CFP: “Dickens! Author and Authorship in 2012” (Santa Cruz; pre-Dickens Universe, July 2012)

In celebration of the bicentenary of Dickens’s birth, the Dickens Project invites paper proposals for a conference on

“Dickens! Author and Authorship in 2012,”

with keynote speakers Rosemarie Bodenheimer (author of The Real Life of Mary Ann Evans and Knowing Dickens) and Robert L. Patten (author of Charles Dickens and His Publishers and George Cruikshank’s Life, Times, and Art.) The conference will be held at the University of California, Santa Cruz, beginning on the evening of Friday, July 27 and concluding at lunch-time on Sunday, July 29; papers will be allocated to “threads” to facilitate developing conversations of specific themes and topics.

The conference will also include three book panels devoted to recent critical studies of Dickens: Jonathan Grossman’s Charles Dickens’s Networks: Public
Transportation and the Novel (forthcoming from Oxford UP); Sarah Winter’s The Pleasures of Memory: Learning to Read with Charles Dickens (Fordham UP, 2011); and Holly Furneaux’s Queer Dickens: Erotics, Families, Masculinities (Oxford UP, 2009).

Submit 1-2 page abstracts and a short c.v. to John O. Jordan (dpj@ucsc.edu) by November 15, 2011.

Papers and panel proposals relevant to Dickens, Life Writing, and Victorian Authorship are welcome. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Biographies (of Dickens, his circle, other Victorians)
  • Victorian Biographies and Responses to Them
  • Family Memoirs and the Problem of Objectivity
  • The Idea of the Author in Contemporary Critical Discourse
  • Archives and Life Writing
  • Victorian Autobiography
  • Portraits of the Author (photographs, paintings, caricature)
  • Letters (editions, annotations, interpretations)
  • Biographical Criticism (limits, possibilities, new approaches)
  • Victorian Afterlives
  • Signature
  • Celebrity
  • Relics (material traces of the author)
  • Houses (museums, homes, national heritage)

Participants in “Dickens! Author and Authorship in 2012” are cordially invited to spend all or part of the week following the conference in the redwoods of central California at the annual gathering of the Dickens Project, an international research group devoted to the study of the novels of Charles Dickens and Victorian literature and culture.

The Dickens Universe’s study of Bleak House begins on July 29 and concludes on the evening of Friday, August 4. Academic participants in “Dickens! Author and Authorship in 2012” who wish to stay on for the Universe will have the opportunity to sign up for one of three established Working Groups which will meet Monday through Wednesday (see below). They may also convene their own Working Group or participate in the Dickens Universe’s Nineteenth-Century Seminar. Scholars may thus use the week as an opportunity for extended discussion and scholarly exchange, either with established collaborators or with new acquaintances. Academic participants in the Universe will experience its wide range of scholarly and convivial events; they also have the opportunity to make a twenty-minute presentation about their current scholarly project in the Nineteenth-Century Seminar, a week-longresearch colloquium for scholars not affiliated with the Dickens Project.

Please consider the following options:

1. Attend “Dickens! Author and Authorship in 2012” as a speaker or participant.
2. Attend the Dickens Universe as a participant, with the option of joining the Nineteenth-Century Seminar. For further information about the Universe or the Nineteenth-Century Seminar, please direct your questions to Joanna Rottke (dpj@ucsc.edu).
3. Attend the Universe as part of a working group (titles and names of conveners to be announced at a later date). You may also convene your own group and/or use the lovely Santa Cruz campus as a venue for meeting with established collaborators. For more information or to propose a group of your own, please contact John Jordan.

The Dickens Universe is offering three affordable packages, all of which include registration and room and board.

  • $450. “Dickens! Author and Authorship in 2012” only. Arrive Friday afternoon between 2-4, depart Sunday at lunch.
  •  $925. “Dickens! Author and Authorship in 2012” and Working Groups. Arrive Friday afternoon, depart Thursday am.
  •  $1100. “Dickens! Author and Authorship in 2012” and the Dickens Universe (including the Nineteenth-Century Seminar). Arrive Friday afternoon, depart Sat. am, Aug. 4.

About the Dickens Project: The Dickens Project hosts a conference at the end of each July on the beautiful wooded campus of UC Santa Cruz above Monterey Bay; this event, the “Dickens Universe,” traditionally brings together over 200 people to conduct an intensive study of a single Dickens novel. Of these individuals, roughly half are members of the general public, and half are faculty and students, post-graduate and undergraduate. Thirty-five universities are currently members of the Dickens Project Consortium, each sending Victorianist faculty and students to the Universe every year: members include Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, Indiana, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, and NYU in the United States; Exeter and Portsmouth in Great Britain; plus universities in Israel and Australia. The Dickens Project has earned a reputation as a leading research collective for both Dickens and Victorian studies, and, through its development of a range of events for post-graduates (including an annual winter conference for the delivery of their early academic papers), has established itself as a prominent supporter of the careers of junior Victorianists. Go to http://dickens.ucsc.edu/ for more information.

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