© 2018

Amnesia and the Nation

History, Forgetting, and James Joyce


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Vincent J. Cheng
    Pages 119-147
  3. Vincent J. Cheng
    Pages 149-150
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 151-162

About this book


This book examines the relationships between memory, history, and national identity through an interdisciplinary analysis of James Joyce’s works—as well as of literary texts by Kundera, Ford, Fitzgerald, and Walker Percy.  Drawing on thinkers such as Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Luria, Anderson, and Yerushalmi, this study explores the burden of the past and the “nightmare of history” in Ireland and in the American South—from the Battle of the Boyne to the Good Friday Agreement, from the Civil War to the 2015 Mother Emanuel killings.


James Joyce Ulysses Cultural Memory National identity formation Racism in the American South Good Friday Agreement Battle of the Boyne national trauma Dylann Roof Charleston Church shooting Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church the past and Milan Kundera Renan and forgetting Nietzsche and forgetting "the burden of memory" memory and formation of Irish national identity Finnegans Wake Battle of Aughrim 1916 Easter Rising Padraic Pearse

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of UtahSalt Lake City, UTUSA

About the authors

Vincent J. Cheng is Shirley Sutton Thomas Professor of English at the University of Utah, USA.  He is the author of many scholarly articles and books, including Inauthentic: The Anxiety Over Culture and Identity; Joyce, Race, and Empire; and Shakespeare and Joyce.  His work addresses the intersections of postcolonial studies, race studies, twentieth-century literature, and contemporary culture. 


Bibliographic information


“Cheng’s thoughtful, meticulously researched, and clearly articulated study has succeeded in bringing into sharp relief all the complexities-virtues and dangers-of both remembering and forgetting.” (Jolanta Wawrzycka, James Joyce Quarterly, Vol. 57 (3-4), 2020)