[SOLD OUT] In-Person Course | Reading Ulysses at The Rosenbach with Jean-Michel Rabaté

Date / Time

  • October 12, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • November 9, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • December 7, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • January 11, 2023
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • February 8, 2023
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • March 15, 2023
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • April 5, 2023
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • May 10, 2023
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • June 7, 2023
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States



Course Description

Ulysses, one of the most influential novels ever written, marks the culmination of high modernism that we place in 1922, the year it was published along with many other masterpieces. However, because of its undeniable difficulties, a great number of readers abandon it after a few attempts. Reading the text becomes easier as a group exercise. Our reading group will acquaint first-time readers with Ulysses and give those who are familiar with the novel an opportunity to deepen their engagement with it. Our meetings will start with a mini-lecture providing a general framework, but the core of our group activity will be textual discussions.

Our nine monthly sessions should give time to establish a learning curve as we will grapple with a text that can be compared with a living organism. We will not simply aim at the intellectual mastery that solves the text’s innumerable puzzles but also pose questions about the links between literature and everyday life while keeping in mind Joyce’s sense of fun, his tolerant humor, his awareness of the human body and his love of music, therapies of joyous survival all the more needed as we face a darkening world

Reading Ulysses at The Rosenbach Syllabus

About the Instructor

Jean-Michel Rabaté, Full Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania since 1992, is a co-editor of the Journal of Modern Literature, a co-founder of Slought Foundation, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

He has authored or edited more than forty books on modernism, psychoanalysis, philosophy and literary theory. He has taught in Princeton, Seoul (Yonsei), Manchester, Montreal, Paris and Dijon. 

Recent book titles include Rust (Bloomsbury, 2018), Kafka L.O.L. (Quodlibet, 2018), Beckett and Sade (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Rire au Soleil: Lacan, les affects et la literature, Paris, Campagne Première, (2019), Rires Prodigues: Rire et jouissance chez Marx, Freud et Kafka (Paris, Stilus, 2021) and  James Joyce, Hérétique et Prodigue (Stilus, 2022). He has edited  the collections After Derrida (2018), New Beckett (2019), Understanding Derrida / Understanding Modernism (2019), Knots: Post-Lacanian Readings of literature and film ( Routledge, 2020) and Historical Modernisms, Bloomsbury, 2022, co-edited with Angeliki Spiropolou. 

About Rosenbach Courses

Revisit beloved classics or experience new ones with Rosenbach courses. Book lovers delve into fiction, history, and poetry with the guidance of a literary expert and the company of other readers. See all upcoming courses.

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Image Caption: Ulysses manuscript and James Joyce death mask in the Rosenbach Library