Advanced Course on James Joyce’s Ulysses 2017

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A Course for More Advanced Readers of Ulysses:

Joyce’s Avant-Gardism and Experimentalism

When: 10:00am-4:00pm Saturday 9 September 2017

Where:  Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday St, Carlton

Cost: $70 ($50 for students, health-card holders)

Booking: Online or by phoning Bob on 03 9898 2900

Getting ThereKathleen Syme Library is 150m from the University of Melbourne tram terminus on Swanston St (trams 1, 3, 5, 6, 64, 67 or 72); there’s $5 all day parking 150m away at UniMelb Eastern Presinct Car Park, 375 Cardigan St.

This Advanced Course focusses on Joyce’s modernism, experimentalism, and radical thinking. It revels in  ‘Melodiotiosities in Pure Effusion…..’

The course will examine  the less naturalistic chapters of Ulysses and investigate the many ways in which Joyce turned the literary tradition as he found it on its head. It will hopefully begin to explain why his take-up, even in the academy, was so slow, and why his writing became the touchstone of avant-gardism in his own day, and an inspiration for the next generations of literary and cultural theorists.

The class is interactive, and restricted to 30 students.

The course assumes that participants have completed the Introductory Ulysses course, or are relatively au fait with the architecture of the novel and have more than a passing familiarity with the more naturalistic chapters. For those seeking a more introductory course, there’s another Ulysses-for-Beginners course in February, in the lead-up to Bloomsday,  2018.


Presenters: Frances Devlin-Glass and Steve Carey
The course is delivered by Associate Professor Frances Devlin-Glass (Ph.D., ANU), who has been the Director of Bloomsday since its inception in 1994, and who has taught Joyce at tertiary and other levels since 1980. She is a member of the College of Distinguished Deakin Educators. Alongside her will be Dr. Steve Carey who completed a D.Phil. at Oxford under the late great Professor Richard Ellmann, doyen of biographers whose biographies of Joyce and Wilde are a benchmark for the genre.

Course 2: Advanced Ulysses Course Curriculum (in more detail)
A course for more advanced readers on Joyce’s experimental chapters, and radical thinking.Participants in this course will need an annotated copy of Ulysses, or an unannotated edition plus a copy of Gifford and Seidman’s Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce’s Ulysses (available from Readings and other good bookshops).In more detail, sessions will cover:

• Session 1Joyce and Modernism, and his Metafictional Gambits

• The strands of new thinking that comprise literary modernism and Joyce’s engagement with them.

• What is a novel? What are the limits of the form?
• How is it different from other forms: drama, romance, journalism? Etc.

This session will make forays into Circe (15), Nausicaa (12), Ithaca (17). Local instances in each of these chapters will prompt the question: what is the point of the metafictional strategy in particular cases? What risks are being taken?

• Session 2Gentle and Savage Parodies in Cyclops

The novel abounds in parodies, some affectionate, some highly critical. The focus for this session will be Cyclops (13) with its 31 (or more) different parodies of (mainly) Irish styles. Parody as a salute to a tradition; a form of political critique; intellectual liberation. Examining this chapter in some detail will examine how the literary becomes highly political, and delve into Joyce’s take on power and violence. It will also explore his take on nationalism.

 Session 3Joyce’s Psychodrama and the emancipatory impulse

This session will return to Circe (15) as a compelling summary and inversion of the preceding 14 chapters. It will ask what Joyce does with the intellectual currents of his day, in particular sexology/psychology and late c19/early c20 refusals of Christian and conventional world-views on sex, guilt, repression.

Time to repair to the bar downstairs.

A further, second advanced course is proposed, focussing on the Stephen chapters, depending on enthusiasm for the project.