Virginia Woolf, the Intellectual, and the Public Sphere

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Of course, there is not simply one question—the question of intellectuals and public responsibility—but rather several questions that the juxtaposition of these two terms elicits. Can intellectuals offer something to the public sphere in a way that resists, on the one hand, the specialization of academic discourse that makes it impenetrable to those outside the academy, but, on the other hand, also resists the reductive and, at times, vindictive tendencies of much of contemporary public discourse?

Can intellectuals see a horizon for their work that is broader than their particular discipline but do so in a way that does not abandon the important scholarly criteria and rules of those disciplines? Can intellectuals enrich public debate with their research, data, and careful thinking through of the most contentious issues of our day without using their intellectual capital as an authoritative platform for merely espousing partisan views, either on the Left or the Right?

Can they eschew the hubris that so often accompanies intellectual training to acknowledge that reasonable people hold views completely opposed to their own? We believe that all of the above questions can be answered in the affirmative, but not without careful reflection. By raising anew a set of questions that many people think are already solved, we have tried to create a venue for this kind of reflection. The life of the mind does carry public responsibilities.

The contributors to this issue discuss the kinds of resources intellectuals can offer, how they should engage the public sphere, and what some of the pitfalls of this effort might be. That the war in Iraq comes up again and again in the pages of this issue suggests that the contributors see their task not only as exploring the public responsibility of intellectuals, but also as enacting their own understanding of that responsibility.

They offer a rich, and sometimes conflicting, array of possibilities that we hope will help readers in their own grappling with these questions. Reprinted from The Hedgehog Review 9.

This essay may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission. Please contact The Hedgehog Review for further details. Current Issue Back Issues. Her collaborative book Modernism: Keywords Wiley-Blackwell will be published in She is author of Th e Persistence of Modernism: Loss and Mourning in the 20th Century and co-editor of Virginia Woolf: Art, Education, and Internationalism with Diana Royer , as well as several articles on Woolf, queer theory, feminist studies, and modernism.

Sarah Dunlap is a Ph.

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Her essay is derived from her dissertation research on ecological ideas in modernist fiction. Ashley Foster is currently a Ph. She delivered the Virginia Woolf Birthday Lecture for Diane F. She has published on Woolf, the Hogarth Press, E. McKnight Kauffer, and Sylvia Plath. Her research interests include synchronic approaches to modernism, modernist literature and visual arts, and late-Victorian and modernist feminist networks. Catherine W.

Hollis, Ph. Horacki is completing his Ph. He is currently working on a dissertation that utilizes emergence and assemblage theory to examine the relationships between memory, collective memory, and history in the fiction of Virginia Woolf, Evelyn Waugh, and George Orwell.

Alice Keane is a Ph.

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Her research focuses on intersectional constructions of gender, youth and aging, in relation to commodified employment markets. She values communities of practice that respect research, learning, and social environments as inclusive spaces. Her teaching and research interests include the intersection between the historical and digital avant-garde. She is also the current web editor for The Capilano Review.

Sims, and Virginia Woolf. She is currently researching the place of the motor-car in interwar British literature. Her research interests focus on Woolf and her Victorian predecessors.

Virginia Woolf, the intellectual, and the public sphere / Melba Cuddy-Keane.

Lolly J. Ockerstrom is an Associate Professor of English at Park University in northwest Missouri, where she teaches writing and English literature.

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Maria Aparecida de Oliveira has just completed her Ph. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Winnipeg, thanks to a scholarship from Capes Foundation. Charlie Peters is a theater artist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. His poetry has been published in The Fieldstone Review and Windscript. His works for the stage have been produced at the Saskatoon Fringe Festival and by the Saskatoon Opera.

Steven D. He is the author of Reconstructing Yeats, and numerous essays on W.