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Now on Mastodon

I’m less on Twitter (@jpaltin) and more on mastodon

<a rel=”me” href=””>Mastodon</a>

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On Study Leave

Just a quick note to say I am taking the second half of my post-tenure leave from July 1-Dec 31. If I take a bit longer to respond, please be patient! If you are still waiting, don’t hesitate to send me a nudge as a reminder. Thanks for understanding!

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“Out of Ireland and Into 2022 – Ulysses on the high seas again”

I am delighted to have been invited to give a keynote address for this symposium hosted by the University of Victoria in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of Ulysses. See you on Bloomsday!

Call for proposals: “Out of Ireland and Into 2022 – Ulysses on the high seas again”

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Ulysses. Please join us in acknowledging and celebrating Joyce’s genius by reconsidering his achievement in multiple contexts, reaching out beyond the original coordinates of both its composition and location. Joyce’s original periplum has stood us in good stead, yet there might be new territories and new contours on the contemporary horizon. To reflect this reality, we welcome both creative and analytical contributions to our symposium, which seeks to address questions related to the novel’s deterritorialized presence and relevance in today’s aesthetic production and scholarly discourse. Possible approaches and considerations might include but are not limited to:

 Ulysses …

…resisting the canon

…decolonized and/or recontextualized

…and exile or self-exile

…and the politics / ethics of translation

…global and across borders

…in popular culture

…in the new modernist studies

               …and weak modernism

…and joy / reparative reading / humble(ing) Ulysses

…out of the mind and into the body

…and transgression

…as theory




…and Dublin / “all the cities of the world”

               …and its publishing history (obscenity/taboo/censorship)

…and dwelling in / accepting difficulty (politics and ethics of difficulty)

…encyclopaedic / mosaic / fragmented

…being defined / “Definitional proliferation” (re: Arthi Vadde)

Conference Format:

The symposium will be hosted in a face-to-face format taking place on (and around) June 16, 2022. Hosted by the University of Victoria, it will take place in downtown Victoria, including a social event at the entirely Joyce-themed Peacock Bistro. It will feature a block of sessions presenting creative contributions and a block of sessions bringing together research presentations. The event will be recorded and/or live-streamed. Further details about possible travel grants and registration are forthcoming.

  How to submit:

Abstracts of 300 words for 15–20-minute presentations and a short bio (including contact information) should be submitted to by 15 April 2022. If you have any questions or concerns about submissions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the above email address. We look forward to receiving your proposals and meeting you in Victoria this Bloomsday.


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Tenure and promotion news

I’m delighted to share that UBC has given me tenure and promotion to associate professor. I’m so grateful to all of you who trained, mentored, befriended, and supported me. It took a village, didn’t it?

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Dear friends,

It has been a long road, and I am very happy to announce the news that my book is in production for an October 2020 print release [UPDATE: the book has now been printed; due to COVID’s disruption of supply chains, the UK/Europe and US/Canada print release date has moved to December 3, 2020, and elsewhere as supply chains allow] at Cambridge UP under the title *Modernism and the Idea of the Crowd.* I will share a discount code as soon as I have one, or perhaps your library might consider purchasing a copy for you? I very much wish to thank all of you who have worked with me from undergrad through today, and especially those who commented on my work directly. I hope you will see this as a happy result of your wise and generous labours!

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24/01/2020 · 17:33

Modernist Women’s Works in Exile: Marta Feuchtwanger and Maria Nys Huxley

Part of the “Women in Literature I” panel at PAMLA’s 117th annual conference taking place at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside beginning on Thursday, November 14 and ending on Sunday, November 17.

Since Shari Benstock’s field-opening work in the 1980s around the “Women of the Left Bank,” we have understood the importance to modernism of the non-cis-male cohorts of the lost generation and why they were downplayed in favor of the men of modernism. Now, forty years later, although the women of Paris and Bloomsbury are better known, there remain important archives not fully analyzed. My paper compares the correspondence, activities, and interests of two modernist women (Marta Feuchtwanger and Maria Nys Huxley) separated from home by the rise of fascism and Nazism, and poses important questions such as how did women of the avant-garde evolve politically and artistically through the decades between and after the world wars? What did they correspond with each other about across these frontiers? How did they write and produce other expressive creative work about the ideologies of the time and their identities as exilic public intellectuals? The larger project this comes from carries on my existing interests in how modern displaced and mobile collectivities cohere, flourish and coexist. This paper asks how modernist women in exile are separated from dominant notions of home, acculturation, cosmopolitanism, and emplacement.

