CFPs: Conferences

Race in the Space Between, 1914-1945

4-6 June 2020 | University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Hosted by The Space Between Society: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945

Join the Space Between Society in Charlottesville, June 4-6, 2020, for our 22nd annual conference, Race in the Space Between, 1914-1945. Our conference this year focuses especially on questions and problems related to race and racial formation in the years between 1914-1945. Please send abstracts (300 words) along with a short biographical statement (100 words) to conference organizer Carmenita Higginbotham at ch6sv@virginia.edu by December 1, 2019.

In the Space Between Society, scholars who study literature, history, media, art, society, and culture between 1914 and 1945, or between and during the two world wars of the twentieth-century, exchange ideas about their approaches and their objects of study. This year’s conference addresses the key roles that race—including racial formation, racial ideologies and racialist practices—played in creative, intellectual, ideological, and political conversations from 1914-1945. Self-consciously or not, interwar and wartime authors, artists, political figures, public intellectuals, and public officials around the world invested in the concept of race. For some, race was a means to assert social identity (white, black, Asian, American Indian, Pacific Islander). For others, race informed concepts of modernity and/or modernism. For still others, race shaped views of time and place, structuring how interwar and wartime cultures were interpreted, received, deployed, and exchanged.

We invite conference participants to consider:

  • What different cultural and scientific assumptions about race shape various sites during this period and our knowledge about it?
  • What methods can we utilize in our particular fields to analyze race as a component of cultural production?
  • What are the challenges of thinking about race and bringing such work into conversation with scholars in the wide range of fields represented in the Space Between Society?

We welcome paper and session proposals that engage with multiple forms, definitions, and investments in race in the space between and during the two world wars, across all disciplines and media, on research and/or pedagogy.

We welcome longtime Space Between Society participants and invite new members to join us in Charlottesville in 2020. Our conference will be supplemented with tours, museum visits, performances, and walks in the greater Charlottesville area (with proposed visits including Monticello, the Fralin Museum of Art, the Jefferson African American Cultural Center, and sites at the University of Virginia). The 2020 conference seeks to offer mentoring workshops and 1:1 mentoring sessions for its participants. Some travel grant funding will be available for graduate students and international and independent scholars; please indicate your interest in your cover letter.

Full information: The Space Between Annual Conference


Annual Conference for the Association for the Study of Australian Literature

29 June – 2 July 2020 | James Cook University at the Cairns Institute, Smithfield, Queensland, Australia

Hosted by James Cook University for the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)

For more than forty years, ASAL annual conferences have offered a venue where creative writers and academic critics have come together in a convivial atmosphere, but the rise of university-based creative writing programs in Australia has sometimes called into question the relationship between creative writing and literary studies. This conference aims to address such questions and to extend the dialogue between these two disciplines in Australian literary studies.

We are seeking 20-minute papers or proposals for panels that address the challenges of reading and writing Australian literature in the past and the present, and welcome proposals from literary studies and practice-led research. Proposals may be a work of criticism or scholarship that engages with the conference topics in any way, or may be a creative work incorporating a scholarly framework to be presented along with a creative element.

Topics could include, but are not restricted to:

  • Writing ‘Australia’
  • Biography and life writing
  • Nature and landscape
  • Regional writing
  • Publishers and publishing
  • Representing diversity
  • Editors and editing
  • Creative and critical convergences
  • Authorship
  • Manuscripts: composition and revision
  • Versions and versioning
  • Writing genre
  • Exporting Australian literature
  • Literary criticism
  • Historical fiction
  • Digital literary studies
  • Writing for stage and screen
  • Readers and reading
  • The essay as Australian literature
  • Creative practice, craft and storytelling
  • Teaching Australian writing

Please submit your proposal to roger.osborne@jcu.edu.au using the subject heading ASAL2020 together with a 250-word abstract and a brief biographical note. Deadline for abstracts is 31 January 2020.

Full details: ASAL Conference Cairns


Reception, Production, Exchange: Conference 2019

9-11 December 2019 | University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Australasian Universities Languages & Literature Association (AULLA) and Australian Reception Network (ARN)

Texts live only by being read, yet in being read, they are also transformed. Texts may be read closely or distantly, critically or uncritically, deeply or hyperly, fast or slowly; for pleasure, profit, or piety; on the beach, in the library, or in the university classroom. Texts can have long afterlives, travelling far in time and space on circuits of communication and exchange. They can be given new life in new contexts of reception, interpretation, translation, or adaptation.

