Odd Affinities: Virginia Woolf's Shadow Genealogies

A Conversation among Elizabeth Abel (University of California, Berkeley), Pelagia Goulimari (University of Oxford), and Jean Wyatt (Occidental College, California)

Elizabeth Abel will be discussing her new book, Odd Affinities: Virginia Woolf’s Shadow Genealogies (2024), with Pelagia Goulimari and Jean Wyatt

Wednesday 5 June 2024, 5-6pm

Online – register via Eventbrite.

In recent decades, Virginia Woolf’s contribution to literary history has been located primarily within a female tradition. Elizabeth Abel dislodges Woolf from her iconic place within this tradition to uncover her shadowy presence in other literary genealogies. Abel elicits unexpected echoes of Woolf in four major writers from diverse cultural contexts: Nella Larsen, James Baldwin, Roland Barthes, and W. G. Sebald. By mapping the wayward paths of what Woolf called “odd affinities” that traverse the boundaries of gender, race, and nationality, Abel offers a new account of the arc of Woolf’s career and the transnational modernist genealogy constituted by her elusive and shifting presence.

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elizabeth abel

Elizabeth Abel is the John F. Hotchkis Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Virginia Woolf and the Fictions of Psychoanalysis and Signs of the Times: The Visual Politics of Jim Crow and the editor or coeditor of four collections, most recently, Female Subjects in Black and White: Race, Psychoanalysis, Feminism.