[Extended Deadline, 3/2] Profession and Performance: The 30th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf (University of South Dakota, Vermillion, 11–14 June 2020)

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
The Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf
contact email: 


[Deadline Extension] Abstracts submitted on or before 2 March 2020 will be considered for the 30th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf (Theme: Profession and Performance)—though priority will be given to abstracts submitted by or before 10 February. See full CFP below. The conference, hosted by the University of South Dakota, will take place 11–14 June 2020 in Vermillion, SD and will feature several plenary events, including a dialogue between Aarthi Vadde (Duke U) and Melanie Micir (Washington University in St. Louis); a lecture by Carrie Rohman (Lafayette College); a panel involving Mark Hussey (Pace U), Urmila Seshagiri (U of Tennessee, Knoxville), Drew Shannon (Mount St. Joseph U), and Jean Moorcroft Wilson (U of London); as well as a one-woman stage adaptation of Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway stories written by Ellen McLaughlin and performed by Kathleen Chalfant.

If you have questions about the events, write to the organizer directly (Benjamin.Hagen@usd.edu); send abstracts to Virginia.Woolf@usd.edu. Please visit our website (http://www.usd.edu/virginiawoolf) and follow us on Twitter (@vwoolf2020). Feel free to share this info!


Conference Website: https://www.usd.edu/virginiawoolf

Call for Papers: https://www.usd.edu/arts-and-sciences/english/annual-conference-on-virgi...

Plenary Events: https://www.usd.edu/arts-and-sciences/english/annual-conference-on-virgi...

Travel and Accommodation Info: https://www.usd.edu/arts-and-sciences/english/annual-conference-on-virgi...

Profession and Performance

30th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf
June 11th–14th, 2020
University of South Dakota (Vermillion, SD, USA)

 “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 Virginia; Life 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 maximum 250 words for single papers and 500 words for panels should be sent to Virginia.Woolf@usd.edu by [March 2nd], 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.

Website: https://www.usd.edu/virginiawoolf