February 12, 2024

The Culture of Encounter in James Joyce’s “The Dead”

Event Series: Cultural Encounters: Books that Have Made a Difference

Showing the The Culture of Encounter in James Joyce's "The Dead" Video

In his third encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis proposes that “an innate tension exists between globalization and localization.” In his great short story "The Dead" (1914), James Joyce undertakes an exploration of that tension as it presents itself in Ireland of the early twentieth century. During this webinar Georgetown University Professor Emeritus Michael Collins explored how Gabriel Conway, the central figure of the story, experiences three cultural encounters with other persons that illustrate both the obstacles to genuine encounter among people and the disfiguring separation of the global and the local that creates, in the words of Pope Francis, “a dangerous polarization.”

This event was sponsored by the Future of the Humanities Project, the Georgetown Humanities Initiative, and Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. It is part of the year-long series, Cultural Encounters: Books that Have Made a Difference.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user William Murphy


Michael Collins

Michael Collins

Michael Collins is a teaching professor of English and dean emeritus at Georgetown University. He has published essays on Anglo-Welsh poetry in Poetry Wales, World Literature Today, the Dictionary of Literary Biography, and the Anglo-Welsh Review. He is an honorary fellow of Wrexham Glyndwr University, University of Wales, and a recipient of Georgetown University’s Presidential Medal and its Bunn Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Michael Scott

Michael Scott

Michael Scott (moderator) is senior dean, fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, college advisor for postgraduate students, and a member of the Las Casas Institute. He also serves as senior advisor to the president of Georgetown University. Scott previously served as the pro-vice-chancellor at De Montfort University and founding vice-chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University, where he is professor emeritus.