This conference examines the ways in which texts (both literary and otherwise) are produced, exchanged, and received. We encourage papers with a focus on engaged studies and discussions of teaching practice and of critical/exegetical responses to creative practice. Papers that respond to reception, production, and exchange in the fields of languages and translation studies; the literary study of languages other than English; and philosophical approaches to cultural expression, are expressly welcome. We also expressly welcome interdisciplinary angles on the theme, such as Cultural Studies, Indigenous Studies, Postcolonial Studies, ethnography, sociology of reading, History of the Book, studies in orality or performance, and comparative approaches.

Call for papers

The organisers welcome submissions for individual presentations of 20 minutes and panel sessions of 90 minutes.

All submissions are due by Tuesday 15 October 2019, and the program will be published in early November.

Submissions should include: name/s of author/s (including affiliations), title of presentation, an abstract of up to 200 words, and a biographical note of up to 50 words per author. Panel submissions should also include a short description of the panel theme (up to 150 words), in addition to titles, abstracts, and biographical notes for all papers.

Submissions should be emailed to aulla-conference [at] uow.edu.au.

Hosts

This conference is hosted by the University of Wollongong, the Australasian Universities Languages & Literature Association Conference, incorporating the inaugural Australian Reception Network Lecture, and will be held in Wollongong, Australia from 9th-11th December 2019.

Full information: Reception, Production, Exchange: Conference 2019


Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries

7-8 February 2020 | Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex

Supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

The Radical Women Symposium at Pallant House Gallery will explore new ideas relating to modernist women in early twentieth-century Britain, and their connection to art, literature, gender and radical politics. It will take place during the first-ever museum exhibition of Jessica Dismorr (1885-1939), to be held at Pallant House Gallery from 2 November 2019 to 23 February 2020. The exhibition explores the work of Dismorr and the modernist women she was associated with throughout her career – taking Dismorr as a central figure with which to explore women artists in the Slade School of Fine Art in the 1900s, the Rhythm group and Vorticism, to modernist figuration of the 1920s, and the abstract paintings Dismorr showed with anti-fascist groups in the late 1930s. Other artists included in the exhibition are: Dorothy Banks, Anne Estelle Rice, Barbara Hepworth, Rita Kern-Larsen, Elizabeth Muntz, Winifred Nicholson, Betty Rea, Edith Rimmington, Helen Saunders, Dorothy Shakespear, Marguerite Thompson Zorach and Ethel Wright.

Dismorr’s was a ground-breaking career at the forefront of the modernist avant-garde in Britain, but art history has favoured her brief time as a Vorticist. While papers on this period are welcome, this symposium will also seek to broaden the focus, looking at Dismorr and her women contemporaries’ art and literature in relation to current issues and debates in art history. We welcome papers from all disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, and are looking for new research that engages with themes such as modernism and gender and radical politics and women’s art.

The accompanying book by Dr Alicia Foster will publish a collection of Jessica Dismorr’s poetry for the first time and we are particularly interested in research on the art of Dismorr and her contemporaries in relation to modernist literature, and in research on modernist women who worked across the boundaries of art and writing. The Radical Women exhibition will be accompanied by an exhibition of the American Pop artist and feminist Jann Haworth’s ‘Work in Progress’ mural, which pays tribute to women’s contributions to culture and society.

Please send abstracts of up to 400 words to Becky Lyle b.lyle@pallant.org.uk by 23 September 2019. Please include your name, affiliation, contact details (including phone number and email address) and a short biography with details of any recent publications. We will aim to contact successful speakers by mid-October 2019.

Full information: Radical Women Symposium – CALL FOR PAPERS.


Weimar in 20/20: Der Glanz der leeren Mitte ~ The Glamour of the Empty Centre

27-29 May 2020 | King’s University College at Western University, Canada

Abstract submissions are invited for an interdisciplinary symposium aimed at researchers engaged in the political, cultural, and social legacies of the Weimar Republic.

“Weimar in 20/20” tackles the insistent presence – in politics, culture, and social identities – of the Weimar Republic, whose foundational revolutionary impulses reach us today filtered through an intervening century of memory, nostalgia, regrets, and unfinished business. Weimar in the year 2020 is an urgent inspiration and warning: an uncertain blueprint for contemporary politics and values that even in hindsight, we struggle to evaluate clearly, with “20/20” vision.

