Jaurretche, Colleen

Continuing Lecturer

Kaplan 146


Ph.D. UCLA  1994
B.A. UCLA  1986

Research Interests

Twentieth and twenty-first century British and Irish literature; modernism; theory of language; philosophy of mind; visual art; history of writing; medieval and Renaissance antecedents to modern literature.

Colleen Jaurretche is a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of English at UCLA where she focuses on twentieth century British and Irish authors. Previously she taught for several years at the Claremont Colleges. Her first book, ‘The Sensual Philosphy’: Joyce and the Aesthetics of Mysticism (Wisconsin, 1997) investigated theological works from the six through sixteenth century in its examination of James Joyce’s writing in the context of the tradition of negative theology. Her second book, Language as Prayer in Finnegans Wake (Florida, James Joyce Series, 2020), brings together thinkers from antiquity, the Middle Ages, early Enlightenment, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to examine conditions of language as prayer.  Since Plato, the culture has recognized that religious utterances possess unique characteristics, yet literary scholarship has not produced a focused study.  This book analyzes conditions of prayer through the lens of the second-century theologian Origen, as well as the eighteenth-century philosopher and rhetorician Giambattista Vico.  The subsequent chapters examine Joyce’s use of the alphabet and The Book of Kells; magic; dream vision literature; and, finally, speech and drama in a sequential reading of perhaps the most complex work of literature we know.

Jaurretche has also edited a collection of essays on Joyce and Samuel Beckett, and published essays in James Joyce Quarterly, European Joyce Studies Annual, and Joyce Studies Annual.

Public Humanities

In 2010 she co-founded and today co-directs the Libros Schmibros Lending Library in the historically underserved Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights.  Since its inception, Libros Schmibros has put almost 40,000 books into people’s hands, hosted many public programs, and been installed as artist-in-residence at the Hammer Museum.

Selected Publications

‘The Sensual Philosophy’: Joyce and the Aesthetics of Mysticism (Wisconsin, 1997)

Language as Prayer in Finnegans Wake (Florida, James Joyce Series, 2020)

Courses Taught at UCLA

Funny as Shite: Samuel Beckett and Flann O’Brien; Modern Drama; Literatures in English since 1850; James Joyce Senior Seminar; Twentieth-Century British Poetry; Modern and Contemporary Irish Literature; Modern Novel; Victorian Poetry; Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Undergraduate Honors Seminar: Hamlet; Literary Cities: Dublin


Interest Areas
• British Literature & Culture, 19th C. – Present
• Visual Culture / Media Studies / Digital Humanities
• Critical Theory
• Postcolonial Theory / Transnational Studies