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Dr. Anne Marie D’Arcy - The Shadow of Kishinev in Ulysses at the Irish Jewish Museum

  • Irish Jewish Museum 3 Walworth Road Off Sth. Circular Rd, Dublin 8 Ireland (map)
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In the ‘Cyclops’ episode of Ulysses, Leopold Bloom defines his Jewishness in racial terms while facing down the notoriously anti-Semitic Citizen. The Citizen insists on defining Bloom’s Jewishness in religious terms. This shift in perspective is informed by Joyce’s knowledge of patristic and medieval anti-Judaic polemic, as situated in the immediate aftermath of the most notorious pogrom of modern times, centred on the Bessarabian city of Kishinev over Easter in 1903.

This lecture will explore previously overlooked references to the Kishinev massacre in Ulysses. It will look at Joyce’s treatment of that most pernicious of medieval myths, the accusation of ritual murder, which sparked the pogrom in Dubossary. Ireland's response to the massacre, most notably the work of Michael Davitt, and how this influences Joyce's conception of the other principal anti-Semite in Ulysses, Mr Deasy, will also be discussed.

Anne Marie D’Arcy is Associate Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Language at the University of Leicester and Visiting Research Fellow at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. She co-curated the Marsh’s Library exhibition ‘James Joyce: Apocalypse and Exile’ and is currently completing Joyce and the Irish Middle Ages: Saints, Sages, and Insular Culture.

You might like to visit the museum during the Bloomsday Festival. It is open Tues, Wed, Thurs and Sun from 11am-3pm for guided tours.

Bookings for lecture event please email:

Doors at 6.45pm includes museum tour on June 12th.

Tickets: €7/ €5