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Women Making Modernism$
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Erica Gene Delsandro

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066172

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066172.001.0001

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Iconic Shade … and Other Professional Hazards of Woolf Scholarship

Iconic Shade … and Other Professional Hazards of Woolf Scholarship

(p.203) 9 Iconic Shade … and Other Professional Hazards of Woolf Scholarship
Women Making Modernism

Madelyn Detloff

University Press of Florida

“Iconic Shade” addresses in a humorous way some of the ironies associated with writing and teaching about a literary “icon” such as Virginia Woolf in a volume dedicated to expanding our conception of literary modernism to include women writers beyond the “big three” (H.D., Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf). What happens when a previously marginalized writer becomes institutionalized in the canon? Or when previously marginalized scholars become absorbed and transformed by institutional structures that previously excluded them? Woolf herself wrote perceptively about the ambivalence of being situated both inside and outside of dominant culture. Her insights (communicated in her critical chapters) might be helpful to those of us who straddle the line between belonging and marginalization in dominant culture, and who are often tasked with what Sara Ahmed has called “diversity work” within academe. While diversity work is often painful and thankless, the public university is nevertheless still an important site to protect from neoliberal instrumentalization, as it is one of the few places where the democratizing hope of liberal education is still (if in some cases barely) alive.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, diversity work, education, literary modernism, liberal education, marginalization, neoliberal instrumentalization

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