James Joyce, Ulysses, and the Construction of Jewish Identity

Neil R. Davison, James Joyce, Ulysses, and the Construction of Jewish Identity: Culture, Biography, and ‘the Jew’ in Modernist Europe, Cambridge University Press, 1998

Neil Davison
Neil R. Davison is professor of late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century British literature and Irish Renaissance studies at Oregon State University. He has published widely on Joyce’s writings as well as on other twentieth-century Irish writers, nineteenth- and twentieth-century Jewish cultural studies and Holocaust literature. He has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation and the Center for the Humanities at Oregon State University. He is presently at work on a new book, tentatively titled Modernity and “The Jew”: Gender, Jewishness, and Zionism From the Modern to the Postmodern, which includes new scholarship on Joyce’s interest in and use of the Zionist controversies of his era.
Representations of “the Jew” have long been a topic of interest in Joyce studies. Neil Davison argues that Joyce’s lifelong encounter with pseudo-scientific, religious, and political discourse about “the Jew” forms a unifying component of his career. He offers new biographical material, and presents a detailed reading of Ulysses to show how Joyce confronts the controversy of “race,” the psychology of internalized stereotype, and the contradictions of fin-de-siècle anti-Semitism.

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