ENGL 4P45: James Joyce’s Ulysses

Instructor: Professor Tim Conley
Class times: Tues 17:00-20:00
Office: GLA 125
Office hours: Mon 14:00-16:00
E-mail: tconley@brocku.ca
Office phone: (905) 688-5550 ext. 5196

Course overview
First published in 1922, James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is heralded by many writers, readers, and institutions as the greatest novel of the twentieth century, while it also enjoys the perverse distinction of being one the most difficult and demanding books ever written. This course offers students the opportunity to read and discuss Ulysses closely as a group, using various theoretical perspectives and reading approaches. 

Required Texts
Don Gifford, Ulysses Annotated
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses*

*Note: we will be using the Oxford edition of the 1922 Ulysses (ed. Jeri Johnson), and though students may certainly opt to use other editions of the novel, they should be aware that (1) as we will discuss in class, Ulysses has a complicated and often troubled history of editions and editorial differences, so there are very debatable degrees of quality between editions, and some (especially the “Reader’s Edition” edited by Danis Rose) should probably be avoided; and (2) students with an edition other than the Oxford may at times feel a little lost when the rest of the class identifies a certain page number or detail.

Recommended Texts
Students should make sure that they possess a decent dictionary (Joyce’s vocabulary can get a little overwhelming). The Oxford English Dictionary is especially recommended. Also, it would be useful to have a copy of Homer’s The Odyssey.

Marking scheme
Evaluation will be based upon performance on two essays (the first worth 20%, the second 40%), a seminar presentation (worth 20%), and seminar participation (worth 20%). Students who miss more than three classes (documented emergencies excepted) will not be permitted to pass the course. Students will receive at least 15% of the grade by March 1, and should note that the last day to drop a D3 course without penalty is March 8.

Late policy
A penalty of three percent (3%) for each day late, including weekends, will be incurred in all cases except certified emergencies. Papers more than tend days late will not be accepted. Requests for extensions sent by email will not be entertained. Please note that completion of all assignments is required to pass the course. Those students who have not collected their first essay from the instructor by the time the second essay is due forfeit the right to any commentary on the second essay.

Simply: don’t even think about it. Students are referred to Brock University’s official policy on plagiarism (see Undergraduate Calendar, Academic Regulations and University Policies, VII. Academic Misconduct), and they are further advised that the instructor has an especially low view of such behaviour. Decisions for penalties in such cases are made by the Associate Dean, but the instructor will recommend a minimum penalty of a grade of zero for the assignment.

Medical Emergencies
All students should familiarize themselves with Brock’s Medical Exemption policy and follow its procedures if necessary (see http://www.brocku.ca/healthservices/exemption.php).

Laptops and Other Electronic Media
The use of laptops in seminars is not permitted (exceptions will be made for students whose disabilities require the use of a laptop: such students should inform the instructor and/or seminar leader of this at the soonest opportunity). Cell phones, blackberries, and other social media should be shut off in class: use of such media in these settings is both disrespectful and demonstrative of poor attention to the course, and may be penalized in participation grades.

January 8: course introduction
January 15: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
January 22: “Telemachus” and “Nestor”
January 29: “Proteus” and “Calypso”
February 5: “Lotus-Eaters” and “Hades”
February 12: “Aeolus” and “Lestrygonians”
February 19: [Reading Week: no class]
February 26: “Scylla and Charybdis” and “Wandering Rocks”
March 5: “Sirens” and “Cyclops”
March 12: “Nausicaa” and “Oxen of the Sun”
March 19: “Circe”
March 26: “Eumaeus” and “Ithaca”
April 2: “Penelope” and course review

Due dates
February 12: Essay #1 due (to be handed in in class)
April 16: Essay #2 due (to be handed in during special office hours)

Further Reading
Other Works by Joyce:
Chamber Music (1907): poetry
Dubliners (1914): short stories
Exiles (1918): a play
Pomes Penyeach (1927): poetry
Finnegans Wake (1939): a “collideorscape”
Stephen Hero (1944): the abandoned first draft of A Portrait
(There are also three published volumes of Joyce’s letters.)

