- 13 January to 24 April 2020
- Paul Mellon Centre
Virginia Woolf was one of Britain’s greatest writers and the center of a lively literary, artistic, and politically active international community in the first half of the twentieth century. The course focuses on Woolf's responses and contributions to artistic and political movements of her day; it focuses equally on close reading, with special attention to Woolf’s modernist formal experiments. Among other questions, we will ask: what conversations are occurring between Woolf’s writing and the visual and literary artworks of her family and her friends? How does her work compare and connect to that of the international writers she published at the Hogarth Press? What political and cultural work – including interventions in the areas of sexuality, gender, race, and imperialism – do her formal choices perform? And what cultural work does her writing do today?
In this course, you will read Woolf’s London novels – Jacob’s Room, Mrs Dalloway, Orlando, and The Years – and a few of her essays alongside short works by other members of the Bloomsbury circle (such as Lytton Strachey and E. M. Forster) and by Hogarth Press authors such as C. L. R. James and Mulk Raj Anand. You'll make museum visits and other excursions to see paintings and decorative arts by her sister Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and other Bloomsbury artists. You will follow Woolf’s legacy up to the present moment by looking at some of the ways her image and her work have been repurposed, including by reading a novella, based on A Room of One’s Own, created in 2014 by British visual and performance artist Kabe Wilson.