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Ulysses for All 2024


Course

31 January — 5 June 2024

We were delighted to announce our annual Ulysses for All course. Join our global readership and guest speakers at the James Joyce Centre where Dr. Caroline Elbay will lead Ulysses for All 2024: “What is a Nation?” Ulysses and the World Today.

Course Details:
-Hybrid Zoom/In-Person at the James Joyce Centre
-Start Date: January 31st
-End Date: June 5th
-Time: Every Wednesday at 6-8pm GMT
-Fee: €200

The course description is below:

As we commence 2024 faced with myriad crises of humanity ranging from war and conflict in Europe and the Middle East, internal political unrest within the EU, continuing refugee crises, post-truth, fake news, etc., the sentiments of Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming” provide a chilling sense of prescience: “Turning and turning in the widening gyre…the centre cannot hold…Things fall apart…The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

In an attempt to consider the current world situation and attendant issues, Ulysses for All 2024 will focus on the question “What is a Nation?” and aim to arrive at a point where, even at a microcosmic level, an opportunity for what protagonist Leopold Bloom proclaims “I stand for the reform of …morals…New worlds for old…Union of all, jew, moslem and gentile…universal language with universal brotherhood” may be identified.

Ulysses is, without doubt, a pedagogic text – one that invites us to look into our own humanity and where Leopold Bloom undoubtedly constitutes Joyce’s attempt to embody the most humane attributes of a modern identity in a world engulfed by chaos due to religious, nationalist, and imperialist aggression – ideologies which Joyce would later dub “the wisdom of the old world.” Indeed, the idea of belonging to multiple “nations” simultaneously or, concentric nationalities, manifests nowhere better than in the character of Leopold Bloom, Joyce’s wandering, womanly, non-Jewish Jew.

While Joyce was among the hopeful integrationists of the era, his attitude is somewhat coloured by an underlying suspicion that fear and hatred are more enduring in humans than acceptance…hence the situations we face, again and again, over a century later; and whilst the target group or perceived “other” may have changed, the essentialist rhetoric remains the same.

The future has never been more unpredictable, depending on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of human interest or even common sense. Mankind appears divided between those who believe in human omnipotence (Supermen), and those for whom powerlessness has become the principal experience of their lives. It is not sufficient that we merely lament and theorise the problems of our era, but rather imperative that we, as human beings, shape the necessary and humane response.

We look forward to seeing you in Ulysses for All 2024!

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