Dr Joshua Phillips

I am a researcher and writer with interests in modernist literature, broadly conceived, Virginia Woolf, and textual editing. In addition to my post as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Faculty of English, I am a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College. My current project is titled 'The Digital "Anon": A Digital, Genetic Edition of Virginia Woolf's Final Essays.' In the final months of her life, Virginia Woolf started to write a history of English literature she never lived to finish. This project, extant only as a constellation of fragmentary drafts, has come to be known by the dual title of ‘Anon’ and ‘The Reader’. This history is not patterned around the writings of singular named authors like Chaucer and Shakespeare or Virginia Woolf. Rather, it stems from the ‘nameless vitality’ of Anon, the unnamed poet-singer whose voice precedes and makes possible literature in English. In this project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, I aim to create the first complete edition of this late archive, deploying genetic and digital editorial methodologies in order to best portray the richly generative textuality of this archive.

I am also working on a monograph based on my thesis, which is provisionally titled Virginia Woolf and Futurity: Aesthetics, Ethics, Politics. It makes the case that Woolf had a lifelong interest in questions of the future – of how people, things, objects, and words endure into an unknown futurity, and in more practical questions of how to make the future a better place, free from the strictures of patriarchy and militarism.