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Professorial Lecture and Celebration for Reverend Professor Jane de Gay


​​Leeds Trinity University is proud to present a Professorial Lecture for Reverend Professor Jane de Gay, an internationally-renowned expert in the life and work of Virginia Woolf.

Revd Prof Jane de Gay's research has shown that, although Virginia Woolf has often been thought to be averse to religion, she was actually fascinated by faith and knowledgeable about Christian culture and the role played by religion in society. In recognition of Leeds Trinity's Catholic foundation, this auspicious event focuses on Woolf's knowledge of and interest in Catholic culture.

What's happening?

This illustrated talk will explore Woolf's reactions to Catholicism within early twentieth-century culture and among her associates, both of which were more prominent than is often thought. The talk will then consider Woolf's awareness of the importance of Catholicism within English history, her encounters with worship and architecture during her travels in Europe, and her fascination with the Virgin Mary. Finally, the talk will consider what Virginia Woolf contributes to a key priority of Leeds Trinity as a University: the importance of social justice.

Following the lecture, guests are invited to enjoy a hot buffet and refreshments.


Thursday 13 June 2019


5.30pm Refreshments
6.00pm Lecture and Q+A
7.00pm Buffet and networking


Leeds Trinity University, Brownberrie Lane, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 5HD

How to book?

Please click here for the Eventbrite page and input your details as required.

Further information

If you have any queries regarding the event please email Event Coordinator Christopher Hulme. If your enquiry is related to Revd Prof Jane de Gay's research, please email Jane directly.


Revd Professor Jane de Gay is Professor of English Literature at Leeds Trinity University and an Anglican priest serving a predominantly Caribbean congregation at St Martin's Potternewton, Leeds. Her most recent book, Virginia Woolf and Christian Culture (Edinburgh UP, June 2018), draws on insights from both her vocations. It has already attracted critical acclaim: the Review of English Studies has described it as 'a richly textured critical text...a significant and welcome contribution to both Woolf scholarship and modernist studies more broadly'; the Virginia Woolf Bulletin described it as a 'profound, always clearly argued and thought-provoking study'; and Literature Cambridge hailed it as 'a valuable contribution to Woolf studies.'  Since its publication, Prof de Gay has given knowledge-exchange talks aimed at using her research on Woolf to open up debates on the relevance of faith and religion to those outside conventional churches and traditional faiths. The most prominent of these was a debate at Leeds Church Institute with Revd Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Queen and the House of Commons.

Prof de Gay's first monograph, Virginia Woolf's Novels and the Literary Past (Edinburgh UP, 2006), is highly respected and is widely referenced by scholars in the discipline. She was organizer of Virginia Woolf and Heritage: The 26th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, an international gathering that brought over 200 scholars to Leeds Trinity in June 2016. She has published widely on Virginia Woolf, the most recent pieces including a chapter on intertextuality to Elsa Högberg and Amy Bromley's collection Sentencing Orlando (Edinburgh UP, 2018); a chapter on Mysticism for an edited collection on Virginia Woolf and Spirituality; and a chapter on 'Allusion and Metaphor' for the Oxford Handbook of Virginia Woolf.