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Bloomsday 2014: Building Communities

(Photos below)

The Modernist Versions Project might just be the only digital humanities project to launch in a pub and partner with a brewery in the celebration of Bloomsday!

On June 16,  2012, the Modernist Versions Project officially started with the announcement of our “Year of Ulysses” initiative celebrated at the James Joyce Bistro in downtown Victoria.

In 2013, MVP Co-Directors Stephen Ross and Matt Huculak taught a versioning course at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, which ended with a Bloomsday lecture by Hans Walter Gabler (followed by readings at the James Joyce Bistro!).

This year, thanks to a unique partnership with the University Library, The Department of English, and The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, MVP Co-Director, Dr. J. Matthew Huculak and Kathy Bohlman, MAS, launched “From Paris to Victoria: Giséle Freund’s James Joyce Photographs” in the Mearns Centre for Learning, Special Collections in the University of Victoria Library (June 16-July 10, 2014). This photographic exhibition highlights the Gisèle Freund Fonds held by the University of Victoria Library and includes the most intimate photographs ever taken of Joyce and his family. The exhibit also includes the Joyce-inspired art of Robert Amos, RCA.

The Bloomsday lecture for the grand opening of the exhibit brought in over 50 members from our Victorian community–including the grandniece of James Joyce! The lecture by Huculak and Bohlman was followed by a delicious reading of portions from Calypso by Robert Amos whose literary mastications satisfied the entire audience. It was incredible to see a standing-room-only event in our Special Collections Classroom, especially for an event produced collaboratively by our university community.

That evening, David Peacock–dressed as Henry Flower from Ulysses (and owner of the James Joyce Bistro)–welcomed the community into his pub for Bloomsday readings. Sean Hoyne, of Hoyne Brewery, donated all proceeds from Hoyne beer sales to Victoria’s Literacy Program, and to the delight of all in attendance, gave two spirited readings from Ulysses. Associate Professor, Misao Dean created a convincing Molly before our ears, and the grandniece of Joyce read with her Dublin intonations. All attendees were invited to autograph the cherished “Bloomsday Book,” curated by Peacock and annually illustrated by Amos.

We have more reasons to celebrate: although our Years of Ulysses are coming to end, we will continue to publish the pirated editions of Samuel Roth’s Ulysses alongside other great material in 2014 & 2015.

Please enjoy pictures from Bloomsday 2014 below.

Matt Huculak

Postdoctoral Fellow, Digital Scholarship, University of Victoria Libraries; Co-Founder, Modernist Versions Project

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