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In England? Near Cambridge? Then you might be able to attend one or both of these talks on Virginia Woolf, presented by Literature Cambridge and Lucy Cavendish College. Here are the details:

Woolf and The Waves

Tuesday, 4 February, 1 p.m.: Rute Costa on ‘All is rippling, all is dancing’: Adapting The Waves into performance.  Founders’ Room, Lucy
Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England.

Woolf and Katherine Mansfield

Tuesday, 10 March, 1 p.m.: Clare Nicholson, Literature Cambridge and
ICE, The Ambivalent Friendship of Virginia Woolf and Katherine
Mansfield: ‘A Public of Two’. Venue: Wolfson Room, Lucy Cavendish
College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England.

Both talks are free and open to all, town and gown.

A table full of Literature Cambridge T-shirts and information as students check in for one of the program’s 2019 summer courses. Literature Cambridge offers two new courses, Woolf’s Women and Reading the 1920s, this July.

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The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain will celebrate Virginia Woolf’s birthday on Saturday, Jan. 25, with its 21st annual Virginia Woolf Birthday Lecture featuring Claire Davison “Singing Songs of Sixpence? Virginia Woolf, Ethel Smyth and the languages of music.”

Tavistock Hotel

Davison is Professeur de Literature Moderniste, University Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris.

Lecture: 2 p.m; doors open at 1:30 p.m.
Location: MAL 532, Main Building, 5th floor, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Wine Reception: 3:15 p.m.
Location: Dining room, Tavistock Hotel, WC1H 9EU
Cost: £20 Virginia Woolf Society members/ students & concessions, £25 non-members. The price includes a wine reception at the Tavistock Hotel following the lecture and a printed copy of the lecture to be posted.

Tickets: For tickets, please apply to Lynne Newland, send cheques to 84 Waterman Way, London, E1W 2QW, giving email address for receipt of payment; or pay by BACS to Virginia Woolf Society GB, sort code 09-06-66; acct no 40411044. Bank Santander. Reference: initial/surname/BL e.g. LNEWLAND BL. If paying by BACS please notify Lynne at lynne@newlandmail.com.

Accommodations: The Tavistock Hotel is offering a 20% discount for Virginia Woolf society members. Please quote society event and membership number. The group’s contact is Tony Smith, Operations Manager.

 

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What: Free Talk: “Not Quite So Kind: Woolf and the limits of kindness”
Who: Anne E. Fernald, professor of English and Women’s Studies at Fordham University
When: Nov. 1, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Lunch at 1:30, talk at 2 p.m., refreshments at 3:30.
Where: Fordham London Centre, 2 Eyre Street Hill, London
How: Reserve free tickets.

Anne Fernald

On Woolf and kindness

In Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway, kindness has its limits. When the shell-shocked veteran Septimus Warren Smith and his wife announce theirintention to seek a second opinion from Sir William Bradshaw, their doctor, Dr. Holmes turns on them with stunningly rapid bitterness “if they were rich… by all means let them go to Harley Street; if they had no confidence in him, said Dr. Holmes, looking not quite so kind” (84).

In Mrs. Dalloway and throughout her writing, Woolf explores both the limits of mere kindness and what it means to be of a kind, to be kin, stressing the common root of adjective and noun. This talk unpacks several of Woolf’s key uses of the word kind to explore how, in 2019, we might understand the complex interactions of social cues, intimacy, fondness, and mistrust in Woolf and how those stories continue to resonate today.

About Ann Fernald

A scholar of modernism with a special focus on Virginia Woolf, Fernald is the editor of the Cambridge University Press Mrs. Dalloway (2014), and one of the editors of The Norton Reader, a widely-used anthology of essays. She is the author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (2006), as well as articles and reviews on Woolf and feminist modernism. She is a co-editor of the journal Modernism/modernity. She occasionally updates her blog, Fernham, and can be found on twitter @fernham.

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Painting of Virginia Woolf by Vanessa Bell currently displayed at Monk’s House

Here are the details of three talks on Virginia Woolf and her times, hosted by Literature Cambridge and Lucy Cavendish College during Michaelmas Term 2019.

Each is free and open to all, town and gown. Participants can buy lunch in the Lucy Cavendish dining hall from 12.30 pm before the talk.

What: Reading Ritual in The Waves (1931) with Ellie Mitchell, ADC Theatre, Cambridge
When: Tuesday 15 October, 1 p.m.
Venue: Founders’ Room, Lucy Cavendish College, Lady Margaret Road, Cambridge.

The Waves was variously described by Woolf as a ‘playpoem’, a ‘mystical poetical novel’ and ‘something struggled for’. This talk reads the novel in the light of Woolf’s interest in the anthropologist Jane Harrison’s theories of classical culture, art and ritual.

What: Professor Dame Gillian Beer, Clare Hall, Cambridge, on Modernist Alice.
When: Tuesday 5 November, 1 p.m.:
Venue: Wolfson Room, Lucy Cavendish College, Lady Margaret Road, Cambridge.

The Alice books transform from age to age and place to place. In the period of Modernism in Britain and Surrealism in Europe, they took devious and different directions. The talk will be illustrated with writing and images drawn from Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Walter de la Mare, Arthur Eddington, Vladimir Nabokov, Andre Breton, and others.

What: All-day reading of The Waves
When: Sunday 27 October, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with regular refreshment breaks. Come for part of the day or the entire day — your choice.
Venue: Thomas Gray Room, Pembroke College. Free, but please book if possible via Eventbrite

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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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It’s day one of the 29th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, with its theme of social justice, at the University of Mount Saint Joseph in Cincinnati.

Beth Rigel Daugherty, Leslie Hankins and Diane Gillespie presented a panel on “Portraying and Projecting Age, Ageism, and Activism” on day one.

The agenda was full with registration; an opening session; three breakout sessions, each with a choice of six panels ranging from Woolf and race to Queering Woolf; and a plenary session with Dr. Elizabeth Abel of UC Berkeley on “The Smashed Mosaic: Virginia Woolf and African American Modernism.”

The day ended with “Hours in a Library,” a wine and cheese reception at the Mercantile Library in downtown Cincinnati, where conference participants met and mingled among the books.

Take a look at the place where readers, writers, and thinkers have gathered since 1835.

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