The Will to Forget: Memory, the Nation, and Ulysses | In Conversation with Vincent Cheng

Date / Time

  • June 9, 2021
    7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Much scholarly and scientific work has been done in recent decades on issues having to do with memory: Alzheimer’s, trauma, remembrance, memorials and monuments, truth and reconciliation. Memory studies are a notable presence in contemporary studies of culture but hardly anyone ever talks about the desirability or usefulness of forgetting. This presentation considers the importance of forgetting, especially in terms of the nation, national forgetting, and imperialism–and then focuses on one particular literary case study, James Joyce’s treatment of these issues in Ulysses.

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About the Speaker

Vincent J. Cheng is the Shirley Sutton Thomas Professor of English, and Distinguished Professor, at the University of Utah. He is the author of many scholarly articles and books, including Joyce, Race, and Empire, Shakespeare and Joyce: A Study of “Finnegans Wake”, “Le Cid”: A Translation in Rhymed Couplets, Inauthentic: The Anxiety Over Culture and Identity, and—most recently—Amnesia and the Nation: History, Forgetting, and James Joyce (2018). His work addresses the intersections of postcolonial studies, race studies, twentieth-century literature, and contemporary culture.


Bloomsday 2021 is made possible through a generous grant from The Consulate General of Ireland’s Emigrant Support Programme. Special thanks to Lenore H. Steiner and Perry A. Lerner. 


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