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The Program Committee for the 30th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, in coordination with the ACVW Steering Committee and the organizer of the 31st annual conference, has decided to postpone “Profession and Performance.” It will now take place June 2021 (specific dates TBD) in Vermillion, South Dakota, with USD as host. The CFP will be reopened in September 2020. If you have any questions, contact Benjamin.Hagen@usd.edu.

Session 1: Dialogue with Aarthi Vadde and Melanie Micir

Session 2: Address by Carrie Rohman

Session 3: Archive, Edition, Life: A panel featuring Mark Hussey, Urmila Sehsagiri, Drew Shannon and Jean Moorcroft Wilson

Session 4: THE PARTY (by Ellen McLaughlin)- A performance featuring Kathleen Chalfant


Session 1: Dialogue with Aarthi Vadde (Duke University) and Melanie Micir (Washington University in St. Louis)

Aarthi Vadde headshotAarthi Vadde is an associate professor of English at Duke University. She works in the field of 20th-21st century Anglophone literature with particular interests in comparative modernism, contemporary literature and media history. Her first book "Chimeras of Form: Modernist Internationalism beyond Europe, 1914-2016" was published by Columbia UP in 2016 and won the ACLA's 2018 Harry Levin Prize for best first book in the field of comparative literature. A special forum on the book was convened by The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry. She is the co-editor (with Saikat Majumdar) of "The Critic as Amateur" (Bloomsbury Academic 2019), which revisits the twentieth-century history of literary criticism in order to build links between expertise, autodidactic learning and hobbyist pleasure. She also co-edited (with Jessica Pressman) “Web 2.0 and Literary Criticism,” which appeared in the “Contemporaries” section of Post45. Her articles appear in such venues as Modernism/Modernity, New Literary History, NOVEL, Public Books, Comparative Literature and Modern Fiction Studies. Vadde is at work on a second book tentatively entitled “We the Platform: Contemporary Literature in the Sharing Economy.” It considers the centrality of the digital platform and other Web 2.0 technologies to contemporary literary culture (including popular practices of reading, writing, and exchange).

Melanie Micir headshotMelanie Micir is an assistant professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is also an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and is on the steering committee for the Humanities Digital Workshop. Her teaching and research interests include modern and contemporary British and Anglophone literature; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; queer theory; temporality and age studies; archival theory and practice; and digital humanities. Her first book, "The Passion Projects: Modernist Women, Intimate Archives, Unfinished Lives," was published by Princeton University Press in 2019, and her edited collection, "The Routledge Companion to Queer Theory and Modernism", is forthcoming in 2020. Her scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in JML, MLQ, MFS, Modernism/modernity, Virginia Woolf Miscellany, and the Wiley Blackwell Companion to Virginia Woolf, among other venues. She is currently at work on two new projects: a monograph about women, old age, and modern literature, and a biography of Margaret Anderson.


Session 2: Address by Carrie Rohman (Lafayette College)

Carrie Rohman headshotCarrie Rohman is a professor of English at Lafayette College. She has published widely in animal studies, modernism and performance, in such journals as Deleuze Studies, Modernism/modernity, American Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Hypatia and a number of edited volumes. She is the author of "Stalking the Subject: Modernism and the Animal" (Columbia UP 2009) and "Choreographies of the Living: Bioaesthetics in Literature, Art, and Performance" (Oxford UP 2018), and co-editor with Kristin Czarnecki of "Virginia Woolf and the Natural World" (Clemson Digital UP 2011).  Rohman is on the editorial board of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature series.  She also worked as a modern dancer and choreographer within and outside of the academy for more than twenty years and is more recently an avid painter.


Session 3: Archive, Edition, Life: A panel featuring Mark Hussey (Pace University), Urmila Sehsagiri (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Drew Shannon (Mount St. Joseph University) and Jean Moorcroft Wilson (University of London)

Mark Hussey is distinguished professor of English at Pace University in New York. He is founding editor of "Woolf Studies Annual", general editor of the Harcourt Annotated Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf (for which he edited "To the Lighthouse"), on the editorial board of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf (for which he edited "Between the Acts"), and is a co-editor of "Virginia Woolf Miscellany." "Modernism’s Print Cultures," co-written with Faye Hammill, came out in 2016 as part of Bloomsbury Academic’s New Modernisms series. Hussey founded the Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf in 1991 and has just completed a new biography of Clive Bell.

Urmila Seshagiri is a professor of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as well as affiliate faculty in Global Studies and Cinema Studies. Her areas of expertise include modernism, contemporary fiction, feminist studies and postcolonial studies. The author of Race and the Modernist Imagination(Cornell, 2010), Seshagiri is now writing a book about the complex legacy of modernist aesthetics titled "Still Shocking: Modernism and Fiction in the 21st Century." She is also preparing the first scholarly edition of Virginia Woolf’s memoir "Sketch of the Past," a project for which she has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the New York Public Library, and Smith College. Her work has appeared in PMLA, Modernism/modernity, Contemporary Literature, Cultural Critique, Modern Fiction Studies, Woolf Studies Annual and The Journal of Asian American Studies. She is the Out of the Archives Editor for Feminist Modernist Studies, and a contributor to the Los Angeles Review of Books and Public Books.

