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James Joyce Scholar Examines Place and Space in Irish Imaginary

Vincent Cheng to deliver Segal Lecture Tuesday, May 6

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April 22, 2014 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Vincent J. Cheng, this year’s Carole and Gordon Segal Visiting Professor in Irish Studies at Northwestern University, will examine the works of Irish novelist and poet James Joyce when he delivers the 2014 Segal Lecture at Northwestern on Tuesday, May 6.

Cheng’s lecture -- “Where is the Nation? Place, History, and the Irish Nation” -- will take place at 5 p.m. in Room 122 of University Hall, 1897 Sheridan Road, on the University’s Evanston campus. Presented by the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, it is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Cheng will explore what Joyce’s works, especially “Ulysses,” tell us about the nation-state. He will consider the role of “place” and “space” in the Irish national imaginary through a series of controversies about the nature of “Irishness,” from the 18th century to the Good Friday Agreement of the late 20th century. 

The Shirley Sutton Thomas Professor of English at the University of Utah, Cheng is the author of numerous articles and books, including “Inauthentic: The Anxiety Over Culture and Identity,” “Joyce, Race, and Empire” and “Shakespeare and Joyce: A Study of Finnegans Wake.”

Cheng’s most recent work addresses the intersections of postcolonial studies, race studies and 20th century literary and contemporary culture. He has received numerous teaching awards and been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and University of Utah’s Tanner Humanities Center.

For information about free campus parking after 4 p.m., visit http://www.northwestern.edu/up/parking/. For more on the lecture, contact the English department at (847) 491-7294 or visit http://www.weinberg.northwestern.edu

Topics: Campus Life