Bowker, Gordon. James Joyce: A New Biography. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.
Costello, Peter. James Joyce: The Years of Growth (1882-1915). New York: Pantheon, 1992.
Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford UP, 1982.
Joyce, Stanislaus. The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce. Ed. George H. Healey. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1971.
—. My Brother’s Keeper. London: Faber and Faber, 1958.
Maddox, Brenda. Nora: A Biography of Nora Joyce. London: Hamilton, 1988. [Note: US title: Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.]
McCourt, John. The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste 1904-1920. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 2000.
Power, Arthur R. Conversations with James Joyce. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1974.

General Studies
Attridge, Derek. Joyce Effects: On Language, Theory, and History. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000.
Attridge, Derek, ed. The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990.
Kenner, Hugh. Dublin’s Joyce. London: Chatto and Windus, 1955.
—. Joyce’s Voices. London: Faber and Faber, 1978.
Latham, Sean, ed. James Joyce: Visions and Revisions. Dublin: Irish Academic P, 2009.
Levin, Harry. James Joyce: A Critical Introduction. Rev. ed. Norfolk: New Directions, 1960.
McCourt, John, ed. James Joyce in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009.
Norris, Margot. Joyce’s Web: The Social Unraveling of Modernism. Austin: U of Texas P, 1992.
Senn, Fritz. Inductive Scrutinies: Focus on Joyce. Ed. Christine O’Neill. Dublin: Lilliput P, 1995.
—. Joyce’s Dislocutions: Essays on Reading as Translation. Ed. John Paul Riquelme. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1984.
Tindall, William York. A Reader’s Guide to James Joyce. New York: Noonday P, 1959.

Books on Ulysses
Arnold, Bruce. The Scandal of Ulysses. New York: St. Martin’s P, 1991.
Attridge, Derek, ed. Ulysses: A Casebook. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004.
Blamires, Harry. The Bloomsday Book: A Guide through Joyce's Ulysses. London: Methuen, 1966.
Birmingham, Kevin. The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses. New York: Penguin, 2014.
Brannon, Julie Sloan. Who Reads Ulysses?: The Rhetoric of the Joyce Wars and the Common Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003.
Budgen, Frank. James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses, and Other Writings. London: Oxford UP, 1972.
Crispi, Luca. Joyce’s Creative Process and the Construction of Characters in Ulysses: Becoming the Blooms. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2015.
Duffy, Enda. The Subaltern Ulysses. Minneapolis: U of Minneapolis, 1994.
Ellmann, Richard. Ulysses on the Liffey. New York: Oxford UP, 1979.
French, Marilyn. The Book as World: James Joyce’s Ulysses. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1976.
Gabler, Hans Walter. The Rocky Road to “Ulysses.” Dublin: National Library of Ireland, 2005.
Gilbert, Stuart. James Joyce’s Ulysses. 1930. New York: Knopf, 1952.
Groden, Michael. Ulysses in Focus: Genetic, Textual, and Personal Views. Gainesville: UP of Florida, 2012.
—. Ulysses in Progress. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1977.
Gunn, Ian, and Clive Hart. James Joyce’s Dublin: A Topographical Guide to the Dublin of Ulysses. London: Thames and Hudson, 2004.
Hart, Clive, and David Hayman, eds. James Joyce’s Ulysses: Critical Essays. Berkeley: U of California P, 1977.
Hayman, David. Ulysses: The Mechanics of Meaning. Rev. ed. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1982.
Kenner, Hugh. Ulysses. Rev. ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1987.
Kiberd, Declan. Ulysses and Us: The Art of Everyday Life in Joyce’s Masterpiece. New York; London: Norton, 2009.
Killeen, Terence. Ulysses Unbound: A Reader’s Companion to James Joyce’s Ulysses. Bray: Wordwell, 2004.
Latham, Sean. The Cambridge Companion to “Ulysses.” Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2014.
Lawrence, Karen. The Odyssey of Style in Ulysses. New York: Oxford UP, 1991.
Schwaber, Paul. The Cast of Characters: A Reading of Ulysses. New Haven: Yale UP, 1999.
Schwarz, Daniel R. Reading Joyce’s Ulysses. New York: St. Martin’s, 1987.
Thornton, Weldon. Allusions in Ulysses: An Annotated List. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1968.

Genetic Joyce Studies (online)
Hypermedia Joyce Studies (online)
James Joyce Broadsheet
James Joyce Literary Supplement
James Joyce Quarterly
Joyce Studies Annual

A much fuller bibliography is available online at

And a still more extensive bibliography, the biggest of its kind, is the Checklist maintained by the James Joyce Quarterly (see the journal’s website)