Virginia Woolf and the Ethics of Work
Date: 21 Apr 2017 (Fri)
Venue: G24, Arts and Humanities Hub, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
Abstract: This talk explores a variety of representations of work in Virginia Woolf’s oeuvre to arrive at what we can call her ethics of work. It addresses a range of questions in relation to work highlighted by Woolf’s writing, including: what is the value of leisure as a counterpoint to work? How do we attain it, and at what cost? How do Woolf’s aesthetics of digression and interruption support her vision for alternative forms of work? Why was the idea of sincerity so important for her, and how does the moral concept of sincerity allow us to mind the gap between the public and the private self in work? Woolf’s ethics of work, I show, help us reflect on how and why we work today, and add to current debates, especially in the face of the rise of new types of technology, on how to shape work for the future.