The International Virginia Woolf Society

About Us

Activities | By-Laws | How to Join
Officers | Member List | History |


The International Virginia Woolf Society exists for the benefit of readers and scholars of Virginia Woolf throughout the world

As an allied organization of the Modern Language Association of America , the Society organizes two sessions at the MLA Convention each December and hosts an informal social gathering during the convention. The Society selects the topics for these panels through a balloting process and lists the call for papers in the MLA Spring Newsletter . Presenters must be MLA members but are not required to be IVWS members. Estimated attendance figures are given in the log of MLA sessions, but the expected audience for each session is from 100 to 150 people. Venue for the social gathering varies, depending on the city. Frequently, the gatherings are held in the homes of Society members or friends (e.g. New York, Washington, and San Diego), but in 1995, the Society organized a family-style dinner at a Greek restaurant in Chicago and in Toronto (1993 and 1997), receptions and special exhibitions were hosted by the Society jointly with the E.J.Pratt Library, Victoria University, University of Toronto.

The Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf is sponsored by the host institution, not the IVWS, but the Society actively participates in the conferences and distributes travel awards to graduate students attending the conference when funds are available. In addition, the Society organizes a special IVWS panel at the Annual Twentieth Century Literature Conference at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

Society meetings take place both in conjunction with the MLA Conventions and during the Annual Woolf conference; however, in order to allow for full participation of the membership, important votes are now done by electronic or mail-in ballot. The Society keeps in close communication with its members by mail and e-mail, publishing at least two Newsletters annually, an annual Virginia Woolf Bibliography, and an annual Membership Directory.

The IVWS electronic discussion list, VWOOLF, run under the auspices of the Society out of Ohio-State, was founded by Professor Morris Beja, a former President of the Woolf Society, and is currently administered by Professor Anne Fernald, a former Historian-Bibliographer of the IVWS. The listserv is open to all those interested in Woolf studies rather than being restricted exclusively to members of the IVWS. As of July 2004, the list has 620 subscribers. For more information, see the Listserv page.

A number of other related activities are organized independently of the Society, but run in close conjunction with it or its members. All members receive a free subscription to the Virginia Woolf Miscellany (which features a column from the Society in each issue). The Society is also actively involved in promoting matters of interest to Woolf scholars and readers (offering, for example, a pre-release screening of Mrs.Dalloway for the Plymouth conference in the Spring of 1997 and making available to its members a special screening of The Hours , hosted by Paramount Studios in New York , in 2000).

Finally, the Society maintains this web site. Updates, corrections, and relevant news items for the site may be sent to Melba Cuddy-Keane .

How to Join

To join the International Virginia Woolf Society, or to update your membership, please use one the follwing options:

To purchase or update a membership manually:
Download the Membership Form (.pdf file - Adobe Acrobat required), fill it out, and send it in with your dues.

To purchase or update a regular membership using PayPal:

12-month membership ($20):         
5-year membership ($95):              

To purchase or update a student/not full-time employed membership using PayPal:

12-month membership ($10):         

To make a donation to the International Virginia Woolf Society:               

Members of the Society receive a free subscription to the Virginia Woolf Miscellany, the Woolf Society Newsletter, an annual Bibliography of Woolf Scholarship, and an annual updated list of members. Those members who have e-mail addresses are also included in a distribution list that provides early notification of special events, electronic balloting, and electronic versions of the newsletters. In addition, members receive early notification of the Annual Woolf Conferences, and information about other events and publications of interest to readers of Woolf.

To subscribe separately to the Virginia Woolf Miscellany without joining the International Virginia Woolf Society, print out and mail in the Subscription Form downloadable here (.pdf file).


Article I: Name

Sec. 1 The name of this organization shall be the International Virginia Woolf Society.

Article II: Purpose

Sec. 1. The purpose of this Society shall be to foster and encourage the scholarly study of, critical attention to, and general interest in, the work and career of Virginia Woolf, and to facilitate ways in which all people interested in her writings--scholars, critics, teachers, students, and common readers--may learn from one another, meet together, contact each other, and help one another.

