Summer 2009


ENL4284/LIT5018: James Joyce’s Ulysses



ENL4284                                                                                                                                       David M. Earle

ENL5018                                                                                                                                       Bld 50, 247

James Joyce’s Ulysses                                                                                                               Office Hours:

T TH 5:30 – 8:50                                                                                                                        T TH 3 – 5

Bld 52/162                                                                                                                          




James Joyce, Ulysses (Gabler Edition), Vintage Press 1986

James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, any edition. To be read before semester starts.

James Gifford, Ulysses Annotated, University of California Press


Recommended: Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, Oxford University Press.



Class Schedule (for weekly preparation, see “themes” directly following)


Week one, critical reading (for Thurs.), Said, “Themes of Resistance Culture”

5/12: Overview, How to read Ulysses, textual history of Ulysses, Joyce and Irish History, Dedalus and Portrait

5/14: 1) “Telemachus”; 2) “Nestor”; 3) “Proteus,” pgs. 3 – 44


Week two, critical reading: Benjamin, “The Arcades Project” excerpt: Ill 1, Ill 2, Ill 3, Ill 4

5/19: 4) “Calypso”; 5) “Lotus Eaters”; 6) “Hades,” pgs 45 – 95

5/21: 7) “Aeoleus”; 8) “Lestrygonians,” pgs 96 – 150


Week three, critical reading, Bakhtin, “Rabelais and His World”

5/26: 9) “Scylla & Charybdis”; 10) “Wandering Rocks,” pgs 151 – 209

5/28: 11) “Sirens,” pgs 210 –239


Week four, critical reading: McGann, “Socialization of Texts”; Iser, “Interaction Between Text and Reader” (same packet)

6/2: 12) “Cyclops” pgs 240 – 283

6/4: 13) “Nausicaa,” pgs 284 – 314


Week five

6/9: 14) “Oxen of the Sun,” pgs 314 – 349; 15) “Circe” (part 1), pgs 350 -- 429

6/11: “Circe” cont. pgs 429 – 497


Week six

6/16: 16) “Eumaeus,” pgs 501 -- 542

6/18: 17) “Ithaca,” pgs 543 – 607


Week seven, critical reading, Cixous, “Laugh of the Medusa”

6/23: 18) “Penelope,” pgs 608 – 644


Papers (see descriptions below):

Undergraduates: Discussion Questions; Three papers, 4-5 pages. 1) Application of critical reading; 2) research and expansion of Joycean allusion; 3) article critique due: 5/21, 6/9, 6/23, one from each “book” of Ulysses.

Grads: Presentation, annotated bib, and a 10 – 12 page paper on your assigned chapter



Daily discussion shall include these aspects. Each student should be prepared to respond briefly to a question on any topic on the list for that day.



Shakespeare; messianic: Greek/Christian; Father/Son; Keys; Milk Woman; “Agenbite of inwit”



 History; Jewish Motif; money/oppressor



literature and elimination; green / revolution; transformation; aesthetic reality



Bloom and the Cat; Agendath Netaim and Orientalism; Concert Program; Metempsychosis; Matchem’s Masterstroke


“Lotus Eaters”

Martha’s letter; Encounters with McCoy and Lyons; Bloom’s religious views; The Floating Flower vision



Life and Death image patterns; People passed on the street; Bloom as a public figure; Nostalgia, Death, technology



The headlines, Jewish/Messianic motif; Irish language movement/rhetoric as national salvation; Pisgah vision



The Dowie Throwaway; Parallax; Bloom as ad man and social reformer; U.P.:UP; Food Imagery


“Scylla and Charybdis”

Aesthetic theory and Shakespeare theory; Experiments with narrative style; Dublin’s literary establishment and SD


“Wandering Rocks”

Structure; Sweets of Sin; Interior monologues; violations of space and time



Structure/Overture; Musical Narration; Love and War; Martha, Don Giovanni, & The Croppy Boy; Finale



Alternating Narrators; Cataloging; Jewish, Racial, Masculinity Motifs; Eye-I pattern



Narrative Pattern and meaning; Love: sentiment vs practicality (G & B); “I am a…”


“Oxen of the Sun”

fertility ritual; reproduction and language; narrative points of view and reality; the birth of the word; final section (1440 – 1591)



Drama form/ carnival; mime; freud; transformation; grotesque; gender and inversion; black mass



Narrative Point of View; Obscurity/dissembling and literature; Sinbad; trade and Ireland; tattoos



catechism vs. science; fact and fiction; the budget; Bloom’s books; List of Lovers; Bloom’s revenge



Narrative Perspective; merging of time/characters; breakfast; truth and ambiguity; the final word


Paper Descriptions: All papers must be both submitted electronically AND a hard copy must be turned in. I will not grade any paper that isn’t handed in as a hard copy first. Late papers will not be accepted. Papers less than the page requirement will not be accepted (and usually indicate a shallow argument/topic – or at least something wrong).


Undergraduate Short Papers:

Over the course of the (short) semester, you shall write three 4 -- 5 page papers.

