Outlanding Woolf


What defines Woolf studies? How do they define us? What is it we return to in Woolf? What is Woolfian?

The study day proposes to look at Woolf from the perspective of estrangement, that is both the foreignness she thinks out and writes out in her reading of other literatures and translation and the (con)figuration of strangeness or estrangement in her fiction, as well as her own reading-writing ear for the tonalities and shifts of English made strange to itself. This looking at Woolf from outside in might also include reading her through other languages, authors, disciplines or aesthetics, through those displacements of genre and gender and dislocations of place which hollow out her writing. It might involve considering her search for and sense of belonging as well as its shifting, that tension between the pull of native language and soil and the appeal of the outlands, or of Modernist cosmopolitanism, which inform her construction of the Common ground of literature. Then there is that Woolfian consciousness of immemorial, infra-scriptural Englishness which haunts the essay "Anon", as the impossible imagination of the originary strangeness of Greek inspires "On Not Knowing Greek". So might we reflect on Woolfian afterlife on foreign soil.