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The Australian National University

Books that Changed Humanity: Ulysses


Friday, 4 August 2017 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm


SRWB Theatrette 2.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building


Dr Frances Devlin-Glass (Deakin University)


Books that Changed Humanity is an initiative of the Humanities Research Centre, based at the Australian National University. The HRC invites experts to introduce and lead discussion of major texts from a variety of cultural traditions, all of which have informed the way we understand ourselves both individually and collectively as human beings.

Join us as Dr Frances Devlin-Glass (Deakin University) introduces James Joyce's Ulysses.

Why does Joyce’s Ulysses, almost 100 years after its first publication in 1922, still continue to shock and enthrall? In what ways does it contest the notion of what a novel is, and to what ends? How is Ulysses intellectually radical? This public lecture attempts to explain the risks its writer was prepared to take to publish on his own terms and why Ulysses was so slow to acquire its status as a canonical text. The lecture aims to illuminate Joyce’s ‘jocoserious’ but systematic iconoclasm (especially in relation to the literary canon, religion, nationalism and the newly emerging disciplines of sexology), and to argue that the novel is not just for the literati but for anyone who is curious about what it means to be human, and in particular to live in a body.

All members of the public are welcome to come, listen, and share their thoughts about some great works of literature over a friendly glass of wine.

Register here.



Dr Frances Devlin-Glass is Honorary Associate Professor (Literary Studies) at Deakin University (Melbourne). She taught literature at ANU and University of Canberra before moving to Deakin. She was the founding Director of Bloomsday in Melbourne in 1994, which annually mounts original plays inspired by James Joyce's fiction.

Updated: 28 June 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head, HRC / Page Contact:  HRC administration