What makes James Joyce’s classic novel from 1922, Ulysses, one of the best-known yet also–because of its mighty challenges–the least read of perhaps all of the world’s most recognizable books? In this three-part series, we will do a “deep dive” into this fascinating work, unpacking its mysteries and exploring its insights on a dizzying array of subjects: from ancient literature and modern fiction to Irish politics, Joyce’s own “exilic” biography, and the vigorous literary avant-garde of the early twentieth century.
This seminar is led by award-winner author, scholar, and teacher Joseph Luzzi, Professor of Comparative Literature at Bard College. Together we will develop a reading of Joyce’s novel as we create the tools for entering into his complex verbal world and making sense of a book that, in Joyce’s own words, contained “so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries.
Recommended book edition: James Joyce, Ulysses (The Gabler Edition; Vintage, 1986)
Lecture 1: Stephen Hero
Our first session will introduce us to Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom as we focus on Ulysses, Part 1, Episodes 1–3, and Part 2, Episodes 4–11.
Lecture 2: A Day in the Life
Our second session will take us through the city of Dublin’s role as a character when we focus on Ulysses, Part 2, Episodes 12–15.
Lecture 3: Molly’s World
Our third and final session will explore Molly Bloom’s thoughts and her place in this world when we focus on Ulysses, Part 3, Episodes 16–18.
Joseph Luzzi received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is a Professor of Comparative Literature and Faculty Member in Italian Studies at Bard College, where he has taught since 2002 after being a visiting faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania. A frequent contributor to publications including the New York Times, TLS, and Chronicle of Higher Education, he is the author of 5 books, including "My Two Italies," a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and "In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love," a Vanity Fair “Must-Read” selection. His work has been translated into multiple languages and his many awards include a Yale College Teaching Prize, Dante Society of America Essay Prize, and Wallace Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, Harvard's Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. In 2017 he was named Cittadino Onorario/Honorary Citizen in Acri, Calabria, his Italian parents' birthplace. His next book is "Botticelli's Secret: The Lost Drawings and the Rediscovery of the Renaissance," which will be published by W. W. Norton. Professor Luzzi is the founder of the Virtual Book Club, an online community of readers dedicated to exploring some of the best books ever written. Learn more at JosephLuzzi.com.
How does it work?
This is a three-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.
Is there a reading list in advance?
Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. You will receive this soon after course registration.
How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 60 minutes long with time for Q&A.
How much is the course?
The course is $105 for three lectures.
Is a recording available?
Yes. If you need to miss a lecture, you will be sent a recording within 48 hours following the event.
Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).
60 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.