Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Brunner, Edward

Second Advisor

Dettmar, Kevin


This project seeks to unpack and moderate the postmodern debate surrounding James Joyce's 1922 novel, Ulysses, by examining how the text responds to global-local dichotomies, be they geographical or conceptual, and considering its stylistics in light of these themes. In doing so, it casts the likes of Laurence Sterne, Walt Whitman, Joseph Conrad, Gertrude Stein, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Bob Dylan and Kurt Vonnegut, among others, alongside Joyce, connecting similar themes and stylistic responses. Ultimately, it suggests that the avant-garde response on the part of Joyce and these others is not necessarily a manifesto bolstering the style, but a reminder to the interpreter to not take the ability of traditional narrative to subsume the surprisingly complex local moment of experience as given. Instead of being "anti-art," as these avant-garde stylistics are often accused of, these aesthetics place new value on the old aesthetic and the act of interpretation, asking the interpreter to perennially re-evaluate the old and given amid the continuously new and complex local moment of experience resulting from the convergence of contrast brought on by the dynamically mapped globe in the process of globalization.




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