The 29th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf

The 29th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, hosted by Mount St. Joseph University, will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio from June 6-9, 2019, with the theme of 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, politics, equality, pacifism, and the dangers of fascism, totalitarianism, and all types of inequality.  Whether advocating for the education of women or breaking new ground with her experimental prose or challenging the patriarchal basis of war and violence, Woolf continues—perhaps now more than ever, in our globally turbulent political moment—to speak clearly and strongly for a more just world.

We look for proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, and workshops from scholars of all stripes (literary and interdisciplinary), creative writers, performing artists, common readers, teachers, and students from all levels (high school, undergraduate, graduate).  We ask that submissions relate to the theme of Virginia Woolf (and, by extension, the Bloomsbury Group) and Social Justice and that they seek to illuminate her life and work through that lens.

Possible themes and topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The education of women
  • Activism and ambivalence
  • Prejudice, bias, and injustice
  • The rise of fascism and totalitarianism
  • Suffragism and the women’s movement
  • Issues of inclusivity
  • The politics of sexuality
  • Age and efficacy
  • The consequences of colonialism
  • Issues of race
  • Issues of class
  • Domesticity and the role of servants
  • Disability/impairment
  • Technology/media
  • Assembly/solidarity/alliances
  • War and the role of women
  • Woolf’s depiction of history and historical movements
  • Links between modernism and social justice
  • The dignity of work and the rights of workers
  • The dignity of human beings
  • Issues of the rights and responsibilities of the artist and the citizen
  • The politicization of art
  • Issues surrounding the poor and the socially vulnerable
  • Calls for action, for participation

In addition, we also welcome papers on the Bloomsbury Group (especially, but not limited to, the political writing and fiction of Leonard Woolf, the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes, Clive Bell’s writings on art, Duncan Grant’s attention to Eastern art and religion, etc.) and other associates of Virginia Woolf.

Please send abstracts with names removed as attached Word documents to your e-mail.  For individual papers, please send a 250-word proposal.  For panels of three or more participants, please send a panel title and a 250-word proposal for each of the papers.  For workshops and roundtables, please send a 250- to 500-word proposal with biographies of each participant.  We are also looking for volunteers to chair individual panels.

There will be individual panels and seminars for high school students and undergraduates; graduate students may submit proposals through the normal submission process outlined above.

Please e-mail proposals to Drew Shannon at by January 31, 2019.

Please continue to check back here as details are finalized and information is updated.


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