An application of one of the critical readings (Said, Bakhtin, etc) to a chapter of your choice. We will do some of this in class, but it is important that you do not rehash class discussion but illustrate an original application of the theories forwarded by the particular critic/article

Some critics believe that the machine that drives Ulysses is the web-like network of cultural references. One of your papers will be the research and expansion of one Joycean cultural allusion. This means that you choose one of the thousands of references / cultural allusions, research it, and explain how it “leads,” bolsters, or exemplifies one of the larger themes in the book

An article critique. This is the summary, questioning, critique, and possibly testing of an existing piece of Ulysses criticism – either an article or contribution to a Joycean anthology. The article must be about a specific episode. You will be graded on a) your choice of an article (how timely, sophisticated, credible of an article it is – i.e. not the first one that pops up on Muse. Research counts), b) your description, summary, and understanding of the article, c) the case you make or thoroughness of explanation. Don’t spend all your space summarizing. There should be a good amount of “you” in the paper.

There is no specific order that you need to write these in, but you must do one of each and you must do one from each section of the book (Part I, 1 – 3; II, 4 – 15; III, 16 – 18). Papers must be either Times new Roman or Calibri, double spaced, one inch margins, no space between paragraphs, single spaced header. Papers on section one, due 5/21, section two 6/9, section three, 6/23.

You will also be responsible for discussion questions based upon the day’s reading. I will collect these at the end of class, but for the most part, they are to be used in class, i.e. as preparation for class discussion. You very well may be called upon to read your question, start discussion, etc. Questions can be based upon any reading, but try and make them as specific as possible. Then can also take the form of more critical thoughts, topics, allusions, troubling aspects of the work rather than more traditional “what is…” type questions.



It is standard practice in Joyce studies to write about episodes of Ulysses as independent. On the first day of class, you will be assigned an episode from Ulysses as based upon your research interests. You will then become the class’ “expert” on that section. This will be the topic of your annotated bibliography and your final paper.

Annotated bibliography. This will be a cohesive overview of the work on your chapter, and it will include articles, book chapters, and sections of study that are “concentrated upon” that episode. You bibliography should include at least 15 sources (some chapters have much more written about them than others. If you have trouble, I am willing to point you in the right direction). Your annotations can take two different forms: an overview of existing literature, or traditional annotated bibliography. Overview: this is the standard critical methodology (i.e. what you will have to learn to do for writing articles, dissertations, theses) wherein you give a broad description of the history of criticism upon a certain subject (i.e. episode), identifying the major critics, approaches, themes, and debates. This is more narrative driven, it is, more or less the end product or synthesis of the traditional annotated bib. Annotated Bibliography: this is more a product of research, a chronological bibliography wherein you summarize each article’s main thesis and theoretical approach, placing it in dialogue with the works that come before and after (i.e. what or whose work is it a reaction to, who does it build off of), and then you offer a short, personal critique of the article. Whereas these can’t be “exhaustive,” and no matter which style you choose, it should give a good, overall feeling of contending with  and cohesive research and understanding of the episode itself, the work on it, and major critical debate about it.

Final Paper. This will be a 10 page “conference” style paper about your chapter. Conference papers are (should be) more conversational than formal research papers, but they are definitely more “Idea Driven,” i.e. they offer an entirely original statement about or reading of an episode. Whereas conference papers are critically informed and propelled, you take the criticism / critics out of the paper itself, or just refer to them in passing. What I would like for you to do in this paper is the end note your reference, in other words, I would like for you to illustrate your research process and familiarity with existing criticism, not in the paper itself but in the end notes following the paper. These shall not be considered part of the 10 pages.

Short presentation. This is a short, five or so minute presentation on your chapter, dedicated to discussion of some of the major themes and critical debates therein. Informal, no need to get all podium on us.



Critical Approaches



Richard Ellmann, James Joyce

But also of interest are biographies of Nora Joyce (wife), John Joyce (father), and Lucia (daughter). As well as My Brother’s Keeper by Joyce’s brother Stanislaus. Frank Budgen, an artist friend of Joyce’s also offers and excellent biographically informed explication of Ulysses in The Making of Ulysses.


General Approaches: too many to mention, but… here are some fundamentals

Stuart Gilbert’s James Joyce’s Ulysses (1930, the first book-length study and still useful, sanctioned by Joyce)

Blamires’ The New Bloomsday Book (1966/ 3rd, ’96)

Hart/Hayman’s James Joyce’s Ulysses (1974)

Kenner, Ulysses (1987)



Some recent critics/approaches

Gender Theory: Bonnie Kime Scott, Suzette Henke, Kim Devlin, Jolanta Wawrzycka, Mary Lowe Evans [Cixous, Kristeva have also written about Joyce]

Popular Culture: Cheryl Herr; Brandon Kershner; Garry Leonard; Jennifer Wicke, John Gordon, Thom Rice

Phychoanalysis: Jean Kimball

Lacanians: Sheldon Brivic, Christine von Boheemen-Saaf, Louis Armand

Derridaridians: Alan Roughey, Derek Attridge, Boheemen-Saaf

Chaos Theory/indeterminancy: Thom Rice, Garry Leonard, Peter Mackey, Tony Thwaites, Tim Conley

Post-Colonial: Vincent Cheng, Joseph Valente, Attridge and Howe, Enda Duffy, Andras Ungars

Genetic Studies and textual studies: Wim Van Mierlo, Finn Fordham, Luca Crispi, Gert van Lernout; John Kidd, Hans Gabler, Michael Grodin

Joyce and Humor: Roy Gottfried, Zach Bowen, Sebastian Knowles

Joyce and Music: Bowen, Mary Reynolds


General Critical Approaches that have a large presence in Joyce Studies (usually multiple books about the application of…)




French post-structuralism, generally





James Joyce Quarterly

Joyce Studies Annual

James Joyce Literary Supplement

Hypermedia Joyce