With keynotes from Professor Kamilla Elliott (Lancaster University) and Professor Juliet John (Royal Holloway) and papers on topics from theatrical adaptations of Dickens to headless frogs in Dickens and Darwin and Little Nell in the cyber age, this conference brings together exciting new research into Dickens’s afterlife and legacy, from his influence on social reform and literary criticism to biographies and reimaginings in the twentieth century and beyond.

The programme is subject to change. A downloadable version can be found here.

(Last updated 20 November)

2nd December (Day 1)

10:30-11:20am Registration opens (Berrick Saul Building Foyer)
11:20am Welcome (Bowland Auditorium)
11:30am-12:20pm Keynote: Dickens After Dickens, Kamilla Elliott (Bowland Auditorium)
12:30-1:50pm Panels 1 and 2
Panel 1: Dickens Ahead of His Time(Bowland)

Chair: Emily Bowles

Extra-super, John Bowen

Charles Dickens: Teller of Magic-Realist Tales, Peter Cook

Narration After the French Revolution: Dickens and the Invention of Film, Gail Turley Houston 

Panel 2: Adapting Dickens (Treehouse)

Chair: Richard Pearson

Grand Aspirations: Putting Pip on the Stage, Michael Eaton

‘Happy ever arter’: Reconfiguring Hearth and Home in Victorian Theatrical Adaptations of The Pickwick Papers, Jennifer Miller

Auteurship and Interpretation: David Lean and Alfonso Cuarón’s Representation of Great Expectations, Holly Eckersley

1:50-2:30pm Lunch (Berrick Saul Building Foyer)
2:30-3:50pm Panels 3 and 4

Panel 3: Translating Dickens (BS/008)

Chair: Brendan Whitmarsh

Translating Dickens: L’Abîme (No Thoroughfare) at the Vaudeville Theatre, Paris, in 1868, Richard Pearson

‘The National Razor’: How Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities pervaded Nineteen-Eighties Television Screens and the Social and Political Climate, Ann-Marie Richardson

Dickens’s Nordic After-Life: Dickensian Resonances in the Work of Bjornstjerne Bjornson, Kathy Rees

Panel 4: Dickens and America (Treehouse)

Chair: Rebecca Butler

Anti-American Notes: A Dickensian Backlash, Adam Abraham

The American Dickens: Analysing Charles Dickens’s Relationship with America and the Discourse of Celebrity in Matthew Pearl’s The Last Dickens (2009), José Viera

Boys and ‘Mentors’ on Both Sides of the Atlantic: Fagins,   Sikeses and Olivers, Davids; Injun Joes, Pap Finns and Toms, Huckleberry Finns, Sema Ege

3:50-4:10pm Break (Berrick Saul Building Foyer)
4:10-5:30pm Panels 5 and 6

Panel 5: Dickensian Afterlives (BS/008)

Chair: Claire Wood

‘The Mystery, not the History, of Edwin Drood’: The Interwar Speculations, Camilla Ulleland Hoel

The Contemporary ‘Dickensian’ Novel: The Goldfinch, A Case Study, Rob Jacklosky

Little Nell in the Cyber Age, Francesca Arnavas

Panel 6: Co[s]p[la]ying Dickens (Treehouse)

Chair: Hadas Elber-Aviram

 The Pickwick Club: Love, Politics, and Cosplay in 1837, Maureen England

Cheeky Cockneys and Artful Villains: The Life of Dickens’s Cockney Characters and their Language Beyond his Novels, Alice Turner

The Unfinished Picture: The Mystery of Rosa Bud, Pete Orford

6-7pm Performance: Fagin’s Last Hour, presented by Brother Wolf in association with Harrogate Theatre, adapted and performed by James Hyland (Bowland Auditorium). Included in the conference fee.
7-7:30pm Post-Performance Q&A (Bowland Auditorium)
8pm Dinner at ASK Italian, York’s 18th-Century Assembly Rooms (optional extra, email to sign up)

3rd December (Day 2)

9:30am Registration (Berrick Saul Building Foyer)
10:00-10:50am Keynote: Crowdsourced Dickens, Juliet John
(Bowland Auditorium)
11:00am-12:20pm Panels 7 and 8

Panel 7: Mediated Lives (Bowland)

Chair: Yusuke Wakazawa

The Dickensian orchestral work: symphony or polyphony?, Jeremy Parrott

Dickens’s Old Men: George Augustus Sala, Edmund Yates and Dickensian Influence, Emily Bowles

Chesterton’s Charles Dickens: Shaping Dickens’s Afterlife, Charlotte Arnautou

Panel 8: Dickens as Intertext (Treehouse)

Chair: Kathy Rees

‘Dickens, their chosen apostle!’: The Dickensian Politics of Frances Dickinson’s Periodical Travel Writing, Rebecca Butler

Dickensian Realism in The Wire, Laurena Tsudama

Beckett’s Dickens: Influence and Inheritance in ‘First Love’ and Murphy, Hunter Dukes

12:20-1pm Lunch (Berrick Saul Building Foyer)
1-2:20pm Panels 9 and 10

Chair: Simonetta Falchi

Panel 9: Digital Dickenses (Bowland)

CLiC Dickens: Reading Concordances and Characters, Michaela Mahlberg

Bleak House and Social Network Analysis: Dickens Through the Macroscope, Gerardine Meaney

Dickens and Meme: Digital Media and Creative Criticism, Emma Curry


Panel 10: Dickens on History (Treehouse)

Chair: Sarah Murphy

Fictional Archives, Joanna Robinson

Dickens and the Black Masks of History: Re-envisioning the Past in Hard Times, Sara Malton

After Dickens, Utopia: Reading Dickens in Bellamy’s Looking Backward and Morris’s News from Nowhere, Hadas Elber-Aviram

2:20-2:40pm Break (Berrick Saul Building Foyer)
2:40-4pm Panels 11 and 12

Panel 11: Legacies of Violence (Bowland)

Chair: Adam Abraham

The Death of Nancy Sykes on the Nineteenth-Century Stage, Michael Gilmour

The Great Expectations of Dickensian Prequels: Miss Havisham and the Cruelty of Optimism, Claire O’Callaghan

PCKWCK: An Experiment in Anxiety, Simonetta Falchi

Panel 12: Creating Character (Treehouse)

Chair: Christine Corton

Mediating Reflexive Expression: Headless Frogs in Dickens and Darwin, Harriet Newnes

Detective Dickens: A New Version of Charles Dickens, Jean Briggs

Articulating the Past: Adaptation, Casting and Black British Histories in Dickensian (BBC, 2016), Rachel Carroll

4-4:20pm Break (Berrick Saul Building Foyer)
4:20-5:40pm Panels 13 and 14

Panel 13: New Voices (Bowland)

Chair: Gail Turley Houston

‘Recalled to Life’: From Bleak House to Tom-All-Alone’s, Lynn Shepherd

Charles Dickens and the Modern Postcolonial Imagination, Jan-Melissa Schramm

Dickens and Switzerland after Dickens, Christine Gmür

Panel 14: Traces of Dickens (Treehouse)

Chair: Peter Cook

Stenography and Orality in Dickens: Rethinking the Phonographic Legacy, Hugo Bowles

Dickens, Fog and the Hereafter, Christine Corton

5:40pm End

Supported by the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS):, the Dickens Society and the Modern School of the English Department, University of York.

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