Title: "Double Mimesis in Ulysses"
Many of the episodes in the second half of Ulysses employ what I call "double mimesis": a representation of form through a representation or imitation of some pre-existing mode (music in "Sirens," the repertoire of English literary prose styles in "Oxen," etc.). Instead of a pre-existing artistic form, the second-order mimesis in "Eumaeus" is of style as such, that is, deviation and eccentricity and imposture. In order to educe this larger point, I will discuss the works of Amanda McKittrick Ros, the Bizarro world version of Joyce.
Sam Slote is Professor in English at Trinity College Dublin. His most recent book, co-written with Marc Mamigonian and John Turner, is Annotations to James Joyce’s "Ulysses" (Oxford University Press, 2022). He is the author of Joyce's Nietzschean Ethics (Palgrave, 2013) and is the co-editor, with Luca Crispi, of How Joyce Wrote 'Finnegans Wake' (Wisconsin, 2007). In addition to Joyce and Beckett, he has written on Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov, Raymond Queneau, Antonin Artaud, Dante, Mallarmé, and Elvis.
Title: "‘Critical Propaganda’: The Critics and Joyce"
When the James Joyce Quarterly journal was launched in 1963, the editors were concerned ‘that after a year or two there would be a dearth of manuscripts of publishable quality dealing with Joyce’ (Thomas F. Staley, 1965). This early worry has been wonderfully disproved; the size and growth of the field of Joyce studies is now more readily a cause for complaint. The mass of Joycean criticism is also a fantastic resource for analysing how ideas of ‘the author’ have developed within an intensely author-centric field. Drawing on my research into the history of authorial authority in Joyce studies, in this lecture I will hop through a century of Joyces: including the early Joyce of ‘critical propaganda’, orchestrating his own critical reception; the ‘event’ Joyce of Derrida and deconstruction; the Joyce of biography, memoir, and Tom Stoppard’s 1974 play Travesties; the Irish Joyce of the 1990s onwards; and perhaps even our currently popular genetic Joyce. I hope to show how focusing on the ways in which the author’s authority has been critically invoked, challenged, or promoted can conversely tell us a great deal about our own authority as readers of Joyce.
Sophie Corser’s research focuses on issues of reading in modern and contemporary literature and criticism. Her first book, The Reader’s Joyce: ‘Ulysses’, Authorship and the Authority of the Reader, was published by Edinburgh University Press in August 2022. Corser is a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College Cork (UCC), and is currently researching representations of women reading in contemporary women’s writing. Before joining UCC, she was a Leverhulme Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College Dublin, working on Ulysses and the authority of readers. She completed her PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2018.
Title: "An International Eyesore: Ulysses and Visual Impairment"
James Joyce had troublesome eyes. He wore glasses as a child and, throughout adulthood, suffered from a range of conditions, including iritis, glaucoma, and cataracts. He endured severe pain and underwent various forms of treatment, from leeches and cocaine to invasive surgeries. The self-exiled Irish writer was a self-proclaimed ‘international eyesore, holder of the world amateur record for eye operations’. My talk will analyse representations of visual impairment, and other non-normative ways of seeing, within Ulysses – from the nameless ‘blind stripling’ to Stephen’s ‘shut your eyes and see’ experiment and Bloom’s ‘Want to try in the dark to see’. I will discuss my research on Joyce’s ‘blind’ jottings in his composition notebooks and the French blindness memoirs which may have inspired him. I will end by considering the relationship between Ulysses and visual impairment today. 100 years on from the publication of the first book-Ulysses, and around 50 years on from the first Braille-Ulysses and audiobook-Ulysses, how can blind readers access Ulysses in 2022? How can reading Ulysses through our fingers and ears enhance our experience of Joyce’s multisensory text?
Cleo Hanaway-Oakley is Lecturer in Liberal Arts and English at the University of Bristol. She specialises in the work of James Joyce, literary modernism, medical humanities, sensing and the sensory, and notions of embodiment. Her first monograph, James Joyce and the Phenomenology of Film, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. She is currently working on her second monograph, James Joyce and Non-normative Vision: Re-viewing the Blind Bard, and is co-editing – with Keith Williams – The Edinburgh Companion to James Joyce and the Arts.
Title: "Ulysses: A Borderland Narrative"
Joyce’s intertextual dialogue with the Homeric foundational myths of the Greek invasion of the borderland of Asia Minor in the Battle of Troy reflects the roots of Eurocentric imperialism. Considering the circumstance that the rewriting of ancient mythology in Ulysses takes place from a present- rather than past-related vantage point, such a re-conceptualization of the past turns out to be relevant for the world of today.
