Archive for the ‘Woolf Courses’ Category

Literature Cambridge will hold two immersive summer courses on Virginia Woolf in July 2017 at A Room of One's OwnHomerton College, Cambridge. Each will include lectures, supervisions, and excursions.

Woolf’s Rooms

Woolf’’s Rooms will be held Sunday 16 July to Friday 21 July 2017. This five days of immersion in Woolf will include lectures by Gillian Beer, Jane Potter, Alison Hennegan, Trudi Tate, and Claire Nicholson.

Works to be studied include A Room of One’s Own, Jacob’s Room, The Waves, To the Lighthouse, and Between the Acts. We will spend a day on each book with a lecture and supervision, with further opportunities for participants to discuss the works with fellow students, visit places important to Woolf, and do more reading on your own.

Reading Bloomsbury

Reading Bloomsbury will be held Sunday 23 July to Friday 28 July 2017. Lectures
on Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf, Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey, and Leonard Woolf will be given by Frances Spalding, Alison Hennegan, Trudi Tate, Claudia Tobin (tbc) and Claire Nicholson.

The course will include lectures, supervisions, and excursions, such as a trip to Bloomsbury with an expert guide and a visit to the lovely Orchard Tea Room at Grantchester.

More about the courses

Courses start early Sunday evening, so students are advised to arrive in Cambridge by early afternoon. The courses finish late Friday evening with a formal dinner. Departure is Saturday morning.

The courses aim to complement one another without overlapping. Students are welcome to enroll for either or both. They are advised to book early if they wish to attend both courses and require Homerton accommodation for the Saturday night between the two courses.

Early booking

A discounted price is available up to 16 December 2016. After that date, members of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain can still get a special discount.

For more information and links for booking visit Literature Cambridge website or Facebook page. Questions: Email info@literaturecambridge.co.uk

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Editor’s Note: This post was written by Dr. Trudi Tate of the University of Cambridge.

Our Woolf course, ‘Virginia Woolf in Cambridge’, 18-22 July 2016, is filling up, but there are still a few rooms available at the favourable summer school rate.

Virginia Woolf in Cambridge 2016 looks at some of the best-loved of Woolf’s books (Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and A Room of One’s Own) from fresh angles, putting them alongside contemporary creative work by Susan Sellers (Vanessa and Virginia) and Kabe Wilson (Of One Woman or So). Gillian Beer’s lecture on ‘Reading The Waves Across a Lifetime’ promises to be a highlight, giving us a way into this fascinating book for the 2017 Woolf course, in which we plan to study The Waves and other exciting and challenging Woolf works.

Our summer course gives students the experience of a Cambridge-style supervision (a tutorial). Two or three students spend an hour with an experienced Cambridge supervisor, discussing the work of the day, and engaging in careful close reading, in the tradition of Cambridge English since the 1920s.

We will explore some of the historical context of Woolf’s books, asking what they have to say about their own time, and how they speak to ours.

For more details — and to register — visit the Virginia Woolf in Cambridge website.


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A three-week literary course on Virginia Woolf will take place in London May 23-June 10. Literary London: Virginia Woolf on Site will be led by Jane Garrity and is part of the literaryLondon2016bUniversity of Colorado at Boulder’s Study Abroad Program. It is open to graduate and undergraduate students from all universities.

Here is information from the global seminar course website:

This seminar on the work and life of Virginia Woolf uses the city of London to deepen and make concrete an understanding of this extraordinary author’s body of work.

Participants will have access to all of the most important literary sites related to Woolf’s life and be able to see up close the enormous impact of London and its environs on Woolf’s work.

The seminar will examine the ways that the city of London and its adjacent countryside come together in Woolf’s complex vision of the English nation, its elaborate class hierarchy, and its storied history. Woolf herself believed that London was “the center of life itself,” and this seminar seeks to illustrate how integral this belief is to an understanding of her literary geography.

In addition to in class discussions, there will be walking tours to key London locations as well as excursions to Monk’s House, Charleston Farmhouse, Knole and Sissinghurst. Students will also participate in a hands-on art project in the studio of Cressida Bell, the great-niece of Virginia Woolf who specializes in textile and interior design.

The program is directed by Professor Jane Garrity, an expert on British modernism in literature with research focusing in modernism and empire, gender and sexuality studies, and cultural studies. She will select program participants, lead a pre-program orientation, lead the course while abroad, and act as resident director in London.

Application deadline is March 1, 2016. Learn more about this global seminar, academic credits, housing, costs, and extracurricular activities at studyabroad.colorado.edu.

For more information about teaching, learning and traveling in England, see these links:

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woolf course

Can it get any more exciting than this? Literature Cambridge is offering a summer course on Virginia Woolf this July.

