Professor Phil Sicker Pens Book on James Joyce

Cambridge University Press recently published Professor Sicker’s book Ulysses, Film and Visual Culture. This highly original analysis of Ulysses took Professor Sicker over a decade to complete, and several of the chapters emerged from his experience teaching Ulysses in Fordham graduate classes and from his co-editorship of Joyce Studies Annual. 

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The book's cover image comes from a mutoscope flip-book––a hand-cranked, proto-cinematic device that Joyce mentions in the salacious "Nausciaa" episode. The title of this particular "men's only" arcade feature is "Kicking Willie's Hat," and Professor Sticker was fortunate that the Museum of Modern Art had a copy. Within this scenario, the women are kicking at a man's top hat and, in the process, rewarding the voyeuristic viewer with a flashes of their legs and undergarments.

Cambridge University Press summarizes that “Philip Sicker explores the phenomenon of sight from a wide-ranging set of perspectives: eighteenth-century epistemology (Locke and Berkeley), theories of the flaneur (Baudelaire and Benjamin), Italian Futurist art (Marinetti and Boccioni), photography (Barthes and Sontag), and the silent films Joyce watched in Dublin and Trieste. The concept of 'spectacle' as a mechanically-constructed visual experience informs Sicker's examination of mediated perception and emerges as a hallmark of modernist culture itself. This study is an important contribution to the growing interest in how deeply the philosophy and science of visual perception influenced modernism.”

Congratulations to Professor Sicker on this significant achievement.