THE DICKENS WORLD: POST-IMPERIAL READINGS [18-20 DECEMBER, 2012]
The Department of English (Centre of Advanced Study), and the Centre for Victorian Studies, at Jadavpur University, propose an interdisciplinary conference on 'The Dickens World: Post-Imperial Readings' on [18-20 Dec, 2012] to observe the bicentenary of Charles Dickens (1812-1870), a quintessentially Victorian author whose books continue to be read, filmed and studied around the world. The conference will examine Dickens's imperial and post-imperial destinies, and his centrality to discourses of race, class, gender, reform, religion, empire, philanthropy, industry, work, and the 'civilizing mission' of the British nation. It will also ask how, and to what extent, Dickens has survived the projects with which his writing was so closely related, and how we read him today. Papers (for 25-minute presentations) focusing on some aspect of Dickens's writings, are invited on the following or related themes:
• Dickens in relation to contemporary history, especially colonial history
• The writer's world and the lives of print: journalism, editing, publishing, serialization, book-histories
• Reading beyond the nation: 'empires of the mind' and histories of reception
• Dickens's fictional worlds: people, cities, plots
• 'Land of promise': Empire, emigration, views of and from the colony
• Telescopic Philanthropy and the 'civilizing mission'
• Imperial concerns: anthropology, slavery, trade, territory, industry
• Colonial commodities and cultures of 'use'
• Class and gender, race and prejudice: history from above and below
• The Contagious Diseases Acts: science, medicine and law
• Re-reading Dickens, re-writing Dickens: historiographic metafictions
• Dickens in other media
Abstracts (not more than 500 words) may be sent to conference organizers at the following e-mail addresses by 31 July 2012. The decision of the Conference Committee will be communicated to intending participants by 15 August 2012