This can be observed from the circumstance that Joyce’s mythical method (as elucidated by T.S. Eliot) draws a mock-heroic parallel between the Trojan War as the great war of the ancient world and the Great War of modernity, and thus fuses the past and the present as a timeless anti-war narrative: "Fuit Ilium! The sack of windy Troy. Kingdoms of this world. The masters of the Mediterranean are fellaheen today." (Ulysses 7.910-11) As can be seen from this text-passage, the fall ("fellaheen") of "Troy" (or "Ilium", as it is called in Latin) is contextualized with the here and now ("today") of the Great War from 1914-1918 – the time span which overlaps with Joyce’s work on Ulysses from 1914-1922. This aspect is further specified in Finnegans Wake: "The house of Atreox is fallen indeedust (Ilyam, Ilyum! Maeromor Mournomates!)" (FW 55.3)
By fusing the fallen "masters of the Mediterranean" with Ilium (alias "Ilyam, Ilyum"), Joyce draws an ironic parallel between the fall of the Trojan royal family of Atreus (alias the "house of Atreox") and the Austrian imperial family of the House of Habsburg which owned Miramar (alias "Maeromor") Castle next to Trieste: the city where Joyce lived from 1905-1915. Presenting Trieste – the seaport from which pre-war Austria controlled the Mediterranean Sea – as a modern counterpart of fallen Troy, Joyce fuses the epic landscape of Homeric mythology with topical references to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918.
Marking the beginning and the end of Eurocentric imperialism obsessed with the concept of war in the borderland, Joyce’s Ulysses draws a mock-heroic parallel between the ‘great wars’ of the ancient and the modern world. As a work celebrating peace and solidarity in a period of war and hostility, Ulysses deconstructs the concept of the borderland: rather than rewriting the Ulysses-archetype as the cunning hero who brought about the Fall of Troy in Homeric mythology, Joyce’s Ulysses follows Victor Bérard’s Les Phéniciens et l’Odyssée (1902), which claims that Ulysses has a ‘Semitic’ – or, as Joyce would put it with regard to Leopold Bloom, Jewish – background in the North-African borderland of the Mediterranean world, lives on the island of Ithaca as a foreigner, and is presented as an outsider of ancient Greek society. Hence the Homeric sailor – who is enlisted in the Trojan War against his will and whose errant journey includes cases of shipwreck and disorientation – is featured as a person we would nowadays call a Mediterranean refugee who flees the war-zone of the borderland in quest of a peaceful life in exile.
2018 is the centenary of the end of the Great War and the Troy-like fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 2022 is the centenary of the publication of Ulysses. As the world of the present witnesses the rebirth of nationalism and imperialist warfare in the borderland, Joyce’s Ulysses is not only a timeless classic but also very relevant for the present.
Dieter Fuchs is Associate Professor for Literatures in English and Cultural Studies at the Department of English and American Studies of the University of Vienna. He received his doctorate from LMU Munich, with a PhD thesis on James Joyce and Menippean Satire supervised by Hans Walter Gabler. His second book on Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy appeared this June.
Dieter is Director of the Vienna Centre for Irish Studies founded by Werner Huber and head of the Vienna Irish Studies and Cultural Theory Summer School. In addition to his Vienna employment, he also works as a regular visiting professor at the University of Ljubljana where he teaches block seminars and functions as external PhD committee member. He is also part of the advisory board of Acta Neophilologica.
Title: "Game-Changing Homeric Memory"
In my lecture I will discuss the special place that Ulysses occupies in the mnemohistory of the Homeric Odyssey. I argue that Joyce’s novel is – neudeutsch – a ‘game-changer’, a catalyst, that has fundamentally transformed our thinking about odysseys and the Odysseus-figure, preparing the ground for postcolonial epics such as Derek Walcott’s Omeros (1990), for the current framings of refugees who reach Europe by way of Mediterranean routes as the epic heroes of a New Odyssey (Patrick Kingsley, 2016), or for Emily Pine’s recent Ulyssean nobel about present-day challenges such as infertility, climate change, queerness, and neurodiversity (Ruth and Pen, 2022).