Sec. 2. An important function of the Society shall be the sponsorship of the International Virginia Woolf Society Sessions at the annual MLA Conventions.

Article III: Membership

Sec. 1. Any individual, business, educational institution, or corporation interested in the aims of the International Virginia Woolf Society may join it.

Sec. 2. Membership in this Society shall be through payment of annual dues, according to schedules determined by the Bi-Annual General Meeting of the Society.

Sec. 3. Membership in the Society shall include a subscription to the Virginia Woolf Miscellany.

Sec. 4. A member who has not paid dues for two years shall be classified as not in good standing.

Article IV: Privileges

Sec. 1. All members in good standing, in accordance with the scale of dues set at the Annual General Meeting, shall have the right to stand for office, to vote for officers of the Society, to propose and vote on session topics for the MLA Conventions, to propose to serve as a chair or organizer of an MLA session, to receive all publications issued by the Society, and to receive the Virginia Woolf Miscellany.

Article V: Officers

Sec. 1. The officers of the Society shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary-Treasurer, and a Bibliographer-Historian.

Sec. 2. An Advisory Board, consisting of three elected members-at-large, shall represent the specialized interests of Society members such as common readers, students, independent scholars, and/or international members. These members-at-large shall be elected by the same process as the officers of the Society and shall serve the same term. Their primary responsibilities shall be to publicize the Society, develop outreach programs and recruit membership in consultation with the officers of the Society.

Sec. 3. Officers and members of the advisory board shall serve without compensation. They shall be entitled to reimbursement for legitimate Society expenses

Sec. 4. A vacancy in any of these offices occurring during the incumbent's term of office because of illness, death, resignation, or any other reason shall be filled by a volunteer chosen by the remaining officers of the Society until such time as a new election can be held.

Sec. 5. The officers shall perform the following duties:

  1. The President shall serve as the Society's chief ambassador. The President shall call, arrange the agenda for, and preside at the Annual General Meeting and shall call and preside at all other Society meetings (including the annual MLA party) unless unable to do so, in which case the Vice President shall preside. The President shall be responsible for organizing the International Virginia Woolf Society Sessions at the annual MLA Convention, including the annual call for proposed session topics from the membership, the preparation of the ballot, and the membership vote on proposed sessions; and shall work with session chairs to arrange the program and meet all MLA deadlines. The President shall maintain the Society's official files for purposes of the MLA Review of Allied Organizations, which occurs every seven years, and shall be responsible for maintaining the Society's good standing with the MLA and, should it fall within her term, for presenting the Society's records and activities for purposes of that review. The President shall contribute one or two IVWS columns each year to the Virginia Woolf Miscellany and regularly contribute copy to the IVWS Newsletter. The President shall manage the exchange of memberships with sister Virginia Woolf societies in France, Japan, and Great Britain and receive their publications on behalf of the IVWS. The President shall consult closely with the other officers throughout the term on dues, budgetary, and other issues and perform miscellaneous tasks as required. The President shall be responsible for the election of the next executive, including the call for nominations and the voting procedures; for presenting proposals for, and conducting the balloting on, any changes to the bylaws; and for ensuring that the Society's procedures are in accordance with these by-laws. The President, in concert with the other officers, shall maintain the Society's liaisons with the Virginia Woolf Miscellany and the Virginia Woolf Conference.

  2. The Vice President shall write and/or solicit copy for, edit, and produce printer-ready masters for three Newsletters per year and convey these to the Secretary-Treasurer for duplicating and mailing. The Vice President shall periodically write the Society column for the Virginia Woolf Miscellany, in rotation with the President and Historian-Bibliographer, and oversee its rotation; handle correspondence with Society members and others; negotiate advertising arrangements using a cost table designed in consultation with the other officers; promote and publicize the Society and oversee membership drives at MLA, the annual Virginia Woolf conference, and other venues; and preside at Society meetings in case the President is unable to attend.

