Who We Are

The International Virginia Woolf Society exists for the benefit of readers and scholars of Virginia Woolf throughout the world

As an allied organization of the Modern Language Association of America, the Society organizes one guaranteed session at the MLA Convention each January, proposes a second joint session with another society, and hosts an informal social gathering during the convention. The Society selects the topics for these panels through a balloting process and lists the call for papers in the MLA Spring Newsletter. Session organizers must be members of the Society; presenters must be MLA members and are encouraged, but not required, to join IVWS. The expected audience for each session is from 100 to 150 people. Venue for the social gathering varies, depending on the city. Gatherings may be held in the homes of Society members or friends (e.g. New York, Washington, and San Diego), or in local restaurants (in 1995, the Society organized a family-style dinner at a Greek restaurant in Chicago) or university facilities (in Toronto, in 1993 and 1997, receptions and special exhibitions were hosted by the Society jointly with the E.J.Pratt Library, Victoria University, University of Toronto).

The Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf is sponsored by the host institution, not the IVWS, but the Society actively participates in the conferences and distributes travel awards to graduate students attending the conference when funds are available. In addition, the Society organizes a special IVWS panel at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900 hosted at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

Society meetings take place both in conjunction with the MLA Conventions and during the Annual Woolf conference; however, in order to allow for full participation of the membership, important votes are now done by electronic or mail-in ballot. The Society keeps in close communication with its members by mail and e-mail, publishing at least two Newsletters annually, an annual Virginia Woolf Bibliography, and an annual Membership Directory.

The IVWS electronic discussion list, VWOOLF, run under the auspices of the Society out of Ohio-State, was founded by Professor Morris Beja, a former President of the Woolf Society, and is currently administered by Elisa Kay Sparks, Clemson University. The listserv is open to all those interested in Woolf studies rather than being restricted exclusively to members of the IVWS. As of July 2004, the list has 620 subscribers. For more information, see the Listserv page.

A number of other related activities are organized independently of the Society, but run in close conjunction with it or its members. The Society donates funds to support the Virginia Woolf Miscellany, which is now freely available online and which features a column from the Society in each issue. The Society is also actively involved in promoting matters of interest to Woolf scholars and readers (offering, for example, a pre-release screening of Mrs.Dalloway for the Plymouth conference in the Spring of 1997 and making available to its members a special screening of The Hours , hosted by Paramount Studios in New York , in 2000).

Updates, corrections, and relevant news items for the site may be sent to benjamin.hagen@usd.edu.

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