James Joyce Conference: April 2010

James Joyce in the Nineteenth Century
The North-East Irish Culture Network announces an upcoming conference on James Joyce, to be held at Durham University in April 2010:

NEICN Irish Studies Conference
James Joyce in the Nineteenth Century

Joyce’s position as a key figure within modernism and as a formative influence in modern Irish and European culture is assured. His work has long been understood as anticipating so much that seemingly ‘followed’, from Irish Independence to deconstruction and postmodern globalisation. Derrida describes how it is “always too late with Joyce” since he anticipates and even “invents” us. The famous opening to Richard Ellmann’s 1959 biography - “We are still learning to be James Joyce’s contemporaries” – itself heralded a late-twentieth century reading of modernism as avant la lettre. Even as far back as 1920, in The Dial, Joyce was hailed as a ‘Contemporary of the Future’.

But what was Joyce’s relationship with the nineteenth century (into which he was born and educated)? How should that relationship be thought in light of the persistence of his contemporaneity? How was the modernity of Joyce, and of us, already a feature of the 19th century? In what ways does modernity carry its own uneven conditions? Can we say with assurance that the 19th century was an age that ‘preceded’ him? How have the major intellectual and historical factors of the period – such as the growth of capital and commodity culture, liberalism and technology, gender and imperial politics, decentered subjectivity, etc. – been both necessary and contingent in our formulation of Joyce? By putting Joyce back into the nineteenth century, and by putting the nineteenth century back into Joyce, we hope to re-read some of the major cultural developments of ‘our times’.

In association with the Leverhulme-funded project ‘Consumer Culture, Advertising and Ireland, 1848-1921’, an international and interdisciplinary conference called James Joyce in the Nineteenth Century to be held at St.Chad’s College, Durham University will address these and related questions. The conference will feature several high profile keynote speakers - Anne Fogarty, Luke Gibbons, Andrew Gibson, Emer Nolan and Jennifer Wicke - and will result in a major new volume of essays.

Papers are invited on any aspect of Joyce’s relationship to the nineteenth century or on topics germane to the ‘Consumer Culture, Advertising and Ireland, 1848-1921’ project. Issues may include:
  • Joyce and 19th Century Ireland (its history, politics and literature)
  • Joyce and Consumer Culture and/or Advertising
  • Joyce and Liberalism
  • Joyce and Marx
  • Joyce and pertinent 19th Century European traditions
  • Joyce and nationalism and/or imperialism
  • Joyce and changing public spaces and/or the formation of privacy
  • The social function of the novel
  • Joyce and forms of realism or naturalism
  • Joyce and 19th Century Ireland (its history, politics and literature)