UNK English Professor Co-Edits Book of Essays on Writing by Virginia Woolf

Dr. Kate Benzel
UNK Martin Distinguished Professor of English, 308.865.8294

Dr. Kate Benzel, professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, has co-edited a book of essays on the writings of Virginia Woolf.

Challenging the traditional distinctions in writing is the focus of Trespassing Boundaries: Virginia Woolf’s Short Fiction.  Dr. Benzel’s essay “Verbal Painting in ‘Blue & Green’ and ‘Monday or Tuesday’ is included in the collection, which she co-edited with Ruth Hoberman, a professor of English at Eastern Illinois University.

Dr. Benzel began her research of Virginia Woolf with her doctoral dissertation titled “Sexual Differences as Narrative Techniques: Cross-dressing, Redressing, and Undressing Female Protagonists.”

“I’ve continued my research and scholarship on Woolf because of the volume of her work: diaries, letters and essays in addition to her fiction,” Dr. Benzel said.  “But most importantly, her fiction and its modern experimentation encourages careful analysis. I am particularly interested in her short fiction, because there’s so little scholarship on it.”

According to Palgrave Macmillan, the publisher of the book, Trespassing Boundaries discusses the literary importance of Virginia Woolf’s short stories.

“Trespassing Boundaries places Woolf’s short stories in the context of modernist experimentalism, then explores her attempts to challenge the traditional distinctions between short fiction and the novel, between experimental and popular fiction, and between fiction and nonfiction.”

Trespassing Boundaries is an excellent collection of insightful and significant essays,” said Dr. Daniel Schwarz, professor of English and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University.

“Edited by the distinguished scholar-critics Kathryn Benzel and Ruth Hoberman, who themselves have contributed invaluable essays, this splendid volume will point the way to a reconsideration of Woolf’s work in the genre of short fiction,” he said.

Dr. Benzel has also authored Charleston, a Voice in the House (1998) and co-edited Images of the Self as Female: The Achievement of Women Artists in Re-Envisioning the Feminine Identity (1992) with Lauren DeLaVars.  Her numerous articles have appeared in Visual Resources, Cyclopedia of Literary Places, a Multimedia Companion to Anthology of Modern American Poetry and Style 29. 

In April, her article titled “Woolf’s Early Experimentation with Consciousness: ‘Kew Gardens,’ Typescript to Publication, 1917-1919 will appear in Virginia Woolf: Turning the Centuries, which is edited by Ann Ardis and Bonnie Kime Scott.