Dr. Thomas F. Staley. Photograph by Pete Smith.
A research institution such as ours with its thousands of scholars working here every year is constantly engaged in the world of ideas and discoveries, in the ongoing critical dialogue of the latest developments in the humanities disciplines. At the Ransom Center we take seriously our responsibility to disseminate these discoveries and make them known beyond our walls to other scholars and students. One way we achieve this aim is through a partnership with the University of Texas Press. We publish an Imprint Series that has produced some fine scholarship in handsomely made books, such as the 2000 PEN USA West award-winner, The Diaries of Nikolay Punin (1904-1953), by Jennifer Greene Krupala. I edit a Literary Modernism Series that includes Willard Potts' highly regarded Joyce and the Two Irelands (2000) and James Watson's recently published William Faulkner: Self-Presentation and Performance (2000), which has already gone into paperback, as has Maxim Shrayer's The World of Nabokov's Stories (1999). Two upcoming books in this series are the first critical book-length study of Tom Stoppard's work, Stoppard's Theatre: Finding Order Amid Chaos by John Fleming (December 2001) and The Hidden Isaac Bashevis Singer edited by faculty member Seth Wolitz (January 2002).
The Center also teams up with UT Press to produce our Joyce Studies Annual. The Annual is a resource for current research on the work of James Joyce, which I founded with the Press and have edited since 1990. In its eleventh year, the Annual features in addition to critical studies, unpublished material from the Center's extensive Joyce collection. Contributions in the 2000 issue include John McCourt writing on The Importance of Being Giacomo , Moshe Gold's article on Joyce and Plato, and Finn Fordham's piece titled Mapping Echoland. The subject of Joyce is a timely one since Bloomsday (June 16) happens every summer. Bloomsday, of course, is one day in the life of Leopold Bloom, as told in Ulysses, and is celebrated around the world.
Publication of books might seem old fashioned, but the book remains the lifeblood of scholarship in the humanities.