A seminar dedicated to working through and taking pleasure in the stories and novels of James Joyce. We’ll study the evolution of Joyce's style and his centrality to the literary movement of modernism. We will read selections from his short story collection Dubliners, the entirety of his masterpiece Ulysses, and excerpts from the highly experimental Finnegan's Wake. Joyce is a challenging and paradoxical writer: brainy and bodily, egotistical and insecure, obsessed by his hometown (Dublin) and intent on escaping it. No prior exposure to Joyce is required to take this course or do well in it. What is required is a willingness to read slowly, to reread, and to take the plunge of discussing a writer who said this about Ulysses: "I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of insuring one's immortality." Assignments will include a midterm paper (5-7pgs), final paper (10-11pgs), and occasional short posts (1-2pgs) to complement class discussion.