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In 1981, in a small Northern California town, a group of like-minded feminists opened a community library. They wanted a place to read and write, to discuss books, and above all, they wanted “a library you can eat in. And thus The Sitting Room was born, and lives, and celebrated its 37th birthday this past Sunday, June 3.

Eminent Woolfian and Professor Emerita at Sonoma State University, J. J. Wilson is one of The Sitting Room’s founders and perhaps its luckiest member, as she lives (six months out of the year) in the library itself. Each room houses a different collection of women’s literature and art: e.g. the Poetry Room, the Writing Room, the Art hallway, and the Woolf Wall which graces the living room / workshop area. These collections are curated and organized by a dedicated volunteer, keeping the library’s offerings up-to-date and somewhat organized.

Books, tea, snacks and workshops

At The Sitting Room, there are books to borrow and books to read while sitting in an overstuffed armchair. Tea and snacks are freely available. Students and professors from nearby Sonoma State University use the library’s resources for research and discovery, community members pop by to read and think, and local writers hold workshops and readings.

J. J. Wilson calls The Sitting Room “an enactment of Woolf’s vision, but not an altar to her.” More than a room of one’s own, The Sitting Room is a library for everyone inspired by the values of feminism, conversation, and friendship. Its guiding spirits include not just Woolf, but also Tillie Olsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, and Meridel Le Sueur. The Woolf-inspired art of Suzanne Bellamy and other feminist artists creates a rich visual tapestry for the library.

Access the online catalog and more

To access books from this utopian, grassroots, feminist, long-lived, and beloved library, visit the library’s online catalog.

And look for more on J. J. Wilson, The Sitting Room, and the history of the International Virginia Woolf Society in an upcoming issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany with the theme “Collecting Woolf.” Meanwhile, see the call for papers below.

Call for papers
Collecting Virginia Woolf: A Special Themed Issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany

Who collects Virginia Woolf and Hogarth Press books? When did the demand for and economic value of Woolf’s and the Hogarth Press’s books begin in the antiquarian book trade? Are Woolf and Hogarth Press books more or less desirable than other modernist first editions? What are the emotional, haptic, and educational values of early Woolf and Hogarth Press editions for scholars, students, and common readers? What do the book collections of Virginia and Leonard Woolf tell us about their lives as readers and writers?

In addition to more formal academic essays, this upcoming issue of the Miscellany (in collaboration with Blogging Woolf ) will also feature a special section called “Our Bookshelves, Ourselves.” Our book collections tell stories about our reading lives and also about our lives in the larger community of Woolf’s readers and scholars. In fact, a history of our bookshelves might begin to tell a history of the International Virginia Woolf Society itself. If you are a “common book collector,” and your books tell a story about your immersion in Woolf or Hogarth Press studies, tell us about it. If you have interesting strategies or stories about acquiring collectible editions of Woolf and Hogarth Press books on a budget, let us know!

Send submissions of 2,500 words for longer essays and 500 words for “Our Bookshelves” by Sept. 30, 2018, to Catherine Hollis via hollisc@berkeley.edu

[1] June Farver, “2% Milk is the New Half and Half,” The Sitting Room Past, Present and Future (2012)

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The topic of the International Virginia Woolf Society‘s guaranteed panel at the Modern Language Association Convention 2019 will be “Night and Day at 100.”

Panel organizers have issued a call for papers on Virginia Woolf’s novel in the centennial year of its publication that address the question: What is the twenty-first century legacy of Woolf’s “nineteenth-century” novel?

Please send 250-word abstracts to Mary Wilson at mwilson4@umassd.edu by March 12. Wilson, associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, is the author of The Labors of Modernism and Rhys Matters.

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One of Blogging Woolf’s bookshelves

Catherine Hollis, editor of an upcoming themed issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany on “Collecting Woolf” has put out a call for papers. She is hoping to gather both traditional scholarly articles on collecting Virginia Woolf and Hogarth Press books, as well as shorter pieces about our own collections.

