Convenors: Dirk Vanderbeke (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena) and Katarzyna Bazarnik (Jagiellonian University)
Joyce as a humanist has been at the core of critical and scholarly engagement with the work of the Irish writer. From Judge Woolsey’s verdict on Ulysses as “a sincere and serious attempt to devise a new literary method for the observation and description of mankind”, through readings of Leopold Bloom as an expression of Joyce's liberal humanism, to Sean P. Murphy’s underscoring “Joyce's three-dimensional characters” as a proof of “his humanist investment in the agency of the individual who is located within extensive networks of ideology and discourse”, Joyce’s humanism has been persuasively argued for. Equally persuasively, the Irish writer has been posed or exposed as a radical-anti-humanist, as humanism’s enemy, and harsh critic. The “the observation and description of mankind,” however, also includes the human as a physical being, and Joyce’s interest in, and concern with human biology, our bodies, but also our evolution, permeate his works. Hence, we invite papers revisiting the questions of “Joyce and humanism / Joyce and the human” in the 21st century”.