Posts Tagged ‘ecologies’

Conference logo designed by Farrah Alkhadra

After four years, we finally met. In person. Elbow to elbow. Face to face. Sitting together. Dining together. Walking together. Rooming together. Collaborating together. Smiling together. Kvetching together. It was bliss.

It was the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, June 8-11 at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla., with its theme of Virginia Woolf and Ecologies.

And it was the first in-person gathering of this bonded but welcoming group of Woolf scholars from around the globe since the 2019 conference, Virginia Woolf and Social Justice, at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The organizer and the panels

This year, Laci Mattison was our leader, planning and orchestrating a conference that met — and went beyond — everyone’s expectations. The associate professor & B.A. English program co-Coordinator of the Department of Language & Literature at FGCU planned a conference that included panels ranging from “Vernal Woolf” to “Liquid Woolf” to “Mindfulness and Woolf” and everything in between — including a hands-on craft worshop.

The plenaries

Then there were the plenaries — five of them! They included:

  1. Jean Moorcroft Wilson, widow of Cecil Woolf, Leonard and Virginia’s nephew, gave a talk on “The Legacy of the Woolfs’ Hogarth Press: Through Family Eyes.”

    The legendary Jean Moorcroft Wilson talking about “The Legacy of Leonard and  VirginiaWoolf’s  Hogarth Press: Through Family Eyes” with her usual wit, whimsy, and brilliance.

  2. Asali Solomon talking with great humor about her latest novel, The Days of Afrekete, which incorporates themes of Mrs. Dalloway and more.
  3. Claire Colebrook on “Ecology and Archive,” an ethereal topic way over my head.
  4. Jessica Martell and Vicki Tromanhauser on “Virginia Woolf’s Food Ecologies,” taking apart the British Empire’s industrial food production and adding Woolf’s use of food in her writing.
  5. “Sensuous Pedagogies: A Roundtable,” with Ben Hagen, Beth Rigel Daugherty, Catherine Hollis, Mark Hussey, and Vicki Tromanhauser. This roundtable explored the assignments in Hagen’s The Sensuous Pedagogies of Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence in terms of teaching and learning as problems of sensation, emotion or intensity.

The exhibit

Ane Thon Knutsen with her exhibit of “Blue and Green” at University Archives and Special Collections in the Bradshaw Library at FGCU.

Ane Thon Knutsen, a Norwegian artist and designer who specializes in letterpress, exhibited her most recent large-scale work, which brought Woolf’s short piece “Blue and Green,” published in Monday and Tuesday (1921) into the room and up on the walls. More on this later.

Recent virtual conferences

Between the 2019 in-person conference, the 29th, and this year’s came these:

On the way to dinner out, a group of Woolfians spotted a rainbow and happily posed with it.

Happy faces from around the globe dining out in Ft. Myers, Fla.

This year’s Woolf Players ready to read their favorite Woolf passages at the traditional Saturday evening banquet.

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The call for papers is out for the 32nd Annual International Virginia Woolf Conference, with the theme of “Virginia Woolf and Ecologies,” which will be held June 8 – 11, 2023, at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla.

“Slime Puppies,” courtesy of
Farah Alkhadra

Ecology (noun): ecol·o·gy | \ i-ˈkä-lə-jēn. plural ecologies

1a: a. The branch of biology that deals with the relationships between living organisms and their environment. Also: the relationships themselves, esp. those of a specified organism

1c: In extended use: the interrelationship between any system and its environment; the product of this

– Oxford English Dictionary, “ecology n.”

Questions to consider

Conference organizers invite participants to consider the following questions — and more — when figuring out a topic for their paper proposal that engages with the conference theme:

  • How might Woolf’s writing invite us to think ecologically?
  • How might her political, ethical, and aesthetic engagements open ways of perceiving, imagining, creating, and acting that radically revise the assumptions of anthropocentrism—among them, the separate, superior, and intrinsic value of the human.
  • What implications might ecological thinking have for archival, queer, and crip projects or inquiries shaped by post/decolonial studies and the medical humanities?
  • What is a Woolfian ecology? How might Woolfian ecologies help us map, explore, define, or disrupt concepts of time, place, and scale?
  • How does “ecology” help us think through circuits of exchange, consumption, and capital in Woolf’s writings?
  • Where might we position Woolf or her writings within larger constellations of literary and/or modernist studies?
  • How might a consideration of Woolf and Ecologies together encourage us, as Woolf writes in The Years, to “live…live differently”?

More ideas

Proposals may address ecological concerns in or illuminated by Woolf’s work, but they might alternately explore artistic, social, political, economic, racial, and/or queer ecologies, among others, in or alongside Woolf’s novels, essays, letters, or diaries.

Proposals might address the Anthropocene and anthropocentrism, climate change and the environment, biodiversity and sustainability.

They might also address writing and writing cultures, literary history and allusion, genre and form, intertextuality, cosmopolitan and transnational literary networks, economic and political structures, philosophical or theoretical resonance(s), embodiment, mutation, formation and transformation, autopoiesis, symbiopoiesis, embeddedness, community, temporality, extinction, scarcity, technologies, landscapes, soundscapes, inscapes, affect and sensation, perception, psychogeography, relation and interrelation, naturecultures and culturenatures, ecofeminism, war and peace, institutions, and more.

Papers on members of the Bloomsbury Group and other associates of Virginia Woolf in relation to the conference theme are also appropriate.

In addition to traditional paper and panel proposals, organizers also welcome proposals for roundtables, workshops, and creative projects inspired by this year’s theme from scholars, students, artists, and common readers of all backgrounds and disciplines.

Non-English presentations welcome

The conference welcomes proposals for presentations in languages other than English to foster a more open exchange at this international conference. We do, ask, however, that all abstracts and proposals be submitted in English and that non-English presentations be accompanied by a handout or slide deck of main points in English. Please note that Q&A sessions will be conducted in English, as well.

How to submit your proposal abstract

Abstracts of 250 words maximum for single papers and 500 words for panels, roundtables, and workshops will be due on Jan. 25, 2023. The submission portal is available on the conference website.

Send queries to Laci Mattison at vwoolf2023@fgcu.edu

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