Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


English (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Patrick A. McCarthy

Second Committee Member

Joel Nickels

Third Committee Member

Ranen Omer-Sherman

Fourth Committee Member

Michael Patrick Gillespie


This project is the first comprehensive study of James Joyce’s literary and personal relationship with the United States. With a foothold in both American and Irish fields of literary criticism, it explores a critical gap in Joyce studies that demonstrates a timely, long-standing need for scholars of literature to reconcile the quintessential "Irishness" of one of the twentieth century’s most dynamic and famous authors with the hundreds of allusions to America throughout his canon and to also examine the unflagging personal impact that the laws, culture and customs, politics, history, religion, and people of the United States had on his legacy as one of the twentieth century’s literary powerhouses. This project attempts to determine the nature of Joyce’s personal experiences with America and Americans and, as a result, the nature of how he represents the country and its culture in each of his major works: Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake. The study is particularly interested in investigating the emerging pattern one finds when tracing the ways Joyce employed America in his fiction; this pattern reveals an increasing tendency on the author’s part to weave references, symbols, parodies, and allusions to America into his works over time. Thus, a biographical account of Joyce’s relationship to America or Americans allows me to establish Joyce’s complicated, often ambivalent, personal relationship with all things American and to then reveal how this ever-changing relationship impressed itself upon his fiction, accounting as well for the abundant increase in his use of American references in his later works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.


james joyce; america