Ulysses centenary: Lecture looks at the unsung women in James Joyce’s life

A lecture marking the centenary of James Joyce’s Ulysses will focus on the women who helped the Irish author make his landmark novel a success.

Dr Clare Hutton will lead the free online event being held on February 2 – exactly 100 years since the first publication of the book.

The lecture will introduce some of the key ideas, objects, and people featured in an upcoming exhibition being held at the Harry Ransom Center, in Texas, USA, called, Women and the Making of Joyce’s Ulysses.

Dr Hutton is the curator of the new exhibition and will discuss the behind-the-scenes labour of three gay American women who feature – Margaret Anderson, Sylvia Beach, and Jane Heap – as well as British publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver.

Her lecture will examine questions such as:

  • What did these women do to facilitate the making of the work?
  • What actually happened on February 2, 1922?
  • Who were the first readers of Ulysses?
  • How did they obtain their copies and what did they make of the book?

The exhibition, Women and the Making of Joyce’s Ulysses, shows more than 150 rare objects, including a first edition of Ulysses, page proofs for its first printing, original copies of The Little Review, manuscripts in Joyce’s hand, rare books, printed ephemera, photographs, and unpublished letters from Joyce and members of his family.

Dr Hutton said: “The Ransom Center holds many remarkable objects that help to tell the story of how important women were to Joyce’s success.  The exhibition will reveal a more social story of how Ulysses came into being, and unpack an image and myth that Joyce cultivated quite strongly—that of lone genius struggling with a public and publishers who failed to recognize his genius and wished to thwart and silence his literary efforts.”

Dr Hutton is Reader in English and Digital Humanities at Loughborough University Women and the Making of Joyce’s Ulysses, a centenary Ulysses exhibition, will shortly go on display at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Hutton’s monograph, Serial Encounters: Ulysses and the Little Review (OUP, 2019) has just been reissued in paperback. Her other research includes editing The Irish Book in English, 1891-2000 (OUP, 2011), and many essays on Yeats, Joyce, and the Irish Literary Revival.

To book onto the lecture visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/curators-introduction-women-and-the-making-of-joyces-ulysses-registration-250371145837?keep_tld=1