In my essay, I suggest that Joyce deploys references to the Dublin Corporation, the governmental body established to manage the affairs of the metropolis, to highlight the legal anomaly of local self-governance in the context of the colony. I highlight the rights retracted and granted through different iterations of Irish corporations, which were the focus of parliamentary reforms during Joyce’s youth. I then examine “Ivy Day in the Committee Room,” which has been read as a lens on Irish national, but not municipal, politics, and argue that our attention to “Ivy Day” has detracted from the story’s interest in “the Committee Room,” a site of local governance upended by changes to corporation law. Joyce’s story reveals an interest in reformism and structures of municipality; more importantly, “Ivy Day” suggests that strong municipalities make for strong nations and that nationalist efforts should not ignore the city in a focus on the state.


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pp. 963-976
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