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The Archivist, the Archaeologist, and the Amateur: Reading Joyce at the Rosenbach


The reading of James Joyce's work has been characterized since the early days of the "Joyce industry" by a tension between the specialist and the amateur. This article explores the ways we might consider amateur reading practices in the light of recent theories about genetic criticism and the interconnections between archaeology and literature. Using the Phil Phillips Collection in the Rosenbach Museum & Library as an archaeological site for the moment before Joyce studies moved away from the amateur and into the highly specialized strata of the professional, this article considers how the authority surrounding the archive may be destabilized.