Questions that could be addressed include the following:

  • Who collects Virginia Woolf and Hogarth Press books?
  • When did the demand for and economic value of Woolfs’ and the Hogarth Press’s books begin in the antiquarian book trade?
  • Are Woolf and Hogarth Press books more or less desirable than other modernist first editions?
  • What are the emotional, haptic, and educational values of early Woolf and Hogarth Press editions for scholars, students, and common readers?
  • What do the book collections of Virginia and Leonard Woolf tell us about their lives as readers and writers?

In addition to more formal academic essays, this issue of the Miscellany, in collaboration with Blogging Woolf, will also feature a special section called “Our Bookshelves, Ourselves.” Our book collections tell stories about our reading lives and also about our lives in the larger community of Woolf’s readers and scholars. In fact, a history of our bookshelves might begin to tell a history of the International Virginia Woolf Society itself.

If you are a “common book collector,” and your books tell a story about your immersion in Woolf or Hogarth Press studies, tell us about it. If you have interesting strategies or stories about acquiring collectible editions of Woolf and Hogarth Press books on a budget, let us know!

Send submissions of 2,000 words for longer essays and 500 words for “Our Bookshelves” by Sept. 1, 2018, to Catherine Hollis via hollisc@berkeley.edu

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From the VWoolf Listserv comes this call for papers.

Virginia Woolf’s atheism and her sharp criticism of religion are well-established in the critical literature. Yet Woolf’s sometimes withering critique of religion belies what might be termed a spiritual sensibility in her work. An upcoming collection seeks to define the spiritual in expansive and interdisciplinary ways that illuminate Woolf’s writing, as well as spirituality itself.

The call for papers for this collections seeks papers on the following:

  • Approaches drawing on theology, psychology, philosophy, geography, and other disciplinary methods
  • Areas of interest might include Woolf’s treatment of sacred spaces; doctrinal or ritualistic language; the soul; illness and its relationship to spiritual experience; spiritual metaphors; spirituality and the body; re-enchantment; writing as spiritual practice; etc.

Submit abstracts of approximately 500 words by March 1, 2018, to Kristina K. Groover, Professor of English, Appalachian State University, at grooverkk@appstate.edu <mailto:grooverkk@appstate.edu>).

Inquiries are welcome.

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Sure, we’re all rushing around getting ready for the holidays. But with 2017 drawing to a close, here’s a reminder that the call for papers for the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf is open until Feb. 1, 2018.

Topic for the conference, June 21-24 at the University of Kent, is “Virginia Woolf, Europe and Peace.” Get the details. For more, contact vwoolf2018@gmail.com

The latest news is that keynote lectures will be given by Professor Rosi Braidotti of Utrecht University,  Professor Claire Davison of Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3, and Dr. Jane Goldman of the University of Glasgow.

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The Modernist Archives Publishing Project seeks submissions for biographical entries for the authors, artists and press workers of The Hogarth Press and for its publishing house descriptions pages.

MAPP is the first modernist DH project to focus exclusively on twentieth-century publishing houses.  It offers a pioneering digital platform to organize, interact with, and analyze book production, reception, and distribution networks and will represent a replicable digital model for contemporary and future scholars of modernist publishing and book culture. For more about MAPP, please visit its website.

MAPP would also be open to student work and to pedagogical uses of MAPP. Please contact their team to discuss possible pedagogical collaborations and student writing.

Submission Guidelines

Before submitting, please use the Google form below to send a brief query with your proposed biographical subject or publisher.

Biographies should be approximately 1,000 words and should be accompanied by a works cited and a bibliography.  Where possible please include links to the Modernist Journals Project, Orlando or other digital resources. Example entry: http://www.modernistarchives.com/person/ruth-manning-sanders

Press descriptions should be approximately 1,000 words and should be accompanied by a works cited and a bibliography.  Please see the MAPP site for examples at http://www.modernistarchives.com/business/the-hogarth-press or Lise Jaillant on Grant Richards at http://www.modernistarchives.com/business/grant-richards. Any twentieth-century press will be considered for inclusion. Foreign language and geographically dispersed presses encouraged.

Submissions will be subject to double peer review and will be credited.

Please send short proposals and queries using the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/1K33gDnxW8jHTNym1

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