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Virginia Woolf scholar to deliver Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Lecture

WSU professor emerita of English Diane Gillespie and husband Dick Domey look over books in the Hogarth Press book collection in Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections.
WSU professor emerita of English Diane Gillespie and husband Dick Domey look over books in the Hogarth Press book collection in Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections.

Virginia Woolf scholar and professor emerita Diane Gillespie will deliver this year’s Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 28, in Todd Hall 130. Gillespie’s talk, titled “What’s Left to Say about Virginia Woolf?,” is part of WSU Showcase, the annual celebration of faculty, staff and student excellence.

British author Woolf was one of the most recognized writers of the modernist era, writing such books as “Mrs. Dalloway,” “A Room of One’s Own,” “To the Lighthouse” and “Orlando.”

Gillespie’s lecture provides a partial overview of her research and publication on Virginia Woolf. Gillespie’s work focuses on two areas: 1) Virginia Woolf and the visual arts, especially the painting of her sister, Vanessa Bell, and 2) Virginia Woolf and the Woolfs’ personal library in WSU Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections, especially unexpected publications by the Woolfs’ Hogarth Press. Gillespie’s work also addresses the Woolf “industry,” reasons why scholars have found so much to write about and why Woolf studies remain relevant today.

Gillespie will also be awarded the Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award, which recognizes sustained contributions to academia, continued service to the university, community and mankind, and personal accomplishments in retirement that serve as an example for other retirees.

In nominating Gillespie for the award, associate professor emeritus of English Alexander Hammond noted that Gillespie has remained a major voice in Virginia Woolf studies post-retirement.

“Gillespie is an internationally recognized scholar and editor of Virginia Woolf; of figures connected to Woolf’s Bloomsbury group; and of late 19th- and early 20th-century British literature and culture,” Hammond wrote. “Since her retirement in 2001 from the Department of English at WSU, Gillespie has made outstanding contributions to her academic fields, to Washington State University and its reputation, and to her community.”

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