Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chairperson

Graham MacPhee, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rachel Banner, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Eleanor Shevlin, Ph.D.


This thesis explores how a speculative consideration of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses that combines postcolonial and Marxist and theoretical perspectives can challenge traditional critical approaches that are dogmatically one-sided. Three episodes of the work are analyzed to demonstrate the relationship between culture and economics, which aligns with the above-mentioned theoretical approaches.

The selected episodes -- “Telemachus” (episode 1), “Nestor” (episode 2), and “Scylla and Charybdis” (episode 9) -- focus on Stephen Dedalus and provide the opportunity to consider the manifestation of colonialism and imperialism in his various relationships.

Adopting a speculative approach anchored in the Hegelian-influenced philosophy of Gillian Rose, this thesis engages in the process of thinking together the particular (as expressed in postcolonialism) and the universal (as expressed in Marxism). Accordingly, it does not seek a solution that falsely unites the two. It offers instead a consideration of possibilities that remain open. A speculative approach suggests that Marxist theory alone – unmediated by an understanding of local histories, situations, and concerns (such as those described in Ulysses) is incomplete. Likewise, postcolonial approaches that ignore or obscure economic concerns fail to adequately address situations and motivations faced by Stephen Dedalus and others.

Culture.Capital A Speculative Consideration of James Joyces Ulyseses.A del Grosso 2.pdf (555 kB)
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