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Public Lecture Nov. 2 Examines James Joyce’s Ulysses and Connections between Literary Study and Science

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On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the Widener University English and Creative Writing Department will host Temple University English literature Ph.D. candidate Ted Howell for a public lecture on novelist James Joyce. The free event takes place on Widener University’s Main Campus in Chester, Pa. as a part of the English major Senior Seminar.

Every fall, during Senior Seminar, the department invites an outside scholar to give a lecture on the topic being covered in the course. This semester, Howell will discuss Joyce’s Ulysses in a lecture bridging literary study and science as well as looking at how scientific discourse informs cultural production and expression in literary works. 

Howell’s work centers on early 20th-century theories about evolution in addition to what is known as "vitalism," a 19th to early 20th-century theory about how biological organisms function. He's particularly interested in using ecocriticism, which looks at how humans interact with the natural world as part of literary study while also acknowledging the historical angle in an argument about how Joyce celebrates urban environments in the face of the Irish Revival's "back to the land" ideology.

Howell is also working on a dissertation about modernist fiction, early ecology and vitalist philosophy, which features a chapter on Joyce developed from material presented at three James Joyce conferences. He currently teaches in the Department of Writing Arts at Rowan University and leads a reading group on Ulysses at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia. His course at Temple University on climate fiction, or “cli-fi,” has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Nov. 2 lecture by Howell will take place in Room A of the University Center from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. All are welcome.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page, or contact Dr. Janine Utell at 610-499-4527 or e-mail jmutell@widener.edu.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experientiallearning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses are in Chester and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.