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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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DATES & starting prices
Jul 21 - Jul 27, 2024
Starting at
Itinerary Note

44th Annual Dickens Universe will feature “Great Expectations”.

DATES & starting prices
Jul 21 - Jul 27, 2024
Starting at
Itinerary Note

44th Annual Dickens Universe will feature “Great Expectations”.

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.

What You'll Learn

  • 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 trip experts
Profile Image
John Bowen
John Bowen is a professor of English at the University of York in England and a long-time faculty member of the Dickens Project. He has published many books and articles on Dickens, including "Other Dickens: Pickwick to Chuzzlewit," "Palgrave Advances in Charles Dickens Studies" (with Robert L. Patten), and the Penguin edition of "Barnaby Rudge." He recently served as the President of the worldwide Dickens Fellowship.

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 John Bowen
John Bowen View biography
John Bowen is a professor of English at the University of York in England and a long-time faculty member of the Dickens Project. He has published many books and articles on Dickens, including "Other Dickens: Pickwick to Chuzzlewit," "Palgrave Advances in Charles Dickens Studies" (with Robert L. Patten), and the Penguin edition of "Barnaby Rudge." He recently served as the President of the worldwide Dickens Fellowship.
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 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 Courtney Mahaney
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 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 Summer Star
Summer Star View biography
Summer Star, in the English literature program at San Francisco State University, teaches Victorian literature and researches literary dynamics and mental/spiritual themes. She has published on Austen, Hopkins, Eliot, and Tennyson. Completing a manuscript on mid-Victorian novels, she resides in San Francisco, enjoying its fog, culture, art, and coffee with her Labrador, Charlotte.
Profile Image of Elizabeth Miller
Elizabeth Miller View biography
Elizabeth Carolyn Miller, professor of English and interim chair of gender, sexuality, and women's studies at UC Davis since 2008, specializes in 19th- