"Dickens Under Glass", 28th Annual Charles Dickens Symposium

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Charles Dickens Society
contact email: 

Considering Rochester’s vibrant culture of museums and long association with photographic technologies pioneered by Kodak and Xerox, the theme of the 2023 Dickens Society Symposium will be “Dickens under Glass.” The organizers invite you to interpret this theme broadly. Suitable topics include but are not limited to: the museumification and preservation of Dickensian things, and/or museums, preservation, and collection in his work; Dickens and windows; Dickens and mirrors; Dickens and telescopes, microscopes, spectacles, ophthalmology, or seeing; Dickens and glazed cases, terrariums, and horticulture; Dickens and plate glass, shop windows, and commodity culture; Dickens and voyeurism; seeing Dickens through projectors (film) and LEDs (television, digital projects). And of course, as is customary with Dickens Society symposia, proposals on other aspects of Dickens’s life and works are welcome. Please submit your abstract of 300 words (maximum) to Sean Grass at scggsl@rit.edu by January 15, 2023.


Rochester is a metropolitan area of a little more than 1 million people with a major airport, good public transportation, reliable Uber/Lyft/taxi services, cultural sites, and tourist attractions. Dickens gave two public readings in Rochester during his 1868 reading tour, performing on March 10 and March 16 at the Corinthian Hall, which was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1898 then finally demolished in 1928. He was among several notable people to speak at the Corinthian Hall during the second half of the nineteenth century, including Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. During his 1842 visit to the United States, Dickens certainly passed near Rochester, too, though he does not record the city among his stopping places. The city boasts innumerable Victorian homes and several historic districts, and its metropolitan area extends northward to the shore of Lake Ontario. Its many museums include the George Eastman Museum, The Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, The Strong National Museum of Play, and the Memorial Art Gallery, several of which are within a 10-minute walk of our conference hotel.