  3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall maintain the Directory and Mailing List of members-in-good-standing; receive and disburse monies on behalf of the Society and keep records of all monies received and disbursed; prepare and publish an annual report of the Society's finances; and distribute to the membership all publications of the Society, including the Newsletters, Membership Directory, Annual Bibliography, Dues Notices, and Ballots.

  4. The Historian-Bibliographer shall prepare and distribute the annual bibliography of Woolf Studies and shall maintain an on-going history of the organization.
Sec. 6. The officers and the members of the Advisory Board shall be elected tri-annually by the Society membership, by mail or e-mail, from a slate of nominees. The election shall be conducted during the month of May and results shall be reported by June 15th. Names of nominees may be submitted by any member of the Society. Terms of office shall be three years, beginning January 1st.

Article VI: Meetings

Sec. 1. The bi-annual general meetings shall be held respectively at the annual conference on Virginia Woolf and in conjunction with the MLA convention. If in a calendar year there is no annual conference on Virginia Woolf, then there shall be only one general meeting which shall be held in conjunction with the MLA convention.

Article VII: Funds and Liabilities

Sec. 1. The funds of this Society shall be collected and dispersed by the Secretary-Treasurer, for the Society's needs and lawful expenditures. Disbursement of the Society's funds will be in accordance with Article Fifth of the Articles of Incorporation of the International Virginia Woolf Society.

Sec. 2. No member of the Society shall be liable except for the payment of dues.

Article IX: Procedures

Sec. 1. Amendment to these by-laws shall be voted upon, by mail, e-mail, or vote at the bi-annual general meetings, by the full membership; approval shall require a two-thirds majority of those voting. Amendments may be proposed by the officers of the Society, or by petition signed by twenty or more Society members in good standing. Amendments to these by-laws are subject to a three-month open discussion period in public forums prior to the vote.

Current Officers of the Society

Leslie Kathleen Hankins

Kathryn Simpson or

Jeanne Dubino:

Membership Coordinator
Lynn Hall

Kristin Czarnecki:

Archival Liaison:
Karen Levenback

AnneMarie Bantzinger:
Elizabeth Evans:
Emily Hinnov:
Alice Lowe:

Member List

Please click here for a (password protected) list of our current members.

Current members may request a paper copy of this list by sending an e-mail to, but we ask that you notify us of any changes to your e-mail address so that we may provide you with the means to access our electronic resources.

History of IVWS

The origins of the International Virginia Woolf Society can be fittingly traced to the 1970 Modern Language Convention and a seminar entitled "The Uses of the Manuscripts in Virginia Woolf Studies." Before the Convention, J.J. Wilson of Sonoma State College--the organizer of the seminar--wrote to the participants: "To my knowledge this will be the first time Virginia Woolf scholars have gotten together and if we "only connect" one of the underlying purposes of the seminar will be fulfilled." Attendance at this first session was limited to 35 participants, but out of that initial "connection" was to come a thriving international society that, by 1996, had grown to a membership of 458 people in 18 countries. As of July 1998, the Society has 582 members, representing 26 different countries.

By 1973, Wilson, with the help of Peggy Comstock, Rebecca Davidson, Ellen Hawkes and Lucio Ruotolo, had founded a newsletter, theVirginia Woolf Miscellany. At Morris Beja's suggestion, in the fall of 1975, Madeline (Hummel) Moore, James Naremore, and he circulated letters to scholars they felt might be interested in forming a society devoted to the study of Virginia Woolf and the writers of Bloomsbury. An exploratory meeting was held at the MLA Convention is San Francisco on December 27, 1975. From that meeting, a steering committee for the Society was formed, including Beja, Hummel, Wilson, and Ruotolo among its members. Largely through the efforts of Beja, the Virginia Woolf Society was incorporated in Ohio on March 30, 1976, with Beja, Wilson, Hummel and Sallie Sears as trustees. With the help of Wilson and the Miscellany, the Woolf Society was able to send out its first mailing in the spring of 1976. Dues for founding members of the Society were $5.00, with a reduced rate of $2.00 for students.

