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Annual Dickens Universe: A Conference of 19th Century Literature

Program No. 4650RJ
Immerse yourself in the world of 19th-Century literature and learn about the authors through lectures, group discussions, and Victorian events at the annual Dickens Universe.

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Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
Filling Fast!
Jul 23 - Jul 29, 2023
Starting at
Itinerary Note

42nd Annual Dickens Universe will feature 'A Tale of Two Cities'.

DATES & starting prices
Filling Fast!
Jul 23 - Jul 29, 2023
Starting at
Itinerary Note

42nd Annual Dickens Universe will feature 'A Tale of Two Cities'.

At a Glance

The Dickens Universe is an annual gathering of scholars, teachers, and members of the general public who share a love of Dickens’s novels and his era. The festive week-long program includes lectures by distinguished scholars, small seminars, films, teas, and Victorian dancing. Enrollment is limited. Register early!
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to a mile or more each day on a hilly terrain between apartment, dining facilities and lecture rooms. Classrooms, dining and lecture halls are all accessible via ramps or elevators. The apartments are not equipped with elevators.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore the novel in small discussion groups and lectures by distinguished international faculty.
  • Enjoy afternoon tea served by the Friends of the Dickens Project.
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Dickens at a grand party and an evening of Victorian dancing.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Jon Michael Varese
Jon Varese is an American novelist and literary historian whose first novel, 'The Spirit Photographer' (2018), was published to critical acclaim. Varese has also written widely on Victorian literature and culture, and has served in various capacities, most recently as director of outreach, for The Dickens Project at the University of California for over two decades.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of John Jordan
John O. Jordan View biography
John Jordan is a research professor of literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the director of The Dickens Project. His primary research interests include Victorian literature and culture, Charles Dickens and narrative theory. John is the author of "Supposing Bleak House" and co-editor, with Robert Patten and Catherine Waters, of the "Oxford Handbook of Charles Dickens."
Profile Image of Jason Rudy
Jason Rudy View biography
Jason Rudy is an associate professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. A member of the Historical Poets Working Group, Jason’s research focuses on English nineteenth-century literature and its circulation around the world, particularly in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Most recently, Jason has authored “Imagined Homelands: British Poetry in the Colonies" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017) which studies poetry written in colonial spaces by British emigrants.
Profile Image of Jon Michael Varese
Jon Michael Varese View biography
Jon Varese is an American novelist and literary historian whose first novel, 'The Spirit Photographer' (2018), was published to critical acclaim. Varese has also written widely on Victorian literature and culture, and has served in various capacities, most recently as director of outreach, for The Dickens Project at the University of California for over two decades.
Profile Image of Mark Gordon
Mark Gordon View biography
Mark Gordon, a retired children’s librarian from New York City Public Schools, moved to Santa Cruz in 1992. He has been active in educational work his whole adult life and earned a graduate degree from Pratt Institute in Library Science. In Santa Cruz, in addition to being on the board of the Friends of the Dickens Project, Mark is also a very active board member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Santa Cruz. He is married with two daughters and three grandchildren.
Profile Image of Sukanya Banerjee
Sukanya Banerjee View biography
Sukanya Banerjee is an associate professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is particularly interested in the literatures and history of nineteenth-century British colonialism. Her book, 'Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire' (Duke UP, 2010), was awarded the NVSA Sonya Rudikoff Prize (2012). She is an editor of 'New Routes in Diaspora Studies' (Indiana UP, 2012). She is currently working on a book on loyalty and its centrality to modernity in the context of Victorian Britain and its empire.
Profile Image of Catherine Robson
Catherine Robson View biography
Catherine Robson is a long-time faculty member of the Dickens Project and a professor in the English Department at New York University. She is the author of 'Men in Wonderland: The Lost Girlhood of the Victorian Gentleman' and 'Heart Beats: Everyday Life and the Memorized Poem.' Currently based at NYU London, she also co-edits, with Rachel Ablow, the Victorian Age section of the Norton Anthology of English Literature (a new, heavily revised edition of which will land in 2024).
Profile Image of Tricia Lootens
Tricia Lootens View biography
Tricia Lootens is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of English. The author of 'Political Poetess: Victorian Femininity, Race, and the Legacy of Separate Spheres,' (Princeton, 2017), Lootens strongly supports current moves toward "undisciplining Victorian Studies." Transatlantic explorations of nineteenth-century poetry's racialized relations to larger cultural fantasies of patriotism, nationalism, femininity, and race, have shaped her work and have more recently expanded to encompass trans-imperial studies.
