News Release - Huntington Conference to Celebrate the Centennial of James Joyce’s “Ulysses”

Oct. 26, 2021

“Joycean Cartographies” conference will take place at The Huntington Feb. 2–4, 2022.

SAN MARINO, Calif.—To mark the centennial of the publication of James Joyce’s groundbreaking modernist novel Ulysses, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens will present an academic conference, “Joycean Cartographies: Navigating a New Century of Ulysses,” Feb. 2–4, 2022. On Feb. 2, 1922, Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare & Company celebrated Joyce’s 40th birthday with the publication of Ulysses in Paris.

In tandem with the conference, The Huntington will host an exhibition, “Mapping Fiction,” focused on novels and maps from The Huntington’s collections that range from the 16th through the 20th century, including a first edition of Ulysses and cartographically inspired engravings of Dublin as the city is depicted in the novel, created by the late Irish artist and printmaker David Lilburn.

Joyce’s Ulysses—set in Dublin, Ireland, on June 16, 1904—uses the city as a map as well as a palimpsest on which to inscribe Joyce’s vision of the world past and present. The conference’s five panels of talks will investigate Joyce’s strategies for narrating the modern city and the extension of Joycean narrative techniques to novels about other cities. The panel titles are: “Cityscapes: Paris, Dublin, Trieste”; “Countermappings”; “Concentric Circles and Venn Diagrams”; “Sensory Mapping”; and “The Global South.”

The conference days will be punctuated by short “Ulysses on the Clock” segments, readings of the text at the time of day at which they are set, serving as a reminder of the circadian structure of the novel and hearkening to the playful nature of annual international Joyce conferences.

On Feb. 1, the evening before the conference begins, keynote speaker Ato Quayson, the Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and professor of English at Stanford University, will deliver the Ridge Lecture on “Spatial Theory in Ulysses and Postcolonial Literature,” which will serve as a bridge between the “Mapping Fiction” exhibition and the conference. Earlier on the same day, The Huntington will host two graduate seminars on Joyce—one in person and one virtual.

Novelist and keynote speaker Karen Tei Yamashita will discuss her novel Tropic of Orange (Coffee House Press, 1997), set in Los Angeles and in many ways a version of Ulysses for LA. The novel has been included in the “Mapping Fiction” exhibition. The map on the novel’s book jacket was designed by Yamashita’s husband and collaborator, Ronaldo Lopes de Oliveira. Yamashita will describe her process of creating the novel’s form and then present new work inspired by Brazilian modernism and set in the Amazon rainforest, extending ideas of cartographies into contemporary global and planetary spaces.

Catherine Flynn, professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, will kick off the first day of the conference with a keynote talk, “In media urbe: Experiencing the City of Ulysses,” focused on Lilburn’s set of engravings.

Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence, one of four members of the program committee for the conference, is a Joyce scholar whose books include The Odyssey of Style in Ulysses (Princeton University Press, 1982), Transcultural Joyce (Cambridge University Press, 1998), and Who’s Afraid of James Joyce? (The University Press of Florida, 2010). “My passion for Joyce is linked to his capacious imagination, the broadest and deepest I have ever encountered, with the possible exception of Shakespeare’s,” said Lawrence. The three other program committee members are Kevin Dettmar, the W.M. Keck Professor of English and director of The Humanities Studio at Pomona College; Colleen Jaurretche, continuing lecturer in the Department of English at UCLA; and Karla Nielsen, curator of literary collections at The Huntington.

Nielsen is also the curator of “Mapping Fiction,” on view in the Library’s West Hall from Jan. 15 through May 2, 2022. The exhibition features about 70 items, focused on novels and maps drawn entirely from The Huntington’s collections—largely early editions of books that include elaborate maps of imaginary worlds.

About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, a collections-based research and educational institution, aspires to be a welcoming place of engagement and reflection for a diverse community. The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Visitor information: huntington.org or 626-405-2100. (Check huntington.org for updates on visitation protocols due to COVID-19.)

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Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260, [email protected]

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