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Call For Papers

Joyce Without Borders

2019 North American James Joyce Symposium

Mexico City, June 12-16

The 2019 North American James Joyce Symposium will be jointly hosted by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM). This will be the first annual gathering of Joyceans in the global south, as well as the first to host panels in both English and Spanish, and will thus foreground the excellent work on Joyce being done in both languages. Joyce has had a major impact on Latin American writers, who have found much to admire in Joyce’s bold experimentalism; his fusing of experiential details with universal concepts; his baroque profusion of words, languages, and styles; his critique of hegemonic structures of family, nation, and creed; and his resistance to myriad manifestations of imperialism.


Borders, boundaries, barriers: Joyce bowed to none. That is why this year’s Symposium is dedicated to the many ways in which Joyce was an artist without borders; to the ways in which his work, like his life, transcended conventional divisions. As Stephen Dedalus famously puts it, “I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning.” By celebrating Bloomsday in Mexico at this historical moment, the Symposium seeks to honor Joyce’s spirit of artistic freedom and exilic statement.


And yet, exile can have its pleasures. In 2016, the New York Times named Mexico City its number one tourism destination, atop a list of 52, calling it “A metropolis that has it all.” Among the many cultural, culinary, and architectural attractions the article describes, it mentions the “French-style 19th-century mansions of La Roma”, arguably the city’s most beautiful and cosmopolitan neighborhood. One of those mansions, the UNAM’s exquisite “Casa Universitaria del Libro”, will be the Symposium’s main venue. And since Mexico, like Ireland, is renowned for its hospitality, this Symposium aims to make good on that reputation, while also showcasing for attendees the deep influence Joyce’s work has had in this country.

The Symposium is proud to announce its confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Luz Aurora Pimentel, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Departments of English and Comparative Literature

  • Michael Wood, Princeton University, Departments of English and Comparative Literature

  • Terence Killeen, James Joyce Centre, Dublin

  • César Salgado, University of Texas, Austin, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

As with all annual conferences, this Symposium “without borders” is open to all kinds of contributions that address Joyce, directly or indirectly, in the form of scholarly papers as well as creative or multi-media presentations and installations. It welcomes proposals for paper presentations, fully-formed panels, and roundtables, as well as exhibitions of artistic, multimedia or digital work. Presenters are limited to one paper and one other type of participation (artist, panel-chair, respondent, etc.).


We are particularly interested in contributions that engage with the transcendence of borders, broadly conceived, such as those pertaining to nation, language, identity, race, religion, gender, class, psychology, artistic form, literary genre, avant garde movements, historical periods, and popular culture. Possible topics include:


  • Transnational modernism

  • Comparative poetics

  • Joyce’s influence on Mexican and other Latin American writers

  • Migration of immigrants/transmigration of souls

  • Recycling/recomposing/reframing

  • Transcontinental intertextuality, influence, and erudition (south-north, east-west, etc.)

  • Theology, theosophy, and other traditions in Western and Eastern thought

  • Consumerist circulation, mass production, and globalization

  • Popular culture in Joyce / Joyce in popular culture

  • Diasporas, dispersions, dislocations

  • Posthumanism and transhumanism

  • Transcultural genetic criticism

  • Gender studies, queer studies

  • “Binomeans to be comprendered”: translating Joyce

  • Postcolonial affinities: Ireland and the global south

  • The individual writer and psychoanalysis

  • Bioliterary or ecological propagations

  • Intercrossings of writing, plastic arts, music, film, drama, dance, performance


The Symposium invites proposals for individual papers, fully-formed panels, and roundtables, in English or Spanish, as well as multi-media/digital exhibitions, and roundtable proposals. Please send to, beginning the subject line with the word “PROPOSAL” for English proposals, and “PROPUESTA” for Spanish proposals.


For individual papers (no more than 20 minutes in length), please submit the following information:


First and last names, academic affiliation (if applicable), title of paper, a brief abstract (maximum 300 words), and a brief bio (maximum 250 words).


For fully-formed panel proposals, the panel chair should submit the following:


Panel title, first and last names of all participants (no more than four), academic affiliations of all participants (if applicable), email addresses of all participants, titles for each paper, name and affiliation of chair (if applicable) and any respondents (maximum 2), a brief abstract for the panel as a whole (maximum 500 words), and a brief bio for each participant (maximum 250 words). Individual speakers on these panels need not submit abstracts separately. The panel chair has the option to present a paper, but please note it is customary for the chair to be scheduled last. Panels must be entirely in English or Spanish.


Most panel sessions will last 90 minutes. Certificates of participation in the conference will be made available to those who present and subsequently request documentation. We encourage participating scholars to be paid-up members of the International James Joyce Foundation.


Organizing Committee


  • Dr. James Ramey, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Cuajimalpa, Department of Humanities

  • Dra. Aurora Piñeiro, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Department of English Literature

  • Mtra. Argentina Rodríguez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Department of English Literature

  • Dr. Mario Murgia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Department of English Literature


Please note: The historic building in which the Symposium will be held, La Casa Universitaria del Libro, is unfortunately not accessible to persons with restricted mobility in all of the conference rooms. However, the Symposium will make every effort to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend, so please do not hesitate to send related queries to

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