Monday, November 12, 2007

Woolf World Proposal

Project for a Virtual Bloomsbury (WoolfWorld?)
Elisa Kay Sparks and Jan Holmevik

We would like to collaborate on building a portal for the Virginia Woolf community, a virtual Bloomsbury in Second Life, where researchers and students, and common readers interested in or working on Virginia Woolf and associated Modernist figures could meet, post, and exchange information and resources in a communally created virtual space which is appropriate to and actually teaches about the social and historical environment of the Modernist milieu. While this space would initially service my graduate seminar on Modernist London (Engl 814) and my senior seminar on T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf (Engl 496), it could also involve quite a range of other programs at Clemson, including the RCID colloquia on Serious Games and Space/Place as well as collaborations with the departments of Art and Computer Science. The resulting site would be an interdisciplinary resource for the world-wide community of those researching and enjoying modernist arts. (Painting, photography, dance, interior design, and fashion are all commonly explored in Modernist studies)

There is a long-standing interest in the Woolf community in building some kind of network of shared digital resources, often referred to as “Virtual Bloomsbury.” The first step in the creation of this collaborative platform was the establishment of the on-line Center for Virginia Woolf Studies by Vara Neverow at Southern Connecticut State Universityand Merry Pawlowski at Cal State, Bakersfield. Their archive contains, among other things, a complete digital facsimile of Woolf’s working notebooks for her feminist treatise, Three Guineas. The Virginia Woolf Society of Japan maintains a large collection of links on Woolf And there is a very active listserve. The Woolf community meets and maintains tights bonds through annual conferences, which increasingly alternate between US and British sites. A platform in Second Life would help to further integrate all these resources as well as providing a virtual space for international meetings and exchange.

Clemson University is uniquely positioned to play an important leadership role in carrying the virtual Bloomsbury project to the next level. Under the auspices of the South Carolina Review and the Clemson University Digital Press, Wayne Chapman has now taken over publication of the annual Virginia Woolf Conference proceedings from Pace University Press, even collaborating with the British Woolf scholars to select and edit pieces from previous conferences which had never been collected. (the web-versions of these proceedings are available at the Center for Woolf Studies web site) Dr. Chapman has also pursued a vigorous program of publishing other works on Woolf . See In addition Elisa Sparks has an extensive series of websites on Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and other modernist figures created for various courses over the years, containing numerous PowerPoints, compiled from the hundreds of photos taken of relevant locations on her many trips to England. See: and
Between these two archives, we at Clemson already have the largest collection of original scholarship on Woolf on the web.

No comments: