In my English 1102 “Digital Woolf” class at Georgia Tech this fall, we began with Howards End (1910), by Virginia Woolf’s contemporary, E. M. Forster, which we followed with Woolf’s novels, Jacob’s Room (1922), Mrs. Dalloway(1925), and To the Lighthouse (1927). We will be concluding the course with her essay, A Room of One’s Own(1929). Along the way, the class viewed and blogged about the film of Michael Cunningham’s The Hours (2002), an adaptation of Mrs. Dalloway. Our focus on Woolf presents students with the opportunity to understand her imagination and complexity.
As we began reading Jacob’s Room, the students found it incomprehensible and unlike other novels that they had read. In Jacob’s Room, Woolf displaces the elements that we come to expect in a novel. She subordinates plot in favor of sensory perceptions. When Woolf published Jacob’s Room, she was dissatisfied and felt she “could have screwed Jacob up tighter if I had foreseen; but I had to make my path as I went.”
Read more at TECHStyle: A Forum for Digital Pedagogy and Research by the Brittain Fellows at Georgia Tech.
Amanda Golden is an Associate Professor of English at New York Institute of Technology. She is the author of Annotating Modernism: Marginalia and Pedagogy from Virginia Woolf to the Confessional Poets (Routledge, 2020) and editor of This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton (UP of Florida, 2016). Her research and teaching interests include American and British literature from the nineteenth century to the present, modernism, poetry and poetics, literary archives, composition, and the digital humanities.