Remembering the 19th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf

Wow!  Awesome!  I am still so excited about the Woolf and the City conference, organized by Anne Fernald and her assistants at Fordham University in Manhattan.  The conference was so very cool.  Even the conference hotel, the Hudson, was cool (for some of us–including me–it was actually a bit of a shock because it was so boutique that I wasn’t really sure it was a hotel–now, that is partly because I missed the whole first day of the conference and arrived at the hotel at 11:40pm on Thursday night; at that time of night, the crowded bar was thumping with rave music and the reception area was almost totally dark and the single staff person behind the elongated console adorned with carved antlers didn’t even seem to have a computer). I wasn’t ready for the platform bed with the rock hard mattress, but I liked my west-facing sixth floor view of 9th Avenue–and I loved the 15th floor Sky Terrace where some of us gathered after the banquet.

The conference presentations and events were outstanding–really amazing.  One of my favorites was Anna Snaith’s plenary on Woolf and street music.  And I am really excited about the forthcoming volume of the selected papers (eds. Liz Evans and Sarah Cornish), partly because there were so many great panels and I couldn’t get to hear all the papers I wanted to, but also because the selected papers is the intellectual archive, the memory bank, of the conference.  I am hoping that lots of presenters submit their work for the collection.  Also wonderful, as always, was the sense that the conference was really a reunion of a vast family of Woolf scholars.  I can’t wait for the 20th conference!  It will be in Kentucky at Georgetown College and hosted by Kristin Czarnecki.  I love the theme–Woolf and the Natural World.  It’s a neat contrast to Woolf and the city, and I am already envisioning a possible paper.


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