Here we go:

  • One of Gerwig’s all-time favorite books is Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927). It is, she notes, “A classic for a reason. My mind was warped into a new shape by her prose, and it will never be the same again. The metaphysics she presents in the book are enacted in a way that allowed me to begin to understand that corner of philosophy.”
  • In A Room of One’s Own (1929), Woolf writes that “a woman must have a room of her own” in order to write fiction. In Barbie, all of the Barbies have entire dream houses of their own — and they find such ownership essential to their independent, feminist lifestyles.
  • An NPR story on the film includes this quote: “But Barbie could fend for herself. Like Nancy Drew, she drove her own roadster and lived in her own dream house — Virginia Woolf’s room of one’s own painted in pastels.”
  • From Second Wind Books comes this Facebook post that lists the similarities between Woolf and Barbie:

From Woolf scholar and novelist Maggie Humm comes this Twitter post:

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“Thinking is my fighting,” wrote feminist icon Virginia Woolf in her 1940 essay “Thoughts On Peace in an Air Raid.” That is more powerful than ever today, as we honor and remember another feminist icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away two days ago, on Sept. 18.

Known as Notorious RBG, tributes to the Supreme Court justice continue to pour in from around the world.

May we all be notorious in her honor.



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The road to the ERA leads to Virginia, including Virginia Woolf. For although it was the state of Virginia that today became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Virginia Woolf would surely approve.

When I read that news less than an hour ago, tears came to my eyes. If I hadn’t been at work, I probably would have let them fall. But I restrained myself and took to social media and this blog instead.

What happened today has been a long time coming. The ERA has a long history. It was nearly 100 years ago that Alice Paul crafted the amendment, which was first introduced in Congress in 1923 and subsequently reintroduced in every congressional session for half a century.

And the fight is not yet over. A Facebook friend who is also an attorney explained,

Now the legal battles begin. An opposing group has already filed for an injunction to prevent presentation to Congress based on the deadline. They will also say it is just plain too late, that the whole thing must start over. Proponents argue that the deadline was arbitrary, singular and an unconstitutional part of the process, inserted separately after the body of the Amendment was passed in an effort to scuttle it, and that a different Amendment (27) was ratified after 200 years of dormancy. Several red states that voted to rescind their ratification will also challenge, but there is no mention in the Constitution of a rescission process, only reversal as happened with Prohibition, plus, wouldn’t it be too late for that, too? (There are efforts in Congress to remove the deadline retroactively but, doubtful that will happen with this Congress. ) WHEW! I hope I am around to see a successful conclusion to an issue I have worked on for so long. And maybe even a woman President.

Meanwhile, thanks to the state of Virginia, Alice Paul, and all who came after her, including Virginia Woolf, whose feminist polemic A Room of One’s Own (1928) is part of the canon that propels us forward toward full equality.

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