Updates; and Dickens bicentenary conference in Lowell, Mass.

April 12, 2011 at 11:11 am (Uncategorized)

After fantastic trips to England and to Columbus, OH, I am home at last, and ready to resume blogging!  As soon as I can find the USB cord that actually works with my camera, expect pictures of Haworth (complete with authentic Yorkshire fog), Shakespeare’s tomb, Mary Shelley’s grave in Bournemouth, and many other sites of necromantic literary tourism.  I could not, of course, take pictures in the British Library, but I did accomplish much fascinating research there.

Current projects: An article on the 1880s attempts to dig up Shakespeare, finishing up my first draft of the dissertation, an article that’s based on my BWWC conference presentation, and *another* article that’s probably going to focus on the arguments of either my Mary Shelley or my Charlotte Brontë chapter. Can you tell that I’m getting ready to go on the job market?? 🙂

And, of course, there’s a very important decision in my future.  I just received the CFP for a Dickens bicentenary year conference in Lowell, Massachusetts.  Here it is:

University of Massachusetts Lowell &
Lowell National Historical Park
Lowell, Massachusetts
13–15 July 2012

The Dickens Society will be offering an additional symposium and Dickens dinner during the bicentenary year.  These festivities will be held stateside at the Lowell National Historical Park on 13–15 July 2012. Hotel accommodation in downtown Lowell at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center will provide easy access to a major exhibition at the National Park — Dickens and Massachusetts: Untold Stories.  The exhibition will include several rare artifacts, including the 1842 portrait of Dickens by Boston painter Francis Alexander and the Boston Line Type edition of The Old Curiosity Shop donated by Dickens to the Perkins School for the Blind in 1868. Interactive elements such as electronically sensored skull models will enable visitors to try a phrenological “reading” of Dickens.  The popular Dickens walking tour of Lowell (first offered at the Dickens and America conference in 2002) and interactive sessions at the Tsongas Industrial History Center will also be featured offerings of the symposium.

Paper proposals on any aspect of Dickens and his works are invited. Final papers must be readable in twenty minutes. Please send one-page proposals electronically, by attachment, to Joel J. Brattin at jjb@wpi.edu no later than 31 March 2012. Further symposium information and updates will be available on the Dickens Quarterly website (http://www.DickensQuarterly.org) and from symposium co-chairs Diana Archibald (diana_archibald@uml.edu, English Department UMass Lowell, 61 Wilder St., Lowell, MA 01854) or Joel J. Brattin (Humanities & Arts Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA 01609-2280). Scholars at all stages of their careers are encouraged to submit proposals, and graduate students may register for the symposium at a reduced rate.

Located in the historic industrial city of Lowell, 25 miles northwest of Boston, the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus spans more than 125 acres along the Merrimack River. UMass Lowell is easily reached by either Manchester (New Hampshire) Airport or Boston’s Logan Airport. Lowell is connected to Boston via Amtrak trains (through north station in Boston) as well as bus service. Lowell is a great location from which to launch a side trip to the city of Boston, the beaches of Cape Cod, the resorts of Newport (Rhode Island), and even bustling New York City.

I find the opportunity to perform my own phrenological reading of Dickens nearly irresistible, but I’m going to have to see where I am and what I’ll be doing that summer!  Fortunately, I have some time to decide.


1 Comment

  1. danielfranke79 said,

    I sheepishly confess I just read this post. You’ve GOT to go!!! How can you pass up an opportunity like this?–they’ve gone out of their way to create phrenological props?!? 🙂

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