By Taylor Patterson
Elm Staff Writer
On Wednesday, April 25, Dr. Philip Sicker’s talk “In the Eyes of God: Surveillance and Being in Joyce’s ‘Portrait of the Artist’ and ‘Ulysses,’” was hosted in the Rose O’Neill Literary House. Sicker presented some of his newest research on James Joyce’s works.
Joyce was an Irish novelist and short story writer in the early 20th century. Joyce explored language and new literary forms in his writing, focusing on his love for stream-of-consciousness because of what it revealed about the small things of everyday lives.
Dr. Sicker earned his MA and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia and now teaches at Fordham University. He is the co-editor of the academic journal “Joyce Studies Annual.” Dr. Sicker has dedicated many years to his research of Joyce’s works and published meticulously edited papers on various subjects centering on Joyce.
At the reading, Dr. Sicker presented a section of his newest book “Ulysses, Visual Technologies and Culture,” which will be published later this year. In the book, Dr. Sicker discusses gaze, the state of being or existing, religion, and sin. It is heavily grounded in literary theory and examinations of two of Joyce’s books. “The eyes see the thing without having wished to have seen,” Dr. Sicker said.
Assistant Professor of English Dr. Elizabeth O’Connor was a student of Dr. Sicker’s at Fordham and helped arrange his visit to campus. The reading was initially supposed to take place in March but it was delayed due to a snow storm.
While on campus, Dr. Sicker visited Dr. O’Connor’s James Joyce’s “Ulysses” class, an upper level English course, at 12:30 p.m. and spoke to her students.
“We are nearing the end of Joyce’s 1922 novel and discussed the end of ‘Circe’ (episode 15) and most of ‘Eumaeus’ (episode 16). The latter episode is the first episode to fully focus on the novel’s two main characters—Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom—together. There are 13 students in the class and we had a nice discussion,” Dr. O’Connor said.
As a professor who teaches Joyce’s works and who was trained under Dr. Sicker in her Ph.D. program at Fordham University, Dr. O’Connor was happy to have Dr. Sicker speak in her class, as well as give a reading of his latest work.
“I am so glad that Phil was able to visit WC and interact with my students. I learned so much from him during my years at Fordham and am thrilled my students now had that same opportunity,” Dr. O’Connor said.