As a starting point to interrogate this struggle, we propose as a key theme the fraught notion of the “centre”: the preoccupation with structuring a middle ground, of stimulating egalitarianism, of achieving republican consensus in the face of radicalization, partisanship, fragmentation, deep distrust, and disillusionment.

Topics addressing the potential, the successes, and the failures of Weimar’s pursuit of a stable political, cultural, and social “centre” might include:

  • The search for political middle ground against a background of polarizing, radical, divisive discourses; competing centrist campaigns;
  • Berlin as metropolitan hub: as cultural utopia, as decadent, as cosmopolitan, as commercial nexus;
  • Constitutional liberties and freedoms opening “space” for new social identities, aesthetic experimentation, cultural exchange;
  • Weimar’s “central” role in defining and critiquing contemporary notions of state, republicanism, nationhood;
  • The re-centering of German identity on historical and cultural consciousness;
  • The centre as a meeting point: a place of unity and/or consolidating authority; the centre as a gap, deteriorating into an indeterminate political vacuum;
  • The dissipation of the centre: the multiplication of discourses of critique; competing voices; frenzied activity in the press and mass culture; Weimar from inside and out; hollow protest; satire; Expressionism; horror;
  • Centralizing forces; propaganda; mediating technologies; mass audiences; popular culture;
  • Enlightenment optimism crushed by nihilism – the problem and discomfort of emptiness;
  • The call to reconstruct the centre; middle ground as a vacant site to (re)build and (re)imagine.

We invite proposals for 30-minute conference papers accessible to an interdisciplinary audience. Abstracts of 350 words should be submitted to weimar@uwo.ca by 30 September 2019. The conference’s working language is English. A peer-reviewed volume is planned as a continuation of the conference discussions. More information: weimar2020.wordpress.com


Lawrence’s 1920s: North America and the ‘Spirit of Place’

15th International D.H. Lawrence Conference

12-17 July 2020 | Taos, New Mexico

Keynote Speakers: Andrew Harrison (University of Nottingham) | Lois Rudnick (University of Massachusetts Boston) | James Moran (University of Nottingham)

Lorenzo and Frieda arrived in New Mexico in mid-September of 1922, with Dorothy Brett, at the invitation of Mabel Dodge Sterne (who would marry Tony Luhan in 1923, becoming Mabel Dodge Luhan) and stayed for about two years. The Ranch property where they lived from 1924 was given to them by Mabel and was the only property they ever owned during their marriage. Most of St. Mawr was written there, and The Plumed Serpent was begun. Frieda died in New Mexico in 1956 and is buried on the ranch. New Mexico, then, is a magical place in the journey of Lawrence and Frieda, where he wrote some of his most powerful work and where both of them felt a sense of belonging. Lawrence was prolific in the last decade of his life and arguably his talents were at their zenith. This conference encourages papers on all aspects of Lawrence’s life and work, but especially studies pertaining to his last decade and to his imaginative engagement with North America.

The 15th International D.H. Lawrence conference—while open to all considerations of Lawrence’s work and life–is especially interested in proposals reassessing Lawrence’s work 100 years earlier, in the 1920’s; in exploring Lawrence’s engagement with Mexico, New Mexico, North America, and ideas of democracy and “the open road”; in studying the immeasurable influence Lawrence’s criticism had on the study of American literature as late as the 1950’s and 60’s; in examining interconnectivity between artists—dance, ritual, music, visual arts as well as writing—and aspects of modernism across the arts; as well as interdisciplinary studies that deepen our sense of Lawrence’s engagement with Native peoples and cultures.

Papers are welcome from Lawrence scholars, graduate students, and the public. Papers should last no longer than 20 minutes and will be followed by 10 minutes of questions.

If you would like to contribute, please send an abstract of 350 words to the Executive Director, Dr. Nanette Norris, c/o dhlconf2020@yahoo.com, by midnight on 31 October 2019. Submissions will be assessed by the Academic Program Committee, and responses will be issued by  15 December 2019.The abstract should include the following information as part of the same file (in either MS Word or pdf format):

  • Your name, postal address, telephone number, and email address
  • The name of the institution (if applicable) at which you are registered
  • A short bio

The conference is being held at the Sagebrush Inn, Taos, New Mexico. The conference fee is $350 USD for the week (there is an early-bird special), and includes all meals and transport to special events.