Drew Shannon is an associate professor in the Department of Liberal Arts at Mount St. Joseph University, where he teaches primarily British literature from Shakespeare to the present. A native of Atlanta, Shannon grew up in Austin, Texas, but has lived in Cincinnati since the mid-1980s. He is currently working on his manuscript, "The Deep Old Desk: A Biography of the Diary of Virginia Woolf." He has published critical articles and essays in several books and academic journals as well as a monograph for Cecil Woolf Publishers’s Bloomsbury Heritage Series entitled "How Should One Read a Marriage?: Private Writings, Public Readings, and Leonard and Virginia Woolf." He currently serves as the Historian/Bibliographer of the International Virginia Woolf Society as well as on the editorial board of Woolf Studies Annual. His research interests, apart from Virginia Woolf, include the lives and writings of Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, D. H. Lawrence and Christopher Isherwood. At Mount St. Joseph, Shannon has also produced, acted in, and/or directed such shows as "Doubt: A Parable, God of Carnage," "Crossing Delancey," "And Then There Were None," "California Suite" and "Six Degrees of Separation."

Jean Moorcroft Wilson has taught for many years at the University of London. She has also been a guest lecturer for the last 12 years at the University of Cape Town. She has lectured frequently in America and, most recently, at the University of Artois, Arras and the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island. She is a regular contributor to The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times Literary Supplement. Wilson is the author of acclaimed biographies of the British war poets Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, Edward Thomas, Charles Hamilton Sorley and Robert Graves – the first of his life; the second half is in active production. She has also edited the poems of Isaac Rosenberg and the poems and letters of Sorley. Her single-volume life of Sassoon, containing new material, was published in 2013. She was married to Cecil Woolf, the nephew of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, on whom she has written a biography of place. Between them, she and Cecil started the Bloomsbury Heritage series, of which she is the General Editor. She is also general editor of their War Poets series.


Session 4: THE PARTY (by Ellen McLaughlin)- A performance featuring Kathleen Chalfant

The conference will feature a performance of THE PARTY, a one-woman play written by Ellen McLaughlin that weaves together three stories Virginia Woolf wrote while working on "Mrs. Dalloway" (1925): “The New Dress,” “Together and Apart” and “A Summing Up.” All three stories take place at Mrs. Dalloway's party. All the words are Woolf's, and all the characters are played by Kathleen Chalfant.

Ellen McLaughlin headshot

Ellen McLaughlin (Bernard College) has worked extensively in regional, international and New York theater, both as an actor and as a playwright. Her acting work includes originating the part of the "Angel in Angels in America," playing the role in workshops and regional productions through its original Broadway run. Other favorite work includes the Homebody in Bart Sher’s production of "Homebody/Kabul" (Intiman, Seattle, WA), Pirate Jenny in "A Threepenny Opera" (Trinity Rep. Elliot Norton Award), Claire in Albee’s "A Delicate Balance" (Arena Stage, Yale Repertory Theater), Margie in "Good People" (George St. Theater, Seattle Rep.), and Nancy in "Seascape" (ACT, SF, CA). Her plays have been produced Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. She is the recipient of the Writer’s Award from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund as well as other honors, including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, The Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, and grants from the NEA. Plays and operas include: "Tongue of a Bird," "Iphigenia and Other Daughters," "Trojan Women," "Infinity’s House," "Helen," "Oedipus," "The Persians," "Penelope," "Ajax in Iraq," "Pericles," "Septimus and Clarissa," "Blood Moon," and "The Oresteia." Producers include The Public Theater, National Actors’ Theater, Classic Stage Co., New York Theater Workshop, The Guthrie, The Intiman, The Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors’ Theater of Louisville, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre, DC, Prototype, and The Almeida Theater in London. She has taught in several Theater programs, including Yale School of Drama, Princeton, and Bread Loaf School of English. She has taught playwriting at Barnard College since 1995.

Kathleen Chalfant head shotKathleen Chalfant (The New School) is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Vivian Bearing, a scholar battling cancer, in "Wit." She has received the Obie, the Drama Desk, the Lucille Lortel, the Outer Critics Circle, the Ovation, Connecticut Critics Circle, the Garland and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for her work. She made her Broadway debut in "Dance with Me," followed by "M. Butterfly."  She went on to star as Hannah Pitt and Ethel Rosenberg in the original cast of Tony Kushner’s "Angels in America," receiving nominations for both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award. Additionally, she is the recipient of the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the Drama League Distinguished Performance Award and the Sidney Kingsley Award, both for her body of work. In addition to her stage career, she has an extensive record of film and “small screen” work and is a founding member of The Women’s Project. She helped Robert Moss establish Playwrights Horizons in its home on 42nd Street in 1975 and is the president of the board of The Vineyard Theatre. She has served on the boards of New York Theatre Workshop and the Jenin Freedom Theatre and now serves on the boards of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, Drugs for Neglected Diseases, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Rosenberg Fund, and Doctors Without Borders. She was an Artist in Residence at the Weill College of Medicine at Cornell (2005-2006) and at the graduate theatre program at The New School (2011-2012) a Beineke Fellow at the Yale School of Drama (2006, 2008, 2010). Kathleen also participated in V-Day 2001 at Madison Square Garden and V-Day 2002 in San Francisco and Sacramento as well as the Lysistrata Project at BAM. In June 2010, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Cooper Union.