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Archive for September 12th, 2019

What: Call for Papers for the 30th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Profession and Performance

When: June 11–14, 2020

Where: University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD, U.S.A.

Twitter: @vwoolf2020

“Profession and Performance,” the theme of the 30th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, calls to mind not only Woolf’s sense of herself as a writer (her profession) but also the set of specialized occupations she takes up in A Room of One’s Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938), areas of study and livelihoods traditionally reserved for the sons of educated men.

It also invokes the conference’s commitment over the past three decades to the arts, to theater, to music, to the spoken word, and to the resonances of these media with the performance/performativity of Woolf’s life and writing.

“Profession and Performance” might also encourage us to reflect on the conference’s rich history and to consider the ways in which the professions of those who support and attend the conference might be changing. As an event open to all scholars, students, and common readers of Woolf and Woolfian connections, we encourage 2020 participants to sound and explore echoes of past professions and performances in our present ones.

Possible topics

The 30th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf invites papers addressing these issues as well as other topics addressing “Profession and Performance,” including, but not limited to:

  • contemporary adaptations of Woolf, her circles, or her work on stage / screen (e.g., Vita and Virginia; Life in Squares; etc.)
  •  the dynamic link between Woolf’s social critique (what she professed) and her art (its performance)
  • the rich archive of scholarship that brings together studies of the avant-garde, modernism, and the middlebrow
  • intersections of modernist studies and performance studies
  • modernism’s role in the professionalization of literature and criticism
  • the livelihoods and lifestyles of Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group
  • investigations of identity and community
  • Woolfian meditations on professions (i.e., on occupations, commitments, allegiances, and declarations)
  • interpretations of Woolf-inspired performance art (e.g., music, dance, theater)
  • profession as (public) performance
  • questions of affect and attachment
  • strong and weak performances / professions / modernisms
  • reflections on the selves and the worlds we profess / perform in daily life, in politics, in ethics, in institutions, and in ongoing efforts to teach and learn
  • the performative life of professionalization (or the subversion of professionalization)
  • life-writing as performance of self, professionalization of self
  • gendered performances / performances of gender (on stage / page, in life)
  • professions for women (history of, literary treatments of, performances of)
  • Woolf and developments in medical sciences and psychology
  • teaching Woolf / Woolf as Teacher
  • performing Bloomsbury / performative Bloomsberries
  • the life of the feminist academic; the professionalization and/or institutionalization of feminism outside of academia

Proposal parameters

Abstracts of maximum 250 words for single papers and 500 words for panels should be sent to Virginia.Woolf@usd.edu by Feb. 1st, 2020. In addition to traditional presentations, organizers encourage proposals for workshops (such as bookmaking, translation, publishing, forming writing groups, etc.) and proposals for roundtable or group discussions (such as feminist / queer perspectives, Woolfian pedagogy, staging / performing Woolf, etc.).

For accepted proposals, we ask well ahead of time that presenters bring access copies of their presentations to their panels.

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.

A few caveats: the organizers ask that all abstracts and proposals be submitted in English. Also, to ensure a more effective exchange among all participants, we ask that non-English presentations be accompanied by a handout of main points in English as well as (if possible) a PowerPoint presentation in English. Note that Q&A sessions will be conducted in English as well.

For more information

More information about the 30th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf will be made available in the coming months. Contact conference organizer Benjamin Hagen, at Benjamin.Hagen@usd.edu, with questionsCall for papers for 2020 Woolf conference: Profession and Performance.

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