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AU students, professor present at international Virginia Woolf conference

Lyndsey Morris, Laura Reyome and Dr. Robert Reginio

Lyndsey Morris, Laura Reyome and Dr. Robert Reginio

Tapping into a hidden treasure in the Special Collections Room at Alfred University’s Herrick Library gave two seniors and their professor an opportunity to present at the International Virginia Woolf Society conference in Manhattan earlier this month.

Senior English majors Lyndsey Morris and Laura Reyome were part of a panel discussion, “Exhibiting Virginia Woolf’s Urban Affiliations: An Undergraduate Research Project at Alfred University,” along with Dr. Robert Reginio, assistant professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Alfred University.

Morris presented a paper entitled, “Existing Between the Acts: Reconciling Past and Present in Virginia Woolf’s Novels.” Reyome presented “The Friendship and Affair of Woolf and Vita Sackville-West: Redefining Family and the Role of Women.” Reginio’s paper was “The Archive in the Classroom: Teaching Woolf’s Novels Through Primary Source Research.”

Students in Reginio’s class are preparing for an exhibition of Woolf materials at Herrick Library in 2010. In the spring, the student-curated exhibit, tentatively titled, “Virginia Woolf: Art and Affiliation,” will display manuscripts, letters and rare editions of Woolf’s work, along with items from the archives, such as editions of the satirical World War I paper “from the trenches,” the Wipers Times, volumes by Vita Sackville-West, signed copies of books by T.S. Eliot, and Vanessa Bell’s designs for the Hogarth Press editions of Woolf’s sister’s novels.

“All these materials are part of the Openhym Collection of Modern British Literature, a hidden treasure located in Herrick Library,” Reginio explained. “The overall theme of the exhibition – ‘affiliations’ – stems from the student-curators’ desire to display the archive in a way that illuminates the different forms of personal, familial and political affiliation Woolf often represented and questioned in her fiction.”

Reginio added, “I am extremely proud of our students’ achievements. I am also pleased they were able to share their work with an international audience. They were in their element among all those ‘Woolfians.’”

Morris, an English major in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, is a daughter of Shannon and Terry Morris of Morganton, NC. She is a graduate of Freedom High School.

A graduate of Potsdam Central High School, Reyome is also a senior English major, and is a daughter of Nancy Reyome of Potsdam, NY.

The students were able to attend the conference with support from The Bernstein Fund, created by AU Alumnus and Trustee Dr. Gene Bernstein and Pamela Bernstein, also an alumna, as well as from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The conference – titled “Woolf in the City” – was held at Fordham University’s Manhattan campus.