CFP: Omniscientific Joyce 2020

Between 15 and 19 June 2020, the Università degli studi di Trieste will host the 27th International James Joyce Symposium in Trieste, the city that Joyce dubbed “la mia seconda patria” and his home for over a decade.

© Alexandros Karavas

Trieste has been named the European Capital of Science for 2020, and we propose the theme of “Omniscientific Joyce” for this year’s symposium. The arts and the humanities have always been a vital part of scientific inquiry, an inclusiveness that is still found in terms like the German Wissenschaft. We bear in mind Joyce’s interest in and use of sciences from astronomy to astrology – and from Giambattista Vico’s Scienza Nuova (1725) to Bertrand Russell’s Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1919) – and also the sciences’ use of Joyce (“Three quarks for Muster Mark!’). We hope to look at the connections between science and popular culture as mediated through Joyce and the “distinguished scientist Herr Professor Luitpold Blumenduft.” We will engage with the ongoing debate about science and literature and, more particularly, science and modernism. In keeping with recent symposia, we also welcome contributions that respond to the conference theme from a creative standpoint, in various forms and different mediums.

Suggested topics for papers include (but are not limited to) Joyce and:

  • Knowledge or the pursuit of knowledge; book-learning and expertise; experiment
  • The Two Cultures; science and the humanities; the science of the humanities
  • Difficulty and the hard sciences
  • Medieval science; the trivium and the quadrivium
  • The New Science
  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century advances in the sciences (evolution, relativity etc.)
  • Climate science; social sciences; micro and macro
  • Linguistics, the science of language and the language of science
  • Ethnography and primitivism
  • Pseudoscience
  • Digital humanities
  • Posthumanism and the New Materialisms
  • Omniscient narration
  • Joyce’s know-alls (Bloom, Shaun the post, Joyceans).

The symposium invites proposals for individual papers and fully-formed panels that address the conference theme or any aspect of Joyce studies. Participants are limited to one paper and one non-paper panel appearance (e.g. as panel chair or respondent). All participants must be members in good standing of the International James Joyce Foundation; non-members or members whose registration has lapsed will not be scheduled.

To propose an individual paper, please submit a 250-word abstract that includes the speaker’s name and academic affiliation (if applicable) alongside the paper title. To propose a panel, the panel chair should submit a 500-word abstract for the panel as a whole that includes the names, academic affiliations, and email addresses of all participants; the title of the panel as well as the titles of each individual paper; and the name and affiliation of the panel chair and respondent (if any). Please note that panels should have a maximum of four speakers. The panel chair may also give a paper – but please note that in this case it is customary for the panel chair to be scheduled last. Please note any date restrictions for individual panelists.

The deadline for paper or panel proposals will be 2 February 2020. Proposals can be sent to