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‘Affective Materialities: Reorienting the Body in Modernist Literature’

Our book is now a roundtable at MSA Toronto 2019! Come discuss our work with a fascinating group of contributors to this new edited collection, published in March 2019 by the University Press of Florida. See you in Toronto!


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CFP for Political Insults panel at PAMLA in SAN DIEGO Nov 2019

Please consider submitting to this fun but meaningful panel! 🙂

Owning, Despising, Joking: The Art of the Political Insult

Abstract:  The insult is essentially political. Trump supporters today profess to love what they call Trump’s “jokes” to own the libs, but the art of the insult has a long history as a technology of domination and social discipline, as well as sometimes functioning to undermine those in power. This panel explores the range of types who work by insult in fictional and/or nonfictional political contexts, gauges their success, and analyzes the cognitive and affective states which insults produce in their targets and audiences, in order to come to some conclusions about how the insult as a technology of power generates a set of relations between individuals and local or national communities.

Description: Some political actors (both in fiction and in the actual world) have embraced the insult, and others express concern over its degrading effects on the quality of political conversation in democracies. This panel is interested in a range of case studies in the art of the insult and in its peculiar efficacy whether in arenas of domination or of critical resistance. The contemporary US political moment on Twitter is an obvious contemporary archive, but the insult functions as a technology of domination and rebelliousness across many genres and libraries. For example, Leopold Bloom’s day in Ulysses largely consists of enduring a long series of insults and provocations, some deliberate, and some unthinking. The insulting historical descriptions of colonized and Indigenous populations are a crucial matter of concern for many postcolonial and world literary works. Why insults are such a staple of political life in so many contexts deserves sustained attention and careful theorization.

The deets from PAMLA:

The web address for your CFP is:
Abstract Proposal Deadline: Monday, June 10
Conference Early Bird Payment/PAMLA Membership Deadline: Monday, July 15
Late Conference Payment Fees: After Tuesday, October 1
Watch our PAMLA conference website for forthcoming information about the hotel, schedule, special events, etc.:

Now that your proposal is officially approved, it will appear on PAMLA’s website as of April 10 as an approved special session; interested parties will be able to submit abstract proposals using our online submission form (they will have to go to to create an account first).

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>50% Discount code until March 31 AU319 at checkout-

A pleasure to be included in



Contributors: Kara Watts | Anna Christine | Stuart Christie | Karen Guendel | Robin Hackett | Molly Volanth Hall | Cheryl Hindrichs | William Kupinse | Judith Paltin | Kim Sigouin | Kathryn Van Wert | Mary Wood

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Modernism Panel at PAMLA Nov 9-11, 2018

8-01 – Aesthetic Modernism
Sunday, November 11, 2018 – 10:00am to 11:30am (Miller Hall 156)
Chair: Judith Paltin, University of British Columbia

  1. “Dollarton? That’s what we thought but it’s Grasmere”: Malcolm Lowry and Literary Ecology. Margaret Linley, Simon Fraser University (Canada)., Miguel Mota, The University of British Columbia (Canada).

    The environmentally conscious spatial imaginary that developed over hundreds of years in England’s Lake District influenced modern perceptions of place, especially the post-colonial landscapes of British Columbia. This paper considers how the complex relationship between a well-known tourist destination with a history of poetic associations and environmental awareness and a former settler colony characterized by past imperial sympathies and present “green” consciousness are represented in Malcolm Lowry’s writing and in the legacy that he left behind.

  2.  (Trans)Nationalism and the Question of New Nihilism in Paul, La Rochelle, and Lewis. Anders Johnson, University of California at Irvine.

    This paper focuses on different figurations the modernist motif of European nihilism as they are manifest in three competing works by Elliot Paul, Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, and Wyndham Lewis to show that the meaning and extent of nihilism as a problem was by no means settled in modernist thought and, further, that these contests over the meaning of the problem of nihilism should be understood as deeply imbricated in notions of the nation and its relation to history.

  3. An Aesthetic Response to Trauma: On Édouard Levé’s Suicide. Kimberly Olivar, California State University Fullerton.

    Many use suicide to escape trauma. Édouard Levé’s epistolary novel, Suicide, approaches the narrator’s trauma from his peer’s suicide through the aesthetic response of a new text. Suicide, as the author presents it, becomes an aesthetic organism rather than a moral dilemma.

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