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Students Can Virtually Explore James Joyce's Dublin with Walking Ulysses

'Walking Ulysses' is a website dedicated to providing a virtual tour of Dublin, Ireland, through the explorations of James Joyce's 'Ulysses' characters. But the program is not just for Joyce fans. Learn more about this online tool developed by a Boston College professor, his students and the college's instructional design department.

walking

About 'Walking Ulysses'

Boston College professor Joseph Nugent and others began developing this program in the fall of 2008. 'Walking ''Ulysses' offers users various options to begin their tour of Dublin on June 16, 1904, the one day depicted in the novel. Visitors navigate the city as seen through the eyes and traversed by the feet of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, the main characters of Joyce's novel. The site integrates a historic area map and a contemporary one, which allow visitors to see the topographical differences that have come about over more than a century. Users can zoom in or out of the map or change to modern day street views, which can often be seen in 360-degree angles.

Visualizing the World of Ulysses

To maneuver through the site, individuals can jump to particular chapters within the novel or search by a specific typed word or phrase. They can then filter their query by:

  • Characters
  • Events
  • Buildings
  • All human senses
  • Specific sense
    • Taste
    • Touch
    • Sound
    • Smell

When a section is chosen, an overview of the chapters appears and audio clips may be available. There are also tabs that offer additional information, including a path list that recounts outings in the novel in chronological order. Specific directions that offer a seamless transition from one city point to another are also accessible. A number of images of early 20th century Dublin as well as modern day photographs of locations mentioned in Ulysses are tied to specific passages from the book.

Value of the Program

Some of the more obvious users of this program might include James Joyce aficionados, Ulysses readers or literary students. However, 'Walking Ulysses' could also be used as a fun and engaging educational tool by English literature teachers and professors. Value can also be found in the details of Irish history that abound the site and are displayed through historic newspaper announcements and archived photographs of monuments, statues, buildings and churches. Photographers, historians and travelers might also take interest in the virtual program. Thanks to the Boston College project, Dublin can not only be explored through the comfort of a couch, but anyone who travels to the city with a Smartphone can have a handheld map and walk Ulysses.

Continue reading for information about another program that walks you back through history.