Here is the information that Trudi Tate, Director of Literature, Cambridge, and a lecturer at the summer course, sent Blogging Woolf, along with fee details I copied from the website:

Summer Course: Virginia Woolf in Cambridge, 18-22 July 2016

Literature Cambridge offers specialised summer courses in the beautiful university city of Cambridge. In 2016, our special author course is on Virginia Woolf. This is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself for five full days in Woolf’s writings and her context.

Each day we will have an expert lecture, followed by questions and discussion. On four days, there will be a Cambridge-style supervision. Students work in pairs, discussing the text of the day for an hour with an experienced Cambridge supervisor.

Susan Sellers will be a lecturer at the Cambridge summer course.

Susan Sellers, author of Vanessa and Virginia (2009), is one of several lecturers at this summer’s Literature Cambridge course.

There will be guided excursions to places of interest, including Girton and Newnham Colleges (where Woolf gave talks that became A Room of One’s Own), Grantchester (where Woolf met Rupert Brooke), and Bloomsbury in London.

In the evenings there will be literary readings or talks, as well as time to read further, explore Cambridge, and to reflect.

In 2016, we will be based in Homerton College, a lovely Victorian campus with beautiful large gardens, 10 minutes by bus from the city centre. Students live, take classes and take most of their meals in college, with opportunities to explore the rest of Cambridge. (It is also possible to come as a non-residential student: see the website.)

There are no prerequisites, but students must be over 18. At present we do not have the capacity to offer undergraduate credits, but we will explore this for 2017 and beyond if there is a demand.

I am really delighted to offer this unique opportunity to study Woolf in depth in the company of Woolfians from all over the world – teachers, students, scholars, and ‘common readers’. We are all her common readers and I look forward to working with you.


The course fee of £875, covers lectures, supervisions, course materials, excursions and talks. The residential fee of £570, includes six nights bed and breakfast (ensuite), four evening meals, plus one formal dinner. Non-residential students are welcome; evening meals and formal dinner may be paid for separately if desired.

An early bird discount of 5% will be offered for those booking by 15 January 2016.

More details

For more information, email info@literaturecambridge.co.uk

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Alice Lowe, a freelance writer and an independent Woolf scholar, will present a two-week Woolf workshop at San Diego State University titled “Don’t Be Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”

Lowe, a contributor to Blogging Woolf, has had two monographs published by Cecil Woolf Publishers in London: Virginia Woolf as Memoirist: ‘I am made and remade continually’ in 2015 and Beyond the Icon: Virginia Woolf in Contemporary Fiction in 2010. She has also published papers and reviews in Woolf Society publications and selected papers from Woolf conferences.

In addition, more than 40 of her personal essays have appeared in print and online literary journals over the past five years. She is an SDSU alumna.

For more information, call 619-594-5152 or visit neverstoplearning.net/osher

lowe flyer

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Hatchard’s on Piccadilly

Have any of you taught a course on Woolf in London? That question from Jane Garrity of the University of Colorado at Boulder prompted a discussion on the VWoolf Listserv that elicited plenty of ideas this week.

What follows is a compilation of some of the suggestions and experiences shared by members of the list.

I also recommend taking a look at In Her Steps on this site. On that page, I share some of my experiences when I took a class called “England in the Steps of Virginia Woolf,” along with additional travel information and links.

Touring Woolf’s England

London Sign PostEliza Kay Sparks, a retired professor from Clemson University, took a group of five young women to England for two weeks and shared the trip itinerary and details with list members, as well as on her blog, Blooming Woolf.

Anne Fernald of Fordham University shared her proposal for a class abroad centered on Transatlantic Women Modernists, including her list of proposed field trips and her rationale for including them on the itinerary.

Suzette Henke of the University of Louisville taught a two-week Modern British Literature course in London in May 2011 that included a significant Woolf component. She said teaching a Woolf class in London is “quite a memorable teaching experience, as the whole of London is a giant classroom.”

Jeanette McVicker of the State University of New York at Fredonia taught a course called Literary London: Seminar on Virginia Woolf in 2011. She taught it in tandem with a colleague’s course on contemporary British women writers, titled Women Writing London. She has shared both her course syllabus and the trip iinerary that includes readings matched with excursions. Although the Women’s LIbrary included in the itinerary is no longer in existence, McVicker said one can request special access to the Museum of London’s archive, which has a wealth of material on the suffrage movement as well as holdings of Woolf-related work.

Getting started

River ThamesSparks recommended starting with a Big Bus tour around London on the first day to orient everyone to the city “and keep them awake and absorbing light rays without requiring a lot of physical exertion.” Henke suggested an afternoon boat trip on the River Thames, “illustrated by passages from Woolf’s diaries describing her thoughts about the Tower of London.”

And while there is plenty to do in Woolf’s city of origin — and students can chase down locations from Night and Day, if they’ve read it — Sparks recommends giving students one free day to explore on their own.

