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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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Ethel Smyth: Grasp the Nettle concert poster spotted in Cambridge last month.

Professional contralto and actress Lucy Stevens has developed a new show, Ethel Smyth: Grasp the Nettle, to coincide with and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, the decisive step in the political emancipation of women in the UK getting the vote.

The concert will be staged Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Stapleford Granary. Tickets are £15 for general admission and £8 for those under 16.

About Ethel Smyth

Dame Ethel Smyth, a friend and frequent correspondent of Virginia Woolf and a political activist and composer, was imprisoned in Holloway Prison with Sylvia Pankhurst. As a composer, she wrote the anthem for the suffrage movement “The March of the Women” as well as six operas and many chamber, orchestral, and vocal works.  As an author she published ten books.

In 1902 Ethel Smyth was the first female composer to have an opera performed at Covent Garden and, in 1903, she was the first female composer to have an opera performed at The Metropolitan Opera House in New York. The next opera by a female composer to be performed at Covent Garden was in 2012 and at The Met in 2016.

About the concert

Grasp The Nettle weaves her music, songs and greatest opera, “The Wreckers,” with her battle for an equal voice.It is Illuminated with anecdotes from her confidants, her letters and her own writing “…which is peculiarly beautiful and all of it rippling with life” (Maurice Baring).

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Fall Events

What: Study Day on Reading The Waves
When: Saturday 21 September 2019
Where: Stapleford Granary
Cost: £90/£80 students and Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain members.

What: Ellie Mitchell, Talk on Reading Ritual in The Waves
When: Tuesday 15 October 2019
Where: Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge
Cost: Free talks for Town and Gown

What: All-day reading of The Waves
When: Sun. 27 October 2019
Where: Cambridge
Cost: Free but places are limited. Email info@literaturecambridge.co.uk if you would like to attend.

Summer 2020 Courses

Virginia Woolf’s Women, 19-24 July 2020. An intensive week of lectures, seminars, tutorials, walks, talks, and visits to places of interest in Cambridge.

Reading the 1920s, 26-31 July 2020. An intensive study week on literature from the decade following the First World War. Authors include T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, Lawrence, Woolf, Radclyffe Hall, Helen Zenna Smith, Edmund Blunden.

Discount for early bookings. Members of the VWSGB can book at the student rate, subject to availability.

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Chanya Button’s new film Vita And Virginia will be shown at 8:15 p.m July 30 at the Barn Cinema, Dartington Hall, Devon, followed by a post-screening discussion of the film with Dr. Kirsty Martin, senior lecturer in English Literature at the University of Exeter.

The discussion will consider how Chanya Button’s film portrays the two main characters and their relationship, in connection with Kirsty’s own research into Virginia Woolf, as seen in her first book, Modernism and the Rhythms of Sympathy.

Dartington and the Bloomsbury group

The event will also provide an opportunity for attendees to learn more about Dartington’s connections with the Bloomsbury group, and the founders of the Dartington experiment, Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, and the Arts department there.

The Q&A will be hosted by The Dartington Hall Trust’s Arts Correspondent, William Kemp, who before joining Dartington worked at Charleston in Sussex, the home of Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

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I’m all settled in to my spacious and comfy room of my own at Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge.

I took the train up from London a day earlier than necessary for the Literature Cambridge course on Virginia Woolf’s Gardens.

That means we had a bit of time to explore a small parcel of Cambridge, enjoy a lovely tea at Harriets Cafe and Tea Rooms, check in and collect our welcome packets from Trudi Tate and her crew, and — in typical American fashion — load up on some Cambridge swag.

King’s Parade in Cambridge is jammed with tourists, shoppers, and Cambridge folks on Sunday. We were among them.
Trudi Tate and Rosa welcome Bee, a UK student and one of 23 in the Virginia Woolf’s Gardens course at Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge.
Students, including Yuriko, found a table full of Literature Cambridge T-shirts. I bought a red one from Rosa.
Suellen from the U.S. and Hans from the Netherlands take part in a Woolf-related conversation at Literature Cambridge check-in.
Cambridge, Wolfson, and Lit Cambridge T-shirts. I had to have all three.
The Classic Tea at Harrietts Cafe and Tearoom. The house blend is delicious.
View from my room of my own in the Conference Center at Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge.

 

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Orlando, the stage adaptation by Sarah Rule, will be produced by the Marvellous Machine Theatre Company production, which is part of The Camden Fringe, July 31 through Aug. 4. Performances of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel are at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 1TT (Mornington Crescent tube)
Tickets: £15 (£13 concessions) + £2.50 fee: book online: Book online.

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Oh, yes, dear readers, today is #DallowayDay! And although celebrations took place last weekend, Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel and her memorable character Clarissa Dalloway are being feted at celebrations around the world today, the official #DallowayDay, the third Wednesday in June.

If you can’t join a celebration in person, join in via Twitter. Just search #DallowayDay. And consider buying some flowers yourself.

Meanwhile, here are some notable tweets for the day.

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