Presidential Seminar Fall 2018

Chapman University
Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy
Presidential Seminar Fall 2018

  Jan Osborn            John Thrasher 

Presidential Dining Room, Argyros Forum 301, 6:45 – 8:45 p.m.(Tuesdays)

Bourgeois Heroes and Bourgeois Virtues

The Fall 2018 Presidential Seminar pairs Deirdre McCloskey’s The Bourgeois Virtues with James Joyce’s Ulysses, both mosaics in their own way. Joyce, over the course of 18 episodes, considers the appointments of an advertisement salesperson in a single day in Dublin – 16 June 1904; while McCloskey considers the virtues particularly important to an “defensible capitalism.” Ulysses, often regarded as the most important book of the twentieth century, provides a kaleidoscope of observations and impressions from the conscious and unconscious, a kind of graphic novel of words. The Bourgeois Virtues has been called “a dazzling reinterpretation of Western intellectual history.” This seminar is not for the faint of heart.

Required Texts

Joyce, James. Ulysses. Hans Walter Gabler, editor. Vintage Books, 1986. ISBN 0-394- 74312-7

Image result for ISBN 0-394- 74312-1


McCloskey, Deirdre N. The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce. University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Image result for The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce


  1. Tuesday, September 4 – Joyce, Ch. 1 – 9 (1 – 179)
  2. Tuesday, September 18 – McCloskey, Apology and Appeal (pp. 1 – 60)
  3. Tuesday, October 2 – Sharyl Attkisson “The Smear” event, 7:30 pm at Musco 
  4. Tuesday, October 9 – Joyce, Ch. 10 – 12 (pp. 180 – 283)
  5. Tuesday, October 16  – Lunch with Deirdre McCloskey, Ch 1 – 7 (pp. 63 –125)
  6. Thursday, October 18 – Jonathan Haidt “The Coddling of the American Mind” event, 7:30 pm at Musco
  7. Tuesday, October 23 – Joyce, Ch. 13 – 14 (pp. 284 – 349)
  8. Tuesday, October 30 – McCloskey, Ch. 8 – 10, Ch. 38 (pp. 126 – 159, 407 – 415)
  9. Tuesday, November 27 – Joyce, Ch.15 – 18 (pp. 350 – 650)

Supplemental Material

The Odyssey 

Joyce’s Ulysses is modeled on Homer’s Odyssey and some of the obscurity of Ulysses becomes a little clearer if you are familiar with the main episodes of the Odyssey. You should read it if you haven’t already, but if you need a refresher, here are two videos that go over the basics.



Joyce developed a schema to help explain the structure of Ulysses to perplexed readers. The table below is helpful, but keep in mind that Joyce’s categories are not the only or, perhaps, even the best way to understand the text. This version is from the Joyce Project, an excellent online resource.



Characters in Ulysses 

Ulysses is populated by a bewildering panoply of characters. The Joyce Project has a helpful webpage where they list and briefly describe all of the characters that appear. A useful resource, keep an eye out for the “man in the macintosh.” 

Film Version of Ulysses (1967)

Although it doesn’t capture the novel, this film does give you some interesting visuals from around Dublin and might help with a general overview of the plot.

Joyce Reading from Ulysses (Aeolus)

Joyce Reading from Finnegans Wake