Saskia McCracken

Research title

Woolf Hatching Darwin: (R)evolutionary Avian Tropes in the Works of Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin

Research summary

My research focuses on Virginia Woolf’s revolutionary and evolutionary engagement with Darwinian animal tropes in her late works (1928-1941), written in the context of rising Social Darwinism in Europe. My thesis investigates the feminist and anti-fascist politics of these tropes, particularly where they occur in her novels and fictional biographies Orlando, Flush, The Years, and Between the Acts.

My mobile term r-evolutionary plays the concepts of revolution and evolution off one another, engaging with them as interrelated and ongoing processes on the levels of politics, natural history, and language. As such, my approach to Darwin and Woolf’s animal tropes draws together approaches from Modernist studies, Darwin studies, Literature and Science Studies, and multidisciplinary theories of animality.


Publications

Book Chapters

  • ‘‘Breaking the Peace’: The Darwinian Politics of Virginia Woolf’s ‘creature Dictator’’. Virginia Woolf, Europe, and Peace: Aesthetics and Theory. Eds. Derek Ryan and Peter Adkins. S. Carolina: Clemson UP, 2020
  • ‘Brandishing Her Plumes’: Virginia Woolf’s Posthumanist Feather Tropes’. Posthumanist Modernism. Eds. Alberto Godioli and Carmen van den Bergh. Leiden: Brill Press, 2020.

 

Peer Reviewed Journals

 

Conference Reviews

 

Blogs


Grants

Grants & Awards

  • University of Glasgow College of Arts PhD Scholarship (2017-2020). Stipend and tuition fees, £18,748 p/a.
  • University of Glasgow College of Arts Collaborative Research Award (2018). To organise Our Space, Our Place, £550.
  • Vegan Society New Audiences Grant (2018). To organise Beastly Modernisms, £500.
  • British Society for Literature and Science Small Grants Scheme (2018/2019). To organise Beastly Modernisms, £200.
  • College of Arts PGR Community Building Fund (2018). To co-organise Theory @ Random PG Reading Group, £650.
  • Fran Trust Conference Award (2018). To attend the 28th International Virginia Woolf Conference, £380.
  • University of Glasgow College of Arts Collaborative Research Award (2018). To organise Suffrage Centenary Celebration at the People’s Palace Museum, £811.
  • British Society for Literature and Science Postgraduate Conference Fund (2018). To attend Transitions conference, £200.
  • University of Glasgow College of Arts Research Support Award (2018). To visit Darwin archives at Christ’s College Cambridge, £200.
  • University of Glasgow College of Arts Collaborative Research Award (2017). To organise International Women’s Day 2017 Symposium, £461.
  • University of Glasgow School of Critical Studies Postgraduate Research Funding (2016). To attend 26th International Virginia Woolf conference and British Library archive, £200.

Conferences

  • ‘Breaking the Peace:  The Darwinian Politics of Virginia Woolf’s ‘creature Dictator’, 28th International Virginia Woolf Conference: Virginia Woolf, Europe and Peace (University of Kent, June 21-24 2018)
  • ‘Revolution, Evolution, and the Darwinian Politics of Virginia Woolf’s ‘creature Dictator’’, Transitions: Bridging the Victorian-Modernist Divide (University of Birmingham, April 9-10 2018)
  • ‘Revolution, Evolution, and the Darwinian Politics of Virginia Woolf’s ‘creature Dictator’, British Society for Literature and Science Thirteenth AnnualConference (Oxford Brookes University, April 5-7 2018)
  • ‘The Darwinian Politics of Virginia Woolf’s ‘Worm Winged like an Eagle’, New Work in Modernist Studies (University of Leeds, December 15 2017)
  • ‘Virginia Woolf’s Plumage Politics and Merle Patchett’s 2011 Fashioning Feathers Exhibition’, Decorating Dissidence: Feminism, Modernism & the Arts (Queen Mary, University of London, November 3-4 2017)
  • ‘‘brandishing her plumes’: The ‘persistency of feathers’ as Posthumanist Tropes in Virginia Woolf’s Writings’, American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting: Posthumanist Modernisms Seminar (University of Utrecht, July 6-9 2017)
  • ‘‘books of a different feather’: Virginia Woolf, Intertexts, and the Trope of the Feathered Woman’, 27th International Virginia Woolf Conference: Virginia Woolf and the World of Books (University of Reading, June 29 – July 2 2017)
  • ‘‘books of a different feather’: Plumage Tropes across Image and Text in Virginia Woolf’s World of Books’, Intersections: Interdisciplinary Encounters(University of Glasgow, June 7-8 2017)
  • ‘The Plumage (Prohibition) Bill: 19th Century Feather Fashions and 20th Century Plumage Politics in the Works of Virginia Woolf’, Consuming Animals 2017 (University of York, March 17-18 2017)
  • ‘Feathers and Feminism: The Plumage Bill Debate in Virginia Woolf’s Writings’, Glasgow-Delhi Postgraduate Symposium (Universities of Glasgow and Delhi, June 14 2016)
  • ‘A Necessary Animal’: Animal Politics in Virginia Woolf’s ‘The Docks of London’ Animals, Politics, Literature (Universities of Glasgow and Delhi, December 7 2015)

Additional information

Organisational Committees

Other Roles

Researcher and Archivist

  • South Glasgow Heritage and Environment Trust (2019)

Discussion Facilitator

  • British Animal Studies Network Reading Group (2017-2018)
  • Theory at Random Postgraduate Reading Group (2015-2018)        

Conference Panel Chair

  • 28th International Virginia Woolf Conference (2018)
  • British Animal Studies Network Conference: Sex (2018)
  • 27th International Virginia Woolf Conference (2017)

Editorial Board Member

  • eSharp and The Kelvingrove Review (2016-2017).

Other

  • MLitt Modernities Course Representative (2015 – 2016), University of Glasgow.
  • Literary Content Officer (2016-2017), Scottish Writers’ Centre.
  • Feedback Coordinator (2015), The Koestler Trust National Arts Awards.
  • Script Reader (2015). Blue Elephant Theatre, London.
  • Theatre Critic (2014-2017), PlaystoSee.com:http://playstosee.com/?s=mccracken