Recent Blog Posts
Tall dusty bookshelves, softly silent rooms and row after row of slightly tattered, well-loved books- as a child, this was my image of paradise. And it still is. There is something inexplicably powerful about the image of the book; that (generally) small collection of marked papers, often stored on the sideline of everyday life and yet containing the power to transform the world. This image combined with that of the writer who often stands seemingly still on the edges of society with a lack of that glitter which draws the eye of the world, and yet still molding, still shaping and moving that world with their ideas, their passions, their words, is one that has captured my imagination since I was very small. So heading into the MAPP project, I have been constantly overwhelmed and grateful for every bit of the experience.
Writing biographies for MAPP this summer has been an incredible experience, but it was not without its challenges and its triumphs. I experienced both most whilst writing my biography on C.J.M. Hubback.
I was given a name—not even a name. I was given three initials and a last name of an obscure translator for Dr. Sigmund Freud that no one in the room had heard of: C.J.M. Hubback. My first step as a novice researcher was to take this name to Google. I hoped to gain some insight from a Wikipedia page as to who this man was, and what he might have done in his life other than translating Beyond the Principle Pleasure. There was nothing.
With an autumn chill in the air, the pace of the fall semester quickens. Now in the midst of the heightened daily commitments of a teaching-intensive semester, I’m reflecting back on the work of the summer term. Many of the MAPP team members have involved students in our research project. While the majority of these were graduate students, we have also been experimenting with involving undergraduate researchers. This past summer I had the pleasure of working with six undergraduate research assistants at King’s University here in Edmonton. I’ve been consistently surprised and pleased by the enthusiasm and energy that they have brought to working on the project. They have frequently asked, “What else can we do?” and have often generated their own suggestions for new directions and improvements.
Welcome to our August post from MAPP! I'll begin recursively, taking us back two months. June offered up one of the annual delights for us as Woolf scholars: the 25th Annual Virginia Woolf Conference organized by the supremely hospitable and well-organized Julie Vandivere and held this year at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, a beautiful, quintessentially 'leafy-green' college campus in rural Pennsylvania where we felt warmly welcomed not only by the university, but also the entire town (never before has a downtown cinema welcomed conference goers by name and with Woolf's own inimitable visage in blinking bright lights). 206 speakers attended, from 5 continents, and 14 countries. 4 of the 6 MAPP team members (Alice, Elizabeth, Helen, and Nicola) were delighted to have the chance to meet in situ again after a year of Google Hang-Outs.
We’ve had a busy past few months here at MAPP attending conferences and workshops on both sides of the Atlantic. I’ll do a quick round-up here of the papers we’ve given and the discussions we’ve enjoyed at each of these events.