Virginia Woolf’s Legacy Preserved at FGCU

Library Archives Hosts Exhibit, Preceding Conference


Jessica Piland

“Printed Works: Adaptations of Virginia Woolf” showcases works by Norwegian letterpress artist and graphic designer Dr. Ane Thon Knutsen.

Connor Hay and Hayley Lemery

The newest exhibit to be added to the university archives combines the past and present using a distinctive format: letterpress.

The exhibit opened on Feb. 23, “Printed Works: Adaptations of Virginia Woolf,” showcases the works of Norwegian letterpress artist and graphic designer Dr. Ane Thon Knutsen. Knutsen uses the short stories of English author Virginia Woolf to create works of art.

Adeline Virginia Woolf was born Jan. 25, 1882 in London, England. She was an English writer and began professionally writing in 1900, when she was 18 years old.

Knutsen is an award-winning Norwegian artist and designer, specializing in letterpress. Knutsen is an associate professor in graphic design at the Oslo Academy of the Arts, where she also defended her practice-based Ph.D on Virginia Woolf’s work as a typesetter and self-publisher. She owns and works from her private letterpress studio in Oslo and has a website to display her work.

The exhibit uses the printing press, a device used by Virginia Woolf as well. Woolf and her husband Leonard opened a publishing imprint known as Hogarth Press in 1917. She published most of her work through her own press.

“[Knutsen] started to create her own adaptations of Virginia Woolf words, which is what people will see in the exhibition. There’s books that she’s done. There’s obviously the big installation is blue and green, which she specifically made for Florida Gulf Coast University. Obviously, blue and green, it just so happened that that’s one of Virginia Woolf stories,” Archives Coordinator Bailey Rodgers said. 

The exhibit runs until June 12 , when the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf will be held from June 8-11.

“Printed Works: Adaptations of Virginia Woolf” showcases works by Norwegian letterpress artist and graphic designer Dr. Ane Thon Knutsen. (Jessica Piland)

The conference will be hosted by the FGCU Department of Language and Literature. Registration and other information can be found online. The conference will have speakers and special events, according to FGCU’s website.

The speakers include Claire Colebrook, Asali Solomon, Jessica Martell and Vicki Tromanhauser.

Claire Colebrook is the Edwin Erle Sparks professor of English, philosophy and women’s and gender studies at Penn State University. She has written books and articles on contemporary European philosophy, literary history, gender studies, queer theory, visual culture and feminist philosophy.

Asali Solomon is the Bertrand K. Wilbur Chair in the Humanities at Haverford, where she is a professor of English and director of creative writing. She is the recipient of a Pew Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honor. Her work has appeared in  O, The Oprah Magazine,  Vibe,  Essence,  The Paris Review Daily,  McSweeney’s, and on NPR.  

Jessica Martell is an assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies at Appalachian State University in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. She wrote  “Farm to Form: Modernist Literature and Ecologies of Food in the British Empire,”  (2020), displaying her research on Virginia Woolf.  

Vicki Tromanhauser is an associate professor and chair of English at SUNY, New Paltz. Her articles have appeared in  Journal of Modern Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature,  Woolf Studies Annual, and  Virginia Woolf Miscellany. She received the Andrew J. Kappel Prize in Literary Criticism for 2012, and is on the editorial board of  the Twentieth-Century Literature  and the PMLA Advisory Committee.   

Erik Fuhrer is hosting a poetry reading at the conference.

Fuhrer is the author of six poetry collections, including VOS (Yavanika Press, 2019), a full-length erasure of Virginia Woolf’s A Voyage Out. Fuhrer’s work can be found online

James Brock’s No Single Body for Me to Follow will be performed and followed with a question and answer session with him and the actors.

“Printed Works: Adaptations of Virginia Woolf” showcases works by Norwegian letterpress artist and graphic designer Dr. Ane Thon Knutsen. (Jessica Piland)

Brock teaches creative writing and contemporary literature at FGCU. He is a founding member of  Ghostbird Theatre Company. He’s produced six full-length plays, winning three individual artist grants from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. His play,  Because Beauty Must Be Broken Daily, a play where Virginia Woolf makes several cameo appearances, was named best new play of 2013–14 by the  Naples Daily News. His work can be found online.

Conference tickets can be purchased online along with housing options.