Drawing of Charles Dickens reading, sketched by C. A. Barry for Harper's Weekly

"Charles Dickens as he appears when reading" - Sketched by C.A.Barry, Harper's Weekly (1867)

Loughborough researcher to host international conference on Charles Dickens to mark 150 years

A Research Associate in Digital Humanities from Loughborough University has organised an international online event to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Charles Dickens' death on 9 June 2020.

Dr Emily Bell, editor of a new book Dickens After Dickens (White Rose University Press), is co-leading #Dickens150: An International Virtual Conference, which will feature over 50 speakers from across 10 countries.

Keynote speakers include Dr Leon Litvack (Queen’s University Belfast) who will present ‘The Plot to Bury Dickens: Capitalising on the Demise of a Victorian Celebrity’ and Dr Pete Ordford (University of Buckingham) with ‘Christmas in Cloisterham: Dickens, serialisation and Edwin Drood’s terrible timing’.

In addition, there will be opportunities for attendees to network and attend various panels discussing the inspirational and beloved author, who lived from 1812-1870.

The day will conclude with a Q&A session with renowned writer and broadcaster Armando Iannucci, who recently adapted Dickens’ novel David Copperfield into a film entitled The Personal History of David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie. He will be in conversation with Lucinda Hawksley, an author, broadcaster, lecturer and award-winning travel writer who is also the great, great, great-granddaughter of Charles and Catherine Dickens.

Dr Bell organised the event in partnership with Lydia Craig from Loyola University, Chicago.

Speaking about the upcoming event, Dr Bell said: “Dickens’ works have been bringing people together for more than 150 years, and it’s wonderful to be able to explore his legacy around the world in 2020. We’re so pleased to bring people together to commemorate this anniversary and share research in spite of the difficulties arising from COVID-19.”

The event will take place from 10am-8:30pm BST on Zoom and attendees are welcome to dip in and out throughout the day’s programme to listen to the talks that appeal to them and suit their time zones.

A full programme of the event can be found here.

Registration for the event costs £20 (or £15 for those who are students, unemployed or retired), all of which will be donated to the Charles Dickens Museum in London (minus a small technology fee). The organisers have already been successful in raising over £1,500 for the establishment.


Image: "Charles Dickens as he appears when reading" - Sketched by C.A.Barry, Harper's Weekly (1867). Source - The Victorian Web.