Ulysses: A Magic Lantern Odyssey

  • Williams, K. (Presenter)
  • Jeremy Brooker (Contributor)
  • Carolyn Brooker (Contributor)
  • Jules Arthur (Contributor)
  • Hannah Miller (Contributor)

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition


A Unique Performance in Celebration of the Centenary of Joyce’s Novel.

This show, with live musical accompaniment, plays with the kind of projected, immersive and moving image effects that Joyce could have seen in magic lantern shows in Late Victorian or Edwardian Dublin. The imagery and techniques of such shows found their way into the Modernist themes and methods of Joyce’s fiction long before those of film. The performance is a creative take on several key episodes of Joyce’s novel, remediating them in terms of a ‘lost medium’ which was a fundamental influence on his themes and style. The show is inspired by Keith Williams’s 2020 book on Victorian visual media and the ‘cinematicity’ of Joyce’s work. There will be linking commentary from the author.

The event is a collaboration with the chair of the UK and Ireland’s Magic Lantern Society, Jeremy Brooker. It uses equipment and slide sets from the period, including a magnificent ‘triunial’ (i.e. three lens) brass and mahogany magic lantern, as well as specially created new materials. Dr Brooker is a world-leading researcher and practitioner on the lantern, with whom Dr Williams has collaborated over a number of years, including on a full-scale ‘Phantasmagoria’ for the bi-centenary of Frankenstein in 2018, the elaborate lantern ghost show which influenced Mary Shelley’s text. It is a unique opportunity to enjoy an act of ‘media archaeology’, designed to bring back to life a largely forgotten, but crucial shaping context for Joyce’s visual imagination.
Period23 Jun 2022
Event titleConference 2022: Hopeful Modernisms
Event typeConference
LocationBristol, United KingdomShow on map