By November 10, 1976, the Virginia Woolf Society had expanded to 81 members in the United States and a number of other countries, and the first official meeting was planned for the MLA Convention in New York. For this meeting a slate of officers was presented, including Carolyn Heilbrun as President, Elaine Unkeless as Vice-President, Morris Beja as Executive Secretary and a number of others for the Board of Trustees. Other events planned at this convention included three special sessions on Woolf and a party. It was during Carolyn Heilbrun's term as President of the MLA that the Society officially became an allied organization.

In 1982, the Society formalized its relation to theVirginia Woolf Miscellany, contributing a portion of its dues in support of this publication. To this day, although the Miscellany has no set subscription fee, the Virginia Woolf Society makes an annual donation to its expenses and members of the Society automatically receive its three issues a year. A Society column appeared for the first time in the Spring 1983 issue (VWM 20). The Society has regularly organized two sessions at each MLA Convention. Voting for the next year's session took place annually at each Convention until 1994, when Woolf members on email were also able to register their votes electronically. In 1995, to give all members equal opportunity to voice their opinions, it was determined that the Society would send out a call for topics in the spring, circulate a ballot for voting in the fall, and collect returned ballots by mail, email, or at the MLA Convention with the deadline of December 31 of the year. As a result of these new procedures, over 120 people voted on the topics for the 1996 MLA Convention. At the 1994 and 1995 annual Woolf conferences, the President of the Society, Melba Cuddy-Keane, presented draft versions of by-laws for discussion and, after revision, the by-laws of the Society were approved by 106 out of 110 returned ballots in a mail-in vote in December 1995. In May 1996, the Society's allied organization status with the Modern Language Association of America was officially renewed for seven years.

To recognize the substantial international membership in the Society (almost 1/4 of the total membership) and the increasing importance of global scholarship, in December 1996, members of the Society approved, by an overwhelming majority, an official change in name to the International Virginia Woolf Society.

Record of Previous Officers of the Society
1977; 1978; 1979
President: Carolyn Heilbrun

Vice-President: Elaine Unkeless

Executive Secretary: Morris Beja
1980; 1981; 1982
President: Mitchell A. Leaska

Secretary: Grace Radin

Treasurer: Louise deSalvo
1982; 1983
President: Brenda Silver

Secretary: Susan Squier

Treasurer: Jane Marcus
1984; 1985
President: Susan Squier

Secretary: Elaine Ginsberg

Treasurer: Jane Marcus
1986; 1987
President: Lucio Ruotolo

Secretary/Treasurer: Laura Gottleib
1988; 1989; 1990
President: J.J. Wilson

Secretary/Treasurer: Karen Levenback


1991; 1992; 1993
President: Karen Levenback

Secretary/Treasurer: Mark Hussey
1994; 1995
President: Melba Cuddy-Keane

Secretary/Treasurer: Denise Marshall
President: Melba Cuddy-Keane

Secretary/Treasurer: Denise Marshall

Co-Historians/Bibliographers: Merry Pawlowski and Eileen Barrett

1997- 8
President: Christine Froula

Secretary/Treasurer: Laura Davis-Clapper

Co-Historians/Bibliographers: Eileen Barrett and Sally Greene

President: Christine Froula

Secretary/Treasurer: Laura Davis

Bibliographer-Historian: Sally Greene

President: Vara Neverow
Vice-President: Leslie Kathleen Hankins

Jeanne Dubino
Bibliographer-Historian: Anne E. Fernald

President: Vera Neverow
Vice-President: Leslie Kathleen Hankins
Jeanne Dubino
Bibliographer-Historian:Mark Hussey

President:  Bonnie Kime Scott
Vice President:  Madelyn Detloff
Secretary-Treasurer:  Thaine Stearns
Historian/Bibliographer:  Celia Marshik

President:  Georgia Johnston
Vice President:  Madelyn Detloff
Secretary-Treasurer:  Thaine Stearns
Historian/Bibliographer:  Celia Marshik

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