A picture of the Odyssey vs Ulysses

James Joyce’s Ulysses


This course was available in the past and may be presented again as part of the Open Enrollment curriculum.

In this intensive three-quarter study, we will probe Ulysses’s wanderings and interactions of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus about Dublin on Bloomsday, June 16, 1904 with particular attention to its resonances with Homer’s Odyssey. Joyce remarked, “The most beautiful, all-embracing theme is that of the Odyssey. It is greater, more human, than that of Hamlet, Don Quixote, Dante, Faust . . .” Ulysses is a book of commonplaces and souls truths, a reinvention of language, and an archaeology of meaning. In slowly examining in this way, we will discover and revel.

We will use the 1990 Vintage edition - ISBN 978-0679-72276-2, or you may use (e.g. 1934, 1961, MLA) any edition which has Judge Woolsey's decision admitting Ulysses to U.S. publication, and the huge "illuminated manuscript" letters marking the three sections of the work: Stately / Mr and Preparatory.  Please DO NOT USE the Gabler edition. If any questions / thoughts, feel free to contact me: cell: 312-925-3778 or at ctraudt@uchicago.edu.


Course Outline

Course Syllabus

For the in-person 2022-23 study, will be exploring roughly one third of Ulysses in each quarter. 

In Autumn 2022, we will discuss from the first episode "Telemachus" (beginning "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan...") through the 11th episode "Sirens" beginning ("BRONZE BY GOLD HEARD THE HOOFIRONS...)" The "Sirens" chapter's last words are: " I have. Pprrpffrrppfff. Done." For Winter Quarter, episodes 12 through 15 (Cyclops through one-half of Circe). For Spring Quarter, episodes 16 through 18 (Eumaeus through Penelope).

Taking an In Person Course: At Graham health and safety is our highest priority. As we resume on-site programming, we want to share COVID-19 requirements for attending.

In-person programming must adhere to University of Chicago guidelines, including the following measures:

  • All in-person participants must show proof of fully vaccinated status, defined as two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
  • It is strongly recommended that all in-person participants receive the COVID-19 booster shot(s).

For more information on Education Guidance including vaccine requirements and masking requirements, please visit goforward.uchicago.edu/education-planning/.

For more information on measures the university is taking to help protect public health, please visit goforward.uchicago.edu.



Online registration deadline: Thursday, Sept 22 at 5 pm CT.

No class Nov 22

This course takes place in-person at the Gleacher Center.

We plan to offer an online version of this course in 2023-24.