James Joyce and the Volta

The latest issue of the James Joyce Quarterly (vols. 42/43. 1.4) has a feature section on Joyce on film, which includes an essay by Philip Sicker, “Evenings at the Volta: Cinematic Afterimages in Joyce”. James Joyce was the manager of the Volta Cinematograph, Dublin’s (and Ireland’s) first cinema, over December 1909-January 1910, and remained associated with the business for a couple of months thereafter. There has been growing academic interest in the films ‘programmed’ by Joyce for the Volta, though it is a matter of debate just how much Joyce was aware of the films he was programming, or particularly concerned about them. Sicker provides the closest analysis yet of the kinds of films shown at the Volta during its period under Joyce’s charge, including discussion of extant prints and an exploration of the degree to which traces of these can arguably be traced in Joyce’s own work. A filmography of all titles shown at the Volta December 1909-April 1910, including extant prints, researched by Luke McKernan, was published in Film and Film Culture vol. 3 (2004). It is not easy to find, and any researcher interested in the filmography and the article on the background to the Volta that went with it should get in touch.

Victorians in motion

VISAWUS, the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States is holding its annual meeting 25-27 October 2007 in Boulder, Colorado, USA. The theme of the meeting this year is “Victorians in Motion”, and there is a call for papers whose broad range of topics includes not just travel and transportation but “vicarious motion: moving panoramas and other technologies that simulated travel”, “representing mobility” and “performative motion”, each of which seem to offer promise to someone interested in the motion picture in all its many forms in the nineteenth century. Proposals are invited for twenty-minute papers, deadline 8 May 2007.