In June 1906, James Joyce wrote to his publisher Grant Richards, who suggested changes to Dubliners for mitigating the text’s supposed ‘indecency’, “I seriously believe that you will retard the course of civilization in Ireland by preventing the Irish people from having one good look at themselves in my nicely polished looking-glass.” Joyce’s metaphor recalls the popular Wildean aphorism, first published in the preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray: “The nineteenth century dislike of Realism is the rage of Caliban at seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of Romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.” From Caliban’s mirror in Dorian Gray to Stephen Dedalus’s “cracked lookingglass of a servant” in Ulysses and everything in between, Oscar Wilde and James Joyce, both voluntary exiles from Ireland, are reflections of each other, of Dublin, and of a particular moment in Irish writing and history. Separately, they are two of the best-known writers to come out of Ireland; together, they paint a portrait of Ireland’s literary history and influence generations of writers to come.
“Caliban’s Mirror”: The 2022 Wilde and Joyce Symposium will be held the 5th and 6th of May, 2022 at Trinity College Dublin’s Long Room Hub.
Never before has there been an academic conference on the relationship between these two Irish writers. Perhaps even more startling to those familiar with ‘the Joyce industry’ will be the knowledge that there has never been an edited collection of essays on Joyce and Wilde. Dozens of volumes Joyce Studies appear every year, many of which are ‘Joyce and ____’ books; we’ve seen Beckett and Joyce, Shaw and Joyce, Derrida and Joyce, Joyce and Aquinas, Joyce and Lacan, Joyce et Mallarmé, Vico and Joyce, Joyce and Jung, Virgil and Joyce, Joyce/Shakespeare, Joyce/Foucault, Re: Joyce’n Beckett… the list goes on. So why not Joyce and Wilde? It is our intention to publish a selection of papers from this symposium in order to fill this obvious gap.
The 2022 Wilde and Joyce Symposium welcomes papers that bring these two Irish writers together in innovative ways. Suggested topics include (but are of course not limited to):
- Joyce and Wildean drama
- Decadence and Degeneration
- Reputation and Scandal
- Wilde(s) in the Wake
- Pictures and Portraits
- Queering Irish Modernism(s)
- “loves that dare not speak their name”
- Wilde the Modernist
- Afterlives of the flâneur
- The Wilde Trials, libel, and litigation
- Oscar Wilde: il poeta di “Salomé”
- Wilde’s Ghost
- The English Players
- Ireland and Exiles
Papers may include other authors, but those which prominently feature Joyce or Wilde (preferably both) will be given priority for inclusion both in the symposium and the subsequent edited volume.
Proposals for 20-minute papers (300 words), four-paper panels (500 words), and roundtable discussions (350 words) can be submitted to email@example.com. Please include a short bio and indicate whether or not you would like your paper to be considered for publication along with your submission. We also welcome nontraditional presentations, art projects, and poster proposals.
Interested in partnering with “Caliban’s Mirror”? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information regarding sponsorship opportunities.