Full details: www.dhlconf2020.org/


Retrospective Modernism

The Third Annual International Conference of the Modernist Studies in Asia Network (MSIA)

14-16 May 2020 | Fudan University, Shanghai

Keynote SpeakersRebecca Walkowitz (Rutgers) | Simon During (Melbourne) | Matthew Hart (Columbia)

Modernism is often characterized by an acute sense of a break between the past and the present. “We are sharply cut off from our predecessors. A shift in the scale,” remarked Virginia Woolf, “has shaken the fabric from top to bottom, alienated us from the past and made us perhaps too vividly conscious of the present.” The aesthetic and political projects of modernism, however, remain inextricable from engagement with literary and intellectual traditions in various parts of the world. Ezra Pound’s phrase “make it new,” one of the most famous slogans associated with modernism, derives from renderings of Confucian thought and teachings. James Joyce’s reinvention of the Odyssey in Ulysses embodies much more than parodies and ironic gestures. And while T. S. Eliot advocated “the historical sense” that “involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence,” many modernist writers in non-Western contexts such as Lu Xun, Premchand, and Yasunari Kawabata, to name just a few, have depicted with poignancy the clutches or ongoing ravages of the past.

Perspectives on modernism entail a retrospective effort of the imagination, even as they are inevitably informed by issues and concerns that are contemporary to ourselves. The continued growth of scale – spatiotemporally, archivally, and textually – in modernist studies at once paves the way and makes demands for understanding the complexities of cultural and intellectual history across geographical boundaries. It also calls for a renewal of attention to approaches to traditions and aesthetic practices that vitally strengthen or disrupt connections between the past, the present, and the future.

This conference invites papers that explore retrospective modernism from diverse angles and contexts. In what ways is modernism related to or disconnected from specific intellectual and living traditions? How do modernism’s revolt against and reconfiguration or revaluation of the legacy of the past bear upon its transcultural reception, adaptation, and evaluation? How do modernist scholars around the world today tackle modernism’s retrospective moments, themes, and practices? And how might a retrospective emphasis contribute to or complicate the development of global modernist studies? We welcome papers that focus on textual analysis, cultural studies, historiographical discussions, theoretical and methodological reflections, as well as interdisciplinary work on art, cinema, theater, and other cultural products.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Invention and evolution of ideas of Modernism
  • Modernism and tradition
  • Rupture, continuity, and resonance
  • History and memory
  • Formal experiment and innovation
  • Reform and revolution
  • War and violence
  • Nostalgia, imagination, and fantasy
  • Retrospect and prospect
  • Primitivism, Futurism, and Presentism
  • Personality and impersonality
  • Self, character, and identity
  • Globalization, modernization, and world systems
  • World, globe, and nature
  • Translation, communication, and confrontation
  • Modernism and the Enlightenment
  • Modernism and epistemology
  • Modernism and sentimentalism
  • Modernism and Romanticism
  • Modernism and realism
  • Modernism and feminism
  • Modernism and phenomenology
  • Modernism and liberalism
  • Modernism and conservatism
  • Modernism, socialism, and communism
  • Modernism, nation, and empire
  • Modernism and cosmopolitanism
  • Modernism and forms of humanism
  • Modernism and orientalism
  • Modernism and the Canon
  • Modernism and folklore
  • Modernism and the mass media
  • Modernism and pedagogy

Please send abstracts of approximately 250 words, together with short bios, to msiashanghai@fudan.edu.cn by 15 December 2019. Participants will be notified in January, 2020. Further information: https://modernismasia.wixsite.com/main/conference

Conference Organizers:

Nan Zhang (Fudan University)
Liang Chen (Fudan University)
Yuexi Liu (Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University)


Katherine Mansfield: Germany and Beyond

An international conference organised by the Katherine Mansfield Society and hosted by the Bad Wörishofen Mayorality and Tourist and Spa Bureau

21-22 March 2020 | Bad Wörishofen, Germany

Keynote Speaker: Professor Claire Davison (Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3)

It is  well known that Katherine Mansfield’s first book of stories, In a German Pension (1911), was inspired by her eight months’ stay in the Bavarian spa town of Wörishofen in 1909 at the age of 21, but the importance of Germany and all things German in her writing has not been explored in any depth until recently. Although Mansfield did not return to Germany in the same way as she kept visiting France, her spiritual home in Europe, Germany continued to hold a fascination for her long after her 1909 sojourn, and myriad associations can be traced in her fiction as well as her notebooks and letters.

