English Professors Edit Annual Journal on James Joyce

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Sir Tom Stoppard, British playwright and screenwriter, described James Joyce as “an essentially private man, who wished his total indifference to public notice to be universally recognized.” However much Joyce succeeded in this, it’s obvious he had and still maintains public notice.

Fordham professors of English Philip Sicker, Ph.D.,, and Moshe Gold, Ph.D. co-edit a Joyce Studies Annuala collection of essays by foremost scholars and emerging voices in the field. The collection was originally a University of Texas Press publication, but has since been revived at Fordham University Press.

The advisory board of Joyce Studies Annual consists of 35 international scholars. In past volumes the collection has included a multitude of articles, with topics and titles such as “A Wakean Whodunit: Death and Authority in Finnegan’s Wake” and “1904: A Space Odyssey”. These annual volumes have created a vast, accessible resource for interested scholars and students alike.

In 2007 when the collection was moved to Fordham, Sicker and Gold took over at the helm. The two were determined to appeal to a broader audience; now included in the collection are essays more accessible to undergraduate students and non-academics, said Sicker. “Over the past ten years, we have, I think, managed to strike a balance between demanding, cutting-edge scholarship and essays of broader interest,” he wrote.

It’s the “inexhaustible nature of Joyce’s work” that motivates Sicker to co-edit this collection each year. He believes Joyce “accommodates each new critical perspective” and so remains relevant over time. Even his earlier Dubliners stories continue to inspire fervent debate in the field, while denser texts like Finnegan’s Wake have been decoded further and further still in the years since its publication in 1939.

To outsiders, James Joyce’s 100-year appeal can be mystifying. However, Sicker calls his masterwork Ulysses “probably the most seminal and influential novel of the twentieth century.” Joyce himself once claimed the book would keep English scholars busy well into the next century, and it hasThe controversial novel was involved in a 1933 court case which, in a now-celebrated triumph against censorship, ended in its American release with Random House publishers. It is set on a single day in Dublin. Sicker believes however, that it “contains the world.”

Joyce Studies Annual invites submissions concerned with any aspect of Joyce’s work. It has a special interest in essays on historical, archival or comparative issues. The 2015 issue is available here. The 2016 issue is available this month and marks Joyce Studies Annual’s 10th anniversary at Fordham.

– Kiran Singh

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