London sites

  • Houses and parks, including Carlyle’s House, 22 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington Big BenGardens and Chelsea
  • Mrs. Dalloway walk, which according to Fernald will allow students to “hear Big Ben’s chime, sit in Regent’s Park, walk through Bloomsbury, and
    past the Cenotaph,” and window shop at Hatchard’s bookstore, thereby giving “students a powerful flavor of the book’s geography.”
  • The London Scene walk to places mentioned in the essays can, according to McVickers, be “bolstered by exhibits and archives at Museums of London (the special collections person there is superb and generous) and Docklands.”
  • Bloomsbury
  • British Library, an important stop according to Fernald because “Woolf and many other writers of the period composed their works and researched in the Reading Room of the old British Library, now preserved as an exhibit within the British Museum.” Henke agreed that an afternoon’s field trip to the British Library and its special collections is a “must.”
  • British Museum
  • National Gallery, where Sparks recommends finding Virginia as Clio in Boris Anrep’s mosaics.
  • National Portrait Gallery, where you can visit the top floor tea room with “an utterly glorious view over Charing Cross,” according to Sparks.The London Scene
  • Richmond and Kew
  • Hampton Court
  • Persephone Books,  Nicola Beauman’s small press in Bloomsbury that is dedicated to republishing popular fiction from the period and is located in a building that was once the grocery store where Leonard and Virginia Woolf shopped. Fernald called it “a tribute to the combination of art and commerce that was central to
    Bloomsbury,” “a feminist institution today,” and a living memorial to the [Modernist] period.
  • Lincoln’s Inn will give students a good connection to The Years, according to McVicker.
  • King’s College, London, where Anna Snaith has done “path-breaking archival research showing the extent of Virginia Woolf’s university-level education,” according to Fernald.
  • Cabinet War Rooms and Imperial War Museum, which Fernald described as “invaluable to understanding the context of war in this period and women’s roles in both wars.
  • Sparks’ group also paid a visit to Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson.

Beyond London

  • Cambridge, where you should be sure not to miss the turn to Newnham, said Sparks.
  • Oxford, for a connection to A Room of One’s Own, said McVicker.
  • Sussex, including Monk’s House and Charleston Farmhouse. Sparks recommends chartering a bus for those. Fernald

    Charleston Farmhouse

    said a visit to these sites is important because Charleston is “full of valuable post-impressionist paintings by Bell and her contemporaries” and a “visit to these sites would give students a flavor of the city-and-country split that was central to Woolf. Henke’s experience with her class bore this out. As she wrote: “Our very best field trip was a Saturday excursion to Charleston and Monk’s House. We found that the most convenient and economical way to get to Charleston by public transport was by taking a train from Victoria Station to Lewes, then hiring taxis to Charleston. We were able to book a private tour of Charleston at noon, prior to the public entry to the property. Because of a special festival, we caught a bus to Monk’s House, then got taxis back to Lewes. Really a fabulous day!”

  • Knole House in Kent, which gives you “Orlando at every turn,” said Sparks.
  • St. Ives in Cornwall, which Sparks described as the “highlight of the trip” and “SO worth the long train ride, which they
    Godrevy Lighthouse

    A boat ride from St. Ives to Godrevy Lighthouse as part of the Virginia Woolf class I took in June 2004.

    totally enjoyed as a great way to get a sense of British scenery.” While there, she recommends renting a boat to go out to Godrevy Lighthouse. Andre Gerard, publisher of Patremoir Press, suggested adding Tren Crom Hill, just outside of St. Ives, to the itinerary. “The landscape is little altered since Virginia’s day, and you can easily imagine her and her siblings walking and running in it,” he wrote. Woolf also described the site in “A Sketch of the Past.”

  • Hampstead, where you can see Keat’s house, which Woolf visited, along with Katherine Mansfield’s “The Eyebrows.” According to Sparks, “The views of the city are spectacular, and I rode back on top of a bus, a long ride, but gave me such a flavor of London.”

Reading list

Links to Woolf courses

Links to sites

The regular Sunday walk was to Trick Robin or, as father liked to call it, Tren Crom.  From the top, one could see the two seas; St. Michael’s Mount on one side; the Lighthouse on the other. Like all Cornish hills, it was scattered with blocks of granit; said some of them to be old tombs and altars; in some, holes were driven, as if for gate posts. Others were piled up rocks.  The Loggan rock was on top of Tren Crom; we would set it rocking; and be told that perhaps the hollow in the rough lichened surface was for the victim’s blood. But father, with his sever love of truth, disbelieved it; he said, in his opinion, this was no genuine Loggan rock; but the natural disposition of ordinary rocks. Little paths led up to the hill between heather and ling; and our knees were pricked by the gorse the blazing yellow gorse with its sweet nutty smell. – Virginia Woolf, “A Sketch of the Past”

Revised April 17, 2015
Revised April 20, 2015
Revised April 22, 2015

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Woolf seminar at SCSU

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