Enriching the cooperation between the University of Nicosia and the Embassy of Ireland in Cyprus
The James Joyce Book Corner, inaugurated at the Library and Information Centre of the University of Nicosia (UNIC), by Rector Philippos Pouyioutas and His Excellency the Ambassador of Ireland to Cyprus, Mr Conor Long, seeks to promote new avenues for cooperation and a deepening of the cultural exchange between the two parties. The inauguration, which coincides with the centenary of James Joyce’s Ulysses, welcomed a selection of books by the celebrated author to be placed on permanent display at the UNIC Library.
Welcoming His Excellency, the Ambassador, Rector Pouyioutas noted that “The James Joyce Book Corner will provide an excellent opportunity to our University community, to either discover or rediscover the profound works of one of the most significant writers of the 20th Century”. He made special mention to the warm relationship between the two countries, as well as Ireland’s continuous support throughout the years, being one of the first countries to mobilize military personnel for the establishment of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), in 1964. Rector Pouyioutas also highlighted avenues of cultural cooperation open to the University and the Embassy that will further promote Irish culture and friendship more widely. He specifically suggested, amongst others, the organization of an annual Irish Cultural Day and an annual Irish Literature Day, as well as the screening of Irish films on campus.
His Excellency, Mr. Conor Long, expressed his gratitude for the level of commitment demonstrated by the University of Nicosia on organizing the book handover ceremony on campus, referring to James Joyce’s Ulysses as a book with a special connection to the Greek-speaking world on account of its Classical influences. Ambassador Long similarly extolled the historical connections between Cyprus and Ireland, underscoring how these have evolved within the European Union. In that respect, he underlined the importance of collaborations between education institutions in Ireland and Cyprus and how these can further reinforce collective knowledge.
Professor Paul Stewart, a Samuel Beckett Scholar at the Department of Languages and Literature, delivered a keynote address on the works of James Joyce. Professor Stewart outlined the deep literary tradition of Ireland in which James Joyce was immersed and which has projected the culture of Ireland throughout the world. Focusing on Joyce’s seminal work, Ulysses, Stewart highlighted the novel’s democratic and inclusionary vision that marries the specifics of Dublin life on a single day in 1904 with an encyclopaedic, global celebration of the mundane.
Prior to the inauguration ceremony, the Rector, the Senior Vice Rector, Professor Constantinos N. Phellas, the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, Professor Panayiotis Angelides, and the Vice Rector for Faculty and Research, Professor Demetris Vrontis, had the opportunity to discuss with the Ambassador and his team, additional areas of collaboration between UNIC and Irish universities, including the possibility of joint academic programmes and research.
Ambassador Long completed his official visit by touring the UNIC Library and Information Centre, accompanied by the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy and Communications Officer, Mr Alexandros Kyriakides, the Rector, the Senior Vice Rector, the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, the Vice Rector for Faculty and Research, the Dean of the School of Education, Professor Elena Papanastasiou, the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Klimis Mastoridis, the Director of Libraries, Ms Mina Charalambous, and other UNIC officials.