Mount St. Joseph University

29th Virginia Woolf Conference Comes to the Mount

Campus News, Dateline: student newspaper

By: Sasha Feldmann

File Under: conference, dateline, virginia woolf

Poster for the 29th Virginia Woolf Conference.

Alert!: Dr. Drew Shannon discussed the conference on WVXU Cincinnati Public Radio on Thursday, May 23. Click here to listen.

From June 6-9, the Mount will become a part of a 29-year-old tradition. The International Virginia Woolf Conference will be held on campus, directed by Associate Professor of English, Drew Shannon, Ph.D., and hosting guests from more than 13 countries and 5 continents.

Virginia Woolf was an English author prominent in the early 20th century. She was known for her modernist style and anti-war, anti-patriarchy rhetoric. Some of her most famous works include “To The Lighthouse” and “Mrs. Dalloway”. She was also a member of Bloomsbury, a group of intellectuals which included her husband Leonard Woolf, her sister Vanessa Bell, and the economist John Maynard Keynes.

This year, the theme of the conference is Virginia Woolf and Social Justice. As a writer deeply concerned with the distribution of power, wealth, education, privileges, and opportunities, Virginia Woolf remains a relevant and sustaining voice on issues of social justice. Woolf continues—perhaps now more than ever, given our globally turbulent political landscape—to speak clearly and strongly for a more just world.

Dr. Drew Shannon primarily teaches British literature from Shakespeare to the present. He currently serves as the Historian/Bibliographer of the International Virginia Woolf Society. He has presented at dozens of literary conferences, published critical articles, essays, and monographs. He is currently working to expand his doctoral dissertation into a book to be titled “The Deep Old Desk: A Biography of the Diary of Virginia Woolf”.

“I’m thrilled to be hosting the 29th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at the Mount in June,” Drew says, “The conference has a long tradition of fostering scholarship and friendships based on intellectual respect, camaraderie, and deep love and affection for Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group. And the conference’s theme, on Woolf and Social Justice, has never been timelier, given the current political moment, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.”

The conference will include panels on the theme of Virginia Woolf and Social Justice, as well as special plenary talks and a performance of Leonard Woolf’s play “The Hotel”, directed by Ellen McLaughlin (Broadway’s “Angels in America”), which will be open to the public. The conference will also include a wine and cheese reception at the downtown Mercantile Library and a trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Many members of the Mount community will be assisting with the conference, performing in “The Hotel”, and presenting their own papers.

Registration is closed at this time. The following events are open to the public. The fee is $5 per event, cash or check at the door:

Thursday, June 6
5:00-6:30 Plenary session: Dr. Elizabeth Abel,  “The Smashed Mosaic: Virginia Woolf and African-American Modernism"

Friday, June 7
11:00-12:30 Plenary session: Dr. Anne Fernald and Dr. Tonya Krouse, on Woolf in the Era of #MeToo

7:00-8:00 Plenary session:  Ellen McLaughlin, “Woolf and Empathy: Her Sly Revolutionary Art"

8:30-10:30 The Hotel, by Leonard Woolf, directed by Ellen McLaughlin, Theater (This event is free)

Saturday, June 8
11:00-12:30 Plenary session:  Dr. Drew Shannon (Mount St. Joseph University) and Dr. Madelyn Detloff (Miami University Ohio) on Woolf, Bloomsbury, and Queer Conviviality

4:00-5:30 Plenary session: Dr. Kristin Czarnecki and Dr. Erica Delsandro, on Woolf and Inclusivity

Sunday, June 9
1:30-3:30 Visit to Underground Railroad Freedom Center, downtown Cincinnati