I am pleased to announce the Charles Dickens Society’s sponsored panel at the Spring 2023 NeMLA Conference coming up March 23-26, 2023 at the Sheraton Niagara Falls. If you can only go to one conference in western NY next year, make it the Dickens Society Symposium in Rochester in July! But if you can go to two, consider submitting an abstract for the following:
Following the theme of the conference, this panel organized by the Charles Dickens Society seeks papers exploring the theme of resilience as it appears in Dickens’s life and works: in, for instance, his treatment of characters who must respond to and overcome traumatic events; in his innumerable explorations of physical difference and disability; in his portrayals of mid-century London and the ways in which both the city and its denizens must persist through the mud, fog, and other detritus of the modern capitalist and industrialist age; in his own self-invention as an affluent middle-class man after childhood misery and temporary poverty; and in his reinvention of himself as a public performer, magazine proprietor, estranged husband, and tender lover after the tumult of his separation from his wife. This broad interpretation of resilience means that papers might approach Dickens in a variety of ways, from disability studies to environmental studies to historical and psychological studies even to studies of narrative form since, as Jill Matus has observed, trauma’s recurrences and hauntings indicate its status as a chronological as well as a psychological problem. The Inimitable, as Dickens called himself, showed a resilience of spirit and imagination across more than three decades as a novelist, journalist, and editor. The panel aims to trace this resilience across the breadth of his life and works.
Please submit your abstract of no more than 300 words via the conference website by September 30, 2022. If you have questions, by all means reach out directly to me.
Professor and Chair, Department of English, Rochester Institute of Technology
President, Dickens Society