English 150

Senior Seminar: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2005 Hollis, Catherine
Hollis, Catherine
MW 4-5:30 204 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Anand, M.R.: Untouchable; Cunningham, M.: The Hours; Forster, E.M.: Howard's End; Freud, S.: Civilization and its Discontents; Mansfield, K.: Stories; Strachey, L.: Eminent Victorians; Woolf, V.: Mrs Dalloway; Orlando, A Sketch of the Past, Three Guineas; course reader


"This course situates Virginia Woolf, the Bloomsbury Group, and British modernism within the social and historical context of the early 20th century, while also investigating ""Virginia Woolf"" and the ""Bloomsbury Group"" as categories still resonant in 21st-century culture. We'll begin the course by looking at the iconography of Virginia Woolf in contemporary popular and academic culture with a focus on Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (1925) as read against Michael Cunningham's novel The Hours (1998) and the film adaptation of that novel. We'll move into an historical examination of Bloomsbury and its aesthetics, reading a variety of memoirs, E.M. Forster's Howard's End, and analyzing the art and design generated by Roger Fry's post-impressionist exhibit of 1910. The next section of the course will focus on Bloomsbury's politics -- pacificist, feminist, and anti-imperialist -- by reading Leonard Woolf on his experiences as a colonial administrator in Ceylon, Mulk Raj Anand's novel Untouchable, and Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas. Finally, we'll turn to Bloomsbury's practice of ""life writing"": the innovations that Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf brought to the practice of biography and autobiography, and the influence of Bloomsburian biography on life-writing today. "

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