Joyce’s Ulysses is an important node in the long history of transformative uses of the Homeric epics. Playing on the double meaning of ‘game-changing’, which describes Homeric memory as both transforming agent and as transformed object, I will firstly show how the Homeric epics (and the Odyssey, in particular) have worked, across the millennia, as a generative energy: as a (imagined) force behind the origins of the Greek alphabet, as a paradigm for travel and adventure narratives, as vibrant affective matter in Renaissance Humanism and Romantic nationalism, or as a perennial puzzle provoking both the beginnings of (classical) philology (Wolf) and of media theory (Parry).
The ‘Odyssey’ thus arrives in Joyce’s time not as old material, but as a ‘tool’ for creating or catalyzing the new – a tool that Joyce takes up in ways that are themselves radically new. In a second part of my lecture, I will therefore discuss some of the game-changing interventions into Odyssean mnemohistory that we can find in Ulysses (focusing on ethics and transculturality in "Ithaca") and that have engendered rich afterlives in the literatures and arts of the 20 th and 21 st centuries. Finally, to do justice not only to the complexity of Joyce’s Ulysses but also to the labyrinthine paths of Homeric memory, I will also discuss some very different twentieth-century uses and abuses of game-changing Odyssean memory.
Astrid Erll is Professor of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at Goethe University Frankfurt. She is author of Memory in Culture (Palgrave 2011), "Homer – A Relational Mnemohistory" (Memory Studies 2018) and "Homer, Turko, Little Harry: Cultural Memory and the Ethics of Premediation in James Joyce’s Ulysses" (Partial Answers 2019).
Title: "Garment Cultures in James Joyce"
This talk examines the role that garments play in Joyce’s fiction. It will argue that clothes, for Joyce, become textual signifiers that he could use to enhance both the realist and the symbolic facets of his work. While he employs clothing imagery to underscore socio-economic hardship in turn-of-the-century Ireland, they can also direct attention to the complexly fabricated texture of his modernist fiction.
In many places in Dubliners and A Portrait, in particular,the image of a poverty-stricken, formerly genteel Irish middle class paralysed by socio-economic change is strikingly evoked by clothing imagery. Looking at his "thinly clad mother (P 103)," Stephen Dedalus, in A Portrait, considers buying a new fur coat for her with some of his exhibition and essay prize money. To remain in business, drapery shops such as the one that housed the priest in "The Sisters" had to branch out to such related trades as umbrella covering at a time when Clery’s and other department stores sold cheaper fabrics and enticed customers away from smaller family-run shops. And Gerty MacDowell, who is longing for personal distinction, betrays poverty of imagination by trying to conform to uniform fashion ideals widely promoted in turn-of-the-century women’s magazines.
In some places, however, Joyce’s use of clothing imagery becomes over-determined. In "Two Gallants," a carefully performed adventurousness that is meant to cover up his precarious lifestyle is referenced by Lenehan’s waterproof "slung over one shoulder in toreador fashion" (D 36). Here, Joyce’s use of textiles verges on the symbolic, drawing attention to the self-conscious construction of his text. It is in moments such as these, this talk will argue, that Joyce’s own desire for distinction also comes to the fore. At a time when an emergent ready-to-wear industry threatened to eradicate individuality through uniform dress and when he himself lacked the financial means to use clothes as markers of personal distinction, the texts he was writing stood in for his desire to stand out from the crowd.
Vike Martina Plock is Professor of Modern Literature and Culture and Head of English at the University of Exeter. She has published widely on James Joyce and modernism. She is the author of Joyce, Medicine, and Modernity (2010), Modernism, Fashion and Interwar Women Writers (2017) and The BBC German Service during the Second World War: Broadcasting to the Enemy (2021). She is an advisory editor for the James Joyce Quarterly and has edited two special issue of the JJQ entitled Joyce’s Physiologies and Anniversary Joyce.
Title: "‘why cant you kiss a man without going and marrying him first’: Feminist Celibacy and the Marriage Question in Ulysses"
This talk presents new research on the role of the feminist celibacy movement in the formation of Irish modernism. It applies these findings to a new reading of the representation of marriage in James Joyce's Ulysses, with a focus on the historical, cultural and political contexts of the Blooms' "celibate marriage".
Paul Fagan is an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at Maynooth University. He is a co-founder of the International Flann O’Brien Society and a founding general editor of The Parish Review: Journal of Flann O’Brien Studies and Production Archives (Open Library of Humanities). Paul is the co-editor of Irish Modernisms: Gaps, Conjectures, Possibilities and Stage Irish: Performance, Identity, Cultural Circulation, as well as four well-received edited collections on Flann O’Brien. He is currently finalising a monograph on 'Irish Literary Hoaxes' and developing research projects on ‘Representations of Nonhuman Skin in Modernist Writing’ and ‘Celibacy in Irish Women's Writing, 1860s–1950s’.