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Courtney Mahaney View biography
Courtney Mahaney can frequently be found with scissors in her hand, from secateurs to dressmaker’s shears. When she is not gardening or sewing, Courtney takes her beagle, Millie, on therapeutic visits to area nursing homes, and serves as a court-appointed special advocate for a foster youth. She loves literature and exploring antiquarian bookstores. A native Vermonter, she now calls Santa Cruz home.
Profile Image of Logan Browning
Logan Browning View biography
Logan Browning is the publisher and executive editor of 'Studies in English Literature 1500-1900' and Professor in the Practice of English and Humanities at Rice University. He is a specialist in Victorian literature and publishing history, and a contributor to the 'Oxford Reader's Companion to Charles Dickens,' 'The Oxford Handbook on Dickens,' and other publications. Professor Browning is a faculty member of the Dickens Universe, an advisory editor and occasional reviewer for the 'Hopkins Review,' and has been an occasional reviewer for the Houston Chronicle.
Profile Image of Manu Chander
Manu Samriti Chander View biography
Manu Samriti Chander is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. He is the author of 'Brown Romantics: Poetry and Nationalism in the Global Nineteenth Century' and is currently working on his second monograph, 'Browntology.' He is the co-editor of the book series 'Race in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture' and is currently editing 'The Cambridge Companion to Romanticism and Race' and 'The Collected Works of Egbert Martin.'
Profile Image of Renée Fox
Renée Fox View biography
Renée Fox is Assistant Professor of Literature, Co-Director of the Dickens Project, and Co-Director of the Center for Monster Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She is the author of 'The Necromantics: Reanimation, the Historical Imagination, and Victorian British and Irish Literature' (The Ohio State University Press, 2023). Her published work has appeared in such journals as 'Victorian Studies,' 'Victorian Poetry,' 'Nineteenth-Century Contexts,' 'Irish University Review,' and 'New Hibernia Review,' as well as in several edited volumes and critical editions.
Profile Image of Catherine Gallagher
Catherine Gallagher View biography
Catherine Gallagher is the Emerita Eggers Professor of English Literature, having taught at UC Berkeley until her retirement in 2013. Her books include 'The Body Economic: Life, Death, and Sensation in Political Economy and the Victorian Novel' (2006) and 'Telling It Like It Wasn’t: The Counterfactual Imagination in History and Literature' (2018). She was a founding member of the editorial board and co-editor of the journal 'Representations,' helping to popularize a form of literary studies that was called “new historicism” in the 1980s.
Profile Image of Christian Lehmann
Christian Lehmann View biography
Christian Lehmann earned his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California with a dissertation on the Roman poet, Ovid. He took a class with Hilary Schor and read his first two Dickens novels. Dr. Schor saw something in his enthusiastic reading of Dickens and invited him to be a delegate to the Dickens Universe in 2010. Since then, Christian has returned every year to the Universe and, in 2017, began conducting a Dickensian Seminar. His talk comes from his book project, 'Dickens the Classicist.'
Profile Image of Nathalie Vanfasse
Nathalie Vanfasse View biography
Nathalie Vanfasse is a professor of literature at L’Université d’Aix-Marseille. Her research interests include poetics, society and historicism, cultural approaches of Victorian literature, and the reception of Dickens in France; currently, she is exploring connections between literature and economics. She is the author of 'Dickens, entre normes et déviance' (2007) and 'La plume et la route: Charles Dickens écrivain-voyager' (2017). She has co-edited special issues on Dickens for 'Dickens Quarterly' (2012) and two volumes on 'Charles Dickens, Modernism, Modernity' (2014).
Profile Image of Amy King
Amy M. King is a professor of English at St. John’s University, Queens (NY), and the author of 'Bloom: The Botanical Vernacular in the English Novel' (Oxford UP, 2003) and 'The Divine in the Commonplace: Reverent Natural History and the Novel in Britain' (Cambridge UP, 2019). She has contributed to journals including 'Victorian Review,' 'Novel,' 'RaVoN', and 'Common Knowledge', as well as 'The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Literary Culture,' 'The Cambridge Companion to George Eliot,' and 'The Cambridge Companion to Religion in Victorian Literary Culture.'
Profile Image of Andrew H. Miller
Andrew H. Miller View biography
Andrew H. Miller is a professor of English at Johns Hopkins University. He was the long-time editor of the journal 'Victorian Studies' and a founder of the North American Victorian Studies. His publications include 'On Not Being Someone Else: Stories of our Unled Lives' and 'The Burdens of Perfection: On Ethics and Reading in Nineteenth Century Literature.' He has been a Fellow at Oxford University and Birkbeck College, and the recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities Center and the ACLS.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens, edited by Richard Maxwell
We recommend the most recent Penguin Classics edition so that everyone can be “on the same page,” but if you already have an edition you enjoy, please bring that.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.