Monday, January 05, 2009

19th Annual Woolf Conference: Call for Papers

I am organizing it. It's going to be great. Proposals are due February 1, 2009!
June 4-7, 2009
Fordham University, Lincoln Center, New York, NY
To escape is the greatest of pleasures; street haunting in winter the greatest of adventures. Still as we approach our own doorstep again, it is comforting to feel the old possessions, the old prejudices, fold us round; and the self, which has been blown about at so many street corners…, sheltered and enclosed…. And here—let us examine it tenderly, let us touch it with reverence—is the only spoil we have retrieved from all the treasures of the city, a lead pencil.
--Woolf, “Street Haunting” (1927)

Liberty seems clothed in radiant silver. The air here is about a thousand times clearer than the air in England. There is not a shred of mist or a wisp of fog: everything shines bright. The City of New York, over which I am now hovering, looks as if it had been scraped and scrubbed only the night before. It has no houses. It is made of immensely high towers, each pierced with a million holes.
--Woolf, “America, Which I Have Never Seen” (1938)

For the 19th Annual Woolf Conference, we return to the site of the first: New York City. With this return, we embark on new critical and theoretical ground. Our theme, Woolf and the City, encompasses the familiar and the new, the material and the imaginative.

Topics might include (but are not limited to):
• Woolf and urban theory
• mapping Woolf’s London
• public and private spaces in Woolf
• women in the modern city
• object theory, material culture, trash
• cities and empire
• cosmopolitanism in Woolf
• lesbians and the city, urban sexualities
• imaginary geographies, unreal cities
• teaching Woolf and the city
• films in and of the city
• print culture and the masses
• public memory, monuments, and memorials
• historical London, London past
• New York, Paris, Constantinople
• Wartime London
• Bloomsbury, neighborhoods, and suburbs
• streetwalking, street haunting, and flanerie
Proposals for individual papers and/or panels due by February 1, 2009. We also welcome alternative proposals such as workshops or readings. Independent scholars, high school teachers, and “common readers” are encouraged to submit proposals. Please send 250 word abstracts as Word attachments with a separate sheet indicating name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and email address(es).

Conference Organizer: Email me at the conference address Anne Fernald (

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