Call for Papers

**See you in Toronto! We are happy to announce that all acceptance notifications for proposals have been sent out. If you have not heard back about your proposal, please email Garry Leonard at as soon as possible.

We have also extended the early bird registration deadline to 11:30PM on April 7. More information about registration can be found here.

We hope to post the panel schedule on April 9. If you have a special scheduling concern, please email Garry Leonard at so that we can work to accommodate you.

Diasporic Joyce
2017 North American James Joyce Symposium
Victoria College, University of Toronto
June 21-25, 2017

James Joyce grew up in the shadow of a massive diaspora brought about by the devastating potato famine of the 1840’s, when Ireland lost fully a third of its population to death and forced migration. By the end of the 19th century, 40% of Irish-born people were living elsewhere. The city of Toronto is also marked by that history: relatively small at the time, with a population of only 30,000, at the height of the famine it became a destination for nearly twice that number of Irish men, women and children. Ireland Park, on the quayside at the foot of Bathurst St., created in 2007 as a famine memorial with four sculptures intended by Irish sculptor Rowan Gillespie to complement his Famine figures in Dublin, provides an artistic link between Dublin and Toronto, as if sister cities.

Now, in the 21st century, Toronto has become uniquely multicultural: slightly more than half its citizens were born in another country, drawn from every part of the world. Joyce, who lived and wrote in Dublin, Trieste, Zurich, Paris, and (briefly) London, knew of Diaspora personally, and as a witness. His fiction is imbued with yearnings to return to home, or trepidation at leaving it, as well as a keen interest in how borders or the lack of them create violent confrontation, whether it be an altercation in a local pub, an estrangement in a marriage, or the launching of a World War. In so-called “Globalization”, money itself is also diasporic: transnational corporations and free flowing capital, trade agreements and mobile labor forces, the unequal distribution of wealth and the continuing increase of precarious employment.

This invites us to consider the various movements linked to the Diasporic: not only transnational capital, but also transgenerational trauma and even perhaps the transmigration of souls. Joyce shows us barriers are everywhere: in ourselves, in our relations to others, between our hope and our reality, driving our desire and threatening our peace of mind. For Joyce, the political is not just the personal, it is a part of the unconscious. History, in Stephen’s Dedalus’s famous metaphor, “is a nightmare from which I am still trying to awake.” In its modest way, we propose Diasporic Joyce as a further contribution to a geopolitical, transnational, interpersonal, “wake-up call.”


In the spirit of all Joyce conferences and symposia, we look forward to receiving proposals on a diverse range of Joyce-related topics.

We particularly welcome papers that reflect on the implications of Diaspora and its broad themes: Home, Identity, Boundaries, Place, Dislocation, Dispersal, Memory, Mourning, Translation. For example:

  • Crossing Boundaries—national, political, psychological, sexual, physiological, social, economic, linguistic
  • Movement of people, Movement of ideas
  • Place, Space / Local, Global
  • Borderlands, Hybridity, Translation
  • Stories from Home and Abroad
  • Diaspora? Or Recirculation?
  • Travelling, Mapping, Encountering
  • What is home?
  • Who’s he when he’s at home?
  • Dyoublong? Integration, Disintegration, Rejection
  • From Szombathely to Dublin
  • Joyce and Beckett as Expatriates
  • An Irishman’s Home is His Coffin
  • Spreading the Word Abroad with Irish Jesuits
  • Joyce and the Great Famine
  • World War I: Refugees, Internment Camps and Safe Passage

**The deadline to submit proposals has been extended until the end of February. In order to ensure the best possible pairing of papers and panels, we ask that everyone submit their work by the end of February.**

Please submit proposals for individual papers or panels to: and include the word “PROPOSAL” in the subject line.

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

Name, academic affiliation, title of paper, and a brief abstract (c. 250 words)

We also welcome proposals for fully-formed panels. The panel chair should submit the following:

Title of panel, names of all participants (not more than four, including chair), academic affiliations of all participants, email addresses of all participants, titles for each paper, name and affiliation of chair and respondent (if any), and a 500 word abstract for the panel as-a-whole. (Individual speakers on such panels need not submit proposals separately.)

Panel sessions will typically last 90 minutes.

Participants are in principle limited to one paper and one non-paper panel appearance (e.g. as a panel chair or respondent). All participants must be paid-up members of the International James Joyce Foundation.