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Professor attends international conference on Virginia Woolf

7/21/2006 —
Dr. Steven D. Putzel, associate professor of English at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, recently returned from Birmingham, England, where he presented a paper at the 16th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf. The conference was hosted by the University of Birmingham in association with the International Virginia Woolf Society and the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain. It is attended by scholars from all over the world including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the People's Republic of China. According to Putzel, the conference offers the ideal opportunity for Woolf scholars to keep current with work being done around the world.

The conference explores the work of the well-known feminist, modernist author from various perspectives through paper presentations, keynote addresses, displays, and performances. According to Dr. Putzel, papers this year explored Woolf's work from perspectives "beyond the boundary" of her own positions and attitudes. "I presented a paper entitled 'Theatre through The Years; Crossing Genre Boundaries' as part of a panel on Woolf and performance," said Putzel. "My paper demonstrated that Woolf's experience hearing and seeing plays helped her to create theatre-like dialog in her novel The Years. I also examined her interaction with T. S. Eliot and with the economist John Maynard Keynes." In addition, Dr. Putzel chaired a panel on "Woolf and Spatial Boundaries" that included scholars from England, Hong Kong, and Spain.

Aside from the paper presentations and discussions, conference attendees enjoyed a reception at Birmingham 's Victorian City Hall Council Chambers, a specially commissioned new play from the Somesuch Theatre Company, "High Fantastical," featuring an eccentric, presentation of Virginia Woolf and others, and a banquet at University House with its collection of Roger Fry paintings.
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