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The Shakespeare and Company Project


The James Joyce Centre was delighted to host Associate Professor Joshua Kotin of Princeton University to discuss his work as director of The Shakespeare and Company Project.

In 1919, an American woman named Sylvia Beach opened an English-language bookshop and lending library in Paris. She called it Shakespeare and Company and it quickly became the meeting place for a community of writers and artists now known as the lost generation. In 1922, Beach published James Joyce’s Ulysses under the Shakespeare and Company imprint, a feat that made her and her bookshop and lending library famous around the world.

The Shakespeare and Company Project is a digital humanities initiative at Princeton that uses Beach’s archives to tell new stories about the lost generation. Founded in 2020, the Project details what members of the bookshop and lending library community read and where they lived. The Project also addresses questions about literary history, offering new insights about Joyce’s readership and the development of modernism.

Prof. Kotin outlined how the Shakespeare and Company Project was made: how archives became data, and how data can illuminate new ways of understanding canonical literature. He also discussed the Project’s many challenges and future goals.

The event was hosted in association with University College Dublin.

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