This two-day conference aims to open up to new scrutiny the impact of Germany on Mansfield’s work and life: its language, peoples and cultures. These range from the setting in Munich of her story ‘The Little Governess’, to her passion for music by composers such as Beethoven, Bruch, and Wagner, her love of the poetry of Heinrich Heine, and literary influences such as the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Indeed, her longing for her German classes at Queen’s College in Harley Street because of the dashing Professor Walter Rippmann, reveals her early devotion. Another influence on her love of German and Germany is the writing of her cousin, the writer Elizabeth von Arnim, widow of Graf Henning von Arnim-Schlagenthin, a member of the Prussian aristocracy, and her friendship with Elizabeth, which developed during her stay in Montana,  Switzerland in the last two years of her life.

It is entirely fitting that this conference will be held in Bad Wörishofen, a Bavarian spa town that honours Mansfield as one of its most famous residents and a significant cultural icon, in fostering local civic pride and identity. Last year, on the occasion of her 130th birthday, a specially commissioned statue of Katherine Mansfield gazing out over the Iceberg Pond in the Spa Park, was unveiled.

The Katherine Mansfield Society is therefore delighted to host, together with the Bad Wörishofen Mayorality and Tourist and Spa Bureau, a conference that aims to explore and celebrate what Germany meant to Mansfield and what it points to in her vision of the world.

Suggested topics for papers might include (but are not limited to):

  • Wörishofen and artistic inspiration:  Mansfield’s In a German Pension 
  • Bavaria and the German Pension stories: nationality, gender and satire
  • German poetry in the works of Mansfield (e.g. Heinrich Heine)
  • German music: classical and modernist
  • German art, architecture and visual culture in Mansfield’s writing
  • German/Prussian family connections: Elizabeth von Arnim
  • Mansfield, travel, Germany and ‘beyond’
  • Mansfield and fairy tales
  • The gothic and fantastic: Germanic sources and influences
  • The legacy of Mansfield in German writing today
  • The German reception of Mansfield’s works
  • German influences in Mansfield’s education (e.g. Walter Rippmann)
  • Translating into German / German translations of Mansfield’s work
  • Teaching and studying Mansfield in Germany today
  • Mansfield, Sebastian Kneipp, naturopathy and other holistic therapies
  • The Germans and Germany as sources for Mansfield’s imagination
  • Mansfield and Frieda von Richthofen (wife of D. H. Lawrence)
  • Mansfield as icon and inspiration for German cultural production

NB: All other topics will be considered

Abstracts of 200 words, together with a 50-word bio-sketch, should be sent by 31 December 2019 to the conference organisers:

Dr Delia da Sousa Correa (Open University, UK), Dr Gerri Kimber (University of Northampton, UK), Monika Sobotta (Open University, UK) and Professor Janet Wilson (University of Northampton, UK) at kms@katherinemansfieldsociety.org

Further details: katherinemansfieldsociety.org/bad-worishofen-2020/


CRiSiS

7th biennial conference of the European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies

17-19 September 2020 | University of Leuven, Belgium

Keynote Speakers: Boris Groys (NYU) | Christine Poggi (NYU) | and more…

Notions of crisis have long charged the study of the European avant-garde and modernism. Throughout their history, avant-gardists and modernists have faced crises, be they economic or political, scientific or technological, aesthetic or philosophical, collective or individual, local or global, short or perennial. Modernists and avant-gardists have in turn continually stood accused of instigating crises, whether artistic or cultural, sensorial or conceptual, incidental or intentional, far-reaching or negligible, representational or other. The very concepts of ‘avant-garde’ and ‘modernism’ are time and again subject—or subjected—to conceptual crises, leaving modernism and avant-garde studies as a field on the perpetual brink of a self-effacing theoretical crisis.

The 7th biennial conference of the EAM intends to tackle the ways in which the avant-garde and modernism in Europe relate to crisi/es. Although we welcome panel, roundtable and paper proposals on any aspect of this relationship, we are particularly interested in new research on three topics.

First, we want to explore the theoretical complexity of the notion of crisis. For what is a crisis, really? The term is defined very loosely at times in modernism and avant-garde studies, and a quick survey illustrates that we seldom talk about crises of the same scale, import or impact. By clarifying what exactly counts as a crisis, surely we can gain a better understanding of the European avant-gardes and modernism. So what precisely do we mean by ‘crisis’? Is crisis above all a narrative device? Is there ever no crisis? Are there types of crisis, artistic or otherwise, that we have thus far neglected in our study of the avant-garde or modernism? And what (other) view(s) of crisis do avant-gardists and modernists themselves project?

Second, we are interested in proposals that touch upon the crises-laden historical trajectory of the avant-gardes and modernism. For while we often claim that a notion of crisis is key to a proper understanding of (late) modernity, the European avant-gardes and modernists faced different historical crises throughout their development. To what extent do all these crises, which span several centuries, share common denominators? What role do national and regional differences play over time? Does the project of the avant-garde and modernism, along with their critique of crisis, change fundamentally over time or not? Proposals touching upon a historical case study or submissions comparing several historical cases from different times or regions in Europe are therefore particularly welcome.

Third and finally, we wholeheartedly encourage proposals that look at the practical side of things, across all areas of avant-garde and modernist activity: art, literature, music, architecture, film, artistic and social movements, lifestyle, television, fashion, drama, performance, activism, curatorial practice, design and technology. How do European avant-gardists and modernists give aesthetic shape to crises? What representational strategies and tactics do they use in their practices? What affective (and other) experiences of crisis does their work allow for? What crises do their experimental practices yield—in fact, do the avant-gardes and modernism create types or modes of crisis of their own?

The official languages of this conference are English, French and German. You may submit a proposal as a panel chair, as an individual or as a roundtable chair.

1. You may propose to be the chair of a panel. A panel consists of three or four speakers. One of the speakers is the chair who makes the submission and supplies the details and proposals of all of the proposed participants. You may also submit a double or triple panel. Panels should not consist only of doctoral students and panels composed of participants from a single department at a single institution are less likely to be accepted.

2. You may submit an individual proposal without specifying a panel and the organisers will assign your paper to a panel if accepted.

3. You may propose to be the chair of a roundtable. Roundtables consist of a maximum of 6 participants who each write brief “position papers” (4 pages) that are read and circulated before the conference. During the roundtable, participants briefly present position statements, after which a discussion takes place moderated by the chair. Roundtables can consist only of doctoral students yet roundtables composed of participants from a single department at a single institution are also less likely to be accepted.

Roundtable proposals (deadline 1 January 2020) should include:

  • Title of the roundtable and language (English, French, German – one only)
  • A 500-word summary of the roundtable’s topic and rationale.
  • The chair’s name, a one-page curriculum vitae, and contact information (address and email).
  • Name, postal address and email contact of at least 5 (maximum 6) participants in the roundtable.
  • Short biography of individual participants

Panel proposals (deadline 1 February 2020) should include:

  • Title of the panel and language of the panel (English, French, German – one only)
  • Name, address and email contact of the chair
  • A summary of the panel topic (300 words)
  • A summary of each individual contribution (300 words)
  • Name, postal address and email contact of individual contributors
  • Short biography of individual contributors

Individual proposals (deadline 1 February 2020) should include:

  • Title of the paper and language of the paper (English, French, or German)
  • Name, address and email of contributor
  • A summary of the contribution (300 words)
  • Short biography of the contributor

Please submit your proposals in Word format only to eam2020@kuleuven.be. Acceptance will be notified via email by the end of May. A detailed conference programme will be available on the EAM website before summer. With any questions, please always make sure to check this page first, as it will be updated in due course. Full details: www.eam-europe.be/2020-conference


Virginia Woolf: Profession and Performance

The 30th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf

11–14 June 2020 | University of South Dakota

“Profession and Performance,” the theme of the 2020 Annual 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 ACVW’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 ACVW’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. 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 VirginiaLife 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

Abstracts of max. 250 words for single papers and 500 words for panels should be sent to the organizer, Benjamin D. Hagen, Ph.D. (he/him/his): Virginia.Woolf@usd.edu by 1 February 2020. In addition to traditional presentations, we 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. 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.

Further details can be found here.