Woolf in the Real World, June 5-8, 2003

Plenary Speakers

Carol ChristCarol T. Christ, President, Smith College
"Virginia Woolf and Education"

Carol Christ began her tenure as president of Smith College in June 2002, following a career at the University of California at Berkeley. A scholar of Victorian literature, Christ was Berkeley's top academic officer from 1994 to 2000. She joined the English faculty at Berkeley in 1970 after receiving her Ph.D. from Yale University, and she entered Berkeley's administration in 1988. She served as dean of humanities, provost and dean of the College of Letters and Science, vice-chancellor, and executive vice-chancellor. Throughout her administrative career, Christ has maintained an active program of teaching and research; as chair of her department from 1985 to 1988, she built and maintained one of the top-ranked English departments in the country. Christ was an editor of the The Norton Anthology of English Literature and is the author of Victorian and Modern Poetics. Her current scholarly project involves literary representations of death in the Victorian period.

Carol Christ will speak on "Virginia Woolf and Education."

Jill Ker ConwayJill Ker Conway
To be announced

Jill Ker Conway was born in Hillston, New South Wales. The story of her early life is known to many whom have read her best-selling memoir, The Road from Coorain. She is a graduate of the University of Sydney in history and English, and earned her Ph.D. in history at Harvard. Ms. Conway served as vice president for internal affairs at the University of Toronto from 1973 to1975. In 1975 she became the first woman president of Smith College and served ten years in that post. Since 1985 she has been a visiting scholar and professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's program in Science, Technology and Society. She holds numerous honorary degrees from North American colleges and universities. Ms. Conway is the author of several best-selling books: The Road from Coorain, published in 1989; Written By Herself, an anthology of American women's autobiography, published in 1992; True North, the second installment of her memoir, spanning her life from 1960 when she left her native Australia to 1975 when she accepted the presidency of Smith College; and When Memory Speaks - Reflections on Autobiography. Ms. Conway has also edited three volumes of anthology of women's autobiography from around the world, the most recent being In Her Own Words, published by Vintage Books. Her latest books include a mystery novel written with Elizabeth Kennan under the pseudonym, Clare Munnings, titled Overnight Float, Norton, 2000, and A Woman's Education, Knopf, 2001, the third installment of her memoir picking up in 1975 when she began as the first woman president of Smith College.

Hermione LeeHermione Lee
"Undiscovered Countries: Woolf, Illness, and Reading"

Hermione Lee (MA, MPHIL, FRSL, FBA) is a teacher, biographer, critic and broadcaster. She grew up in London, where she went to school at the French Lycee in London, the City of London School for Girls, and Queen's College. She earned a first class degree in English Literature from St. Hilda's College Oxford in 1968 and an M.Phil from St. Cross College in 1970. She taught at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and the University of Liverpool and at the University of York, from 1977 to 1998, where she had a personal chair in the Department of English and Related Literature. She is now the Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature and Fellow of New College at the University of Oxford. Her books include The Novels of Virginia Woolf (1977), Elizabeth Bowen (1981, revised 1999), Philip Roth (1982), Willa Cather: A Life Saved Up (1989) and Virginia Woolf (1996). She has done numerous editions and anthologies, of Kipling, Trollope, Virginia Woolf, Stevie Smith, Elizabeth Bowen, Willa Cather, and Eudora Welty. She is one of the co-editors of the Oxford Poets Anthologies, now in their second year. She is currently working on a book on Edith Wharton. She is Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a member of the Arts Council Literature Panel, and an Honorary Fellow of St. Hilda's and St. Cross College, Oxford. In the USA, she has recently been a visiting teaching fellow at the Beinecke Library at Yale University, a Thitney J. Oates Fellow at the Council for the Humanties at Princeton, and an Everett Helm visiting fellow at the Lilly Library at the University of Indiana at Bloomington. She is married to Professor John Barnard and lives in Oxford and Yorkshire.

Frances SpaldingFrances Spalding
"When are words not enough? Roger Fry and Virginia Woolf"

Frances Spalding is an art historian, critic and biographer. Her books include British Art since 1900 as well as a centenary history of the Tate Gallery (1998). A new edition of her biography of the poet Stevie Smith, first published in 1988, appeared in 2002. She is also a well-known authority on Bloomsbury, having published biographies of Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and for eight years edited the Charleston Magazine, also sitting on the Council for the Charleston Trust. Her most recent book, Gwen Raverat: Friends, Family and Affections, is published by the Harvill Press. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art. She is currently Reader in Twentieth Century British Art at the University of Newcastle.

Gretchen Holbrook GerzinaGretchen Holbrook Gerzina
"Bloomsbury and Race"

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is Professor of English at Vassar College, where she also directs the Program in Africana Studies. She is the author of Carrington: A Life, the biography of Bloomsbury figure Dora Carrington, and Black London: Life Before Emancipation. Her forthcoming books include Black Victorians/Black Victoriana (edited volume) and Not Just for Children: The Life of Frances Hodgson Burnett. She has been the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar to Great Britain, will be a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in 2002, and is an Honorary Fellow at Exeter University in England. She hosts the nationally syndicated public radio program "The Book Show."

Carolyn HeilbrunCarolyn Heilbrun
Will be interviewed by Susan C. Bourque, Provost, Smith College

Carolyn Heilbrun became Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities Emerita at Columbia University in 1993, after thirty-three years of teaching there.  She has had fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, and from the NEH.  In 1984, she was President of the Modern Language Association.  She has been a visiting professor at Princeton, Swarthmore, Yale, Union Theological Seminary, and the University of California and at Columbia and Yale Law schools and has received many honorary degrees from colleges and universities.  She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Modern Language Association in 2000, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000. Heilbrun has published:  The Garnett Family, Christopher Isherwood, Toward a Recognition of Androgyny, Reinventing Womanhood, Writing a Woman?s Life, Hamlet's Mother and Other Women, The Education of A Woman:  A Life of Gloria Steinem, The Last Gift of Time, and the University of Toronto Alexander Lectures, Women's Lives:  The View from the Threshold.  Her latest book is When All Our Models Were Men:  My Teachers Barzun, Fadiman, Trilling.  She has published numerous articles and reviews. Under the name Amanda Cross, she has published fourteen detective novels. Her latest detective novel, The Edge of Doom, was published in October, 2002.

Lyndall Gordon
"This Loose Drifting Material of Life: Virginia Woolf and Biography"

Lyndall Gordon was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She received her BA from the University of Capetown and her PhD from Columbia University. She was a Rhodes Fellow at Oxford University from 1973-75. She has been an Assistant Professor at Columbia University, a Lecturer at Jesus College, Oxford, CF Lecturer in English at Oxford University, and Dame Helen Gardner Fellow at St Hilda's College. Since 1995 she has been Senior Fellow at St Hilda's College. Her biographies have won numerous awards. They include: Eliot's Early Years (1977), Eliot's New Life (1988), T.S.Eliot: An Imperfect Life (1998), Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life, (1984), Shared Lives, (1992); Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life, 1994; A Private Life of Henry James: Two Women and His Art (1998). She is currently working on a new biography of Mary Wollstonecraft, stressing the way she transforms stale plots of existence against almost overwhelming odds.

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