Dublin Trip Winter 2016

 

 

HON 277 Joyce’s Dublin was a one-week, one-credit travel course to Dublin, Ireland, which took place January 4-10, 2016.  The trip was designed as a supplement to the Joyce Seminar offered through the Honors Program in fall 2015, and it was oriented toward seminar students, but additional Honors students with an interest in Joyce or Dublin were able to join us.  Seminar students read Ian Gunn and Clive Hart’s James Joyce’s Dublin: A Topographical Guide, organized walking tours following characters’ movements in Ulysses, and led discussions of Joyce’s work. Other students read Dubliners and two episodes from Ulysses.  In Dublin, students stayed at a hostel in the center of the city, on Bachelor’s Walk; visited a wide range of Joyce-related sites, including the Martello Tower, the National Library, the James Joyce Center, Davy Byrne’s pub, Sweny the Chemist’s, the National Library, Dublin Castle, Sandymount Strand, and Glasnevin Cemetery; and walked the city streets in Leopold Bloom’s (and James Joyce’s) footsteps.  The class also visited the old library at Trinity College to view the Book of Kells and went on a guided tour at the Chester Beatty Library, which features an extraordinary collection of illuminated books, manuscripts  and artifacts, many of them from Asia and the Near East.  Finally, we attended two performances: a dramatic reading of Joyce’s “The Dead” by Aidan Gillen, a Dublin native well-known for his performances in Game of Thrones and The Wire, and the Abbey Theater’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s You Never Can Tell.  Among the highlights of the trip were communal Joyce readings with local people at Sweny’s, after which everyone went across the street to Kennedy’s pub for further discussion; the moment at the cemetery when one of the students happened on Joyce’s parents’ grave; the brilliant, evocative Aidan Gillen reading; the funny and informative tour we took at the Tower; various group selfies; and our meal at Fire, an elegant, sophisticated Dublin restaurant.   The Honors Program generously covered all trip costs aside from the plane fare and the Gillen reading.” – Daniel Gunn