Title: "Joyce and Appeal: Between Law and Ethics"
This talk will consider the legal, ethical and psychological value of concepts of ‘appeal’ in Joyce’s work. Joyce was writing at a time where a person’s legal right to appeal was being gradually established and expanded, with the Court of Appeal in Ireland established just before his birth (in 1877) and a Court of Criminal Appeal briefly established during the Land War. But Ireland diverged from England and Wales in not gaining a permanent Court of Criminal Appeal in 1907. Several passages in the 'Aeolus' episode of Ulysses, as well as reflections elsewhere in his oeuvre including the nonfiction, reflect Joyce’s complex sense of law as a standard that can be appealed to, but which might also appealed against in specific miscarriages of justice, as well as in general terms. In these situations, where reform might be necessary, Joyce turns towards an ethics of justice which could be useful to us in the 21st-century, in which the power of appeal implies a claim about what would be more just and to an imagined more adequate law.
Katherine Ebury is Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature at the University of Sheffield. She is the author of Modernism and Cosmology: Absurd Lights (2014) and of Modern Literature and the Death Penalty, 1890-1950 (2021) and the co-editor of Joyce's Nonfiction Writing: Outside His Jurisfiction (with James Fraser, 2018) and of a special issue of James Joyce Quarterly on 'Joyce and the Nonhuman' (with Michelle Witen, 2021). She has written articles and chapters on topics including modernism, science and technology, representations of law and justice, and animal studies.
Title: "Joyce, Hypercanonicity, and Global Literature: Challenges and Opportunities"
This lecture considers the challenges and opportunities that Joyce's canonicity presents to the study of 'global' literature. Drawing on critical debates around the concept of global modernism, and considering the examples of Ezra Pound, Charles R. Larson, Franco Moretti, and Pascale Casanova, I discuss the terms of Joyce's canonisation and the popular use of his work to advance 'diffusionist' models of literary history. By building on Kandice Chuh's (2019) analysis of the combined effects of liberal representational politics and hypercanonicity in literary studies, I contend that the future studies of Joyce's global reception and influence should seek to establish mutually transformative intercultural dialogue, which in turn requires opening the field to unsettling Joyce's position in literary studies. In the examples of 'global' writers who 'creatively disaffiliate' from Joyce (such as Sam Selvon, Jean Rhys, and Dambudzo Marechera), we find models that can help us study of Joyce's global reception and influence without reinscribing the primacy of Joyce's canonicity.
Kiron Ward is a lecturer in modern and contemporary literature at the University of St. Andrews. His publications include Encyclopedia Joyce (co-edited with James Blackwell Phelan) and James Joyce's Ulysses at 100 (co-edited with E. Paige Miller), and he was on the academic committee for the 2019 North American James Joyce Symposium in Mexico City. His monograph Encyclopaedism and Totality in Contemporary Fiction is forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic in 2023.
Title: "Composing 'Penelope' towards the Condition of Music"
James Joyce’s Ulysses was first published one hundred and one years ago. By his own strong request, It saw publication in Paris on his fortieth birthday, the second of February 1922. At the close of eight intense years of creation, the work culminated in its eighteenth episode ‘Penelope’ (so named in private at the book’s workshop stage). For it, Joyce modulated the novel’s narrative stance from Aristotelian to non-Aristotelian writing. This episode beyond the Ulysses fiction’s narrative end thus became its closing chapter to over-reach the book’s Odyssey template. James Joyce, deeply rooted in music as he was, led the episode into, and performed it under, a condition of music.
Hans Walter Gabler is Professor of English Literature (emeritus) at the University of Munich, Germany, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, London University, Doctor of Literature, honoris causa, from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and Honorary Trustee of the International James Joyce Foundation. From 1996 to 2002 in Munich, he directed an interdisciplinary graduate programme on "Textual Criticism as Foundation and Method of the Historical Disciplines." He is editor-in-chief of the critical editions of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1984/1986), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Dubliners (both 1993). His present research continues to be directed towards the writing processes in draft manuscripts and their representation in the digital medium. Editorial theory, digital editing and genetic criticism have become the main focus of his professional writing.