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Not Quite So Kind: Woolf and the limits of kindness

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Fordham London Centre

2 Eyre Street Hill

London

EC1R 5ET

United Kingdom

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Anne Fernald is an internationally respected scholar of Modernism and Virginia Woolf

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Not Quite So Kind: Woolf and the limits of kindness

In Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway, kindness has its limits. When the shell-shocked veteran Septimus Warren Smith and his wife announce their intention to seek a second opinion from Sir William Bradshaw, their Dr., Dr. Holmes turns on them with stunningly rapid bitterness “if they were rich… by all means let them go to Harley Street; if they had no confidence in him, said Dr. Holmes, looking not quite so kind” (84). In Mrs. Dalloway and throughout her writing, Woolf explores both the limits of mere kindness and what it means to be of a kind, to be kin, stressing the common root of adjective and noun. This talk unpacks several of Woolf’s key uses of the word kind to explore how, in 2019, we might understand the complex interactions of social cues, intimacy, fondness, and mistrust in Woolf and how those stories continue to resonate today.

Anne E. Fernald is Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Fordham University. A scholar of modernism with a special focus on Virginia Woolf, she is the editor of the Cambridge University Press Mrs. Dalloway (2014), and one of the editors of The Norton Reader, a widely-used anthology of essays. She is the author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (2006) as well as articles and reviews on Woolf and feminist modernism. She is a co-editor of the journal Modernism/modernity. She occasionally updates her blog, Fernham, and can be found on twitter @fernham.

A light sandwich lunch will be served from 1330, and the talk will commence at 1400. Refreshments will be served at 1530 and the session will end at 1630.

Fordham University (www.fordham.edu) is a research university founded in 1841 in New York City. It has over 15,000 students from 65 countries spread across ten different colleges. Each year over 600 students from the University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Gabelli School of Business come to London to study at the Fordham University London Centre.

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Fordham London Centre

2 Eyre Street Hill

London

EC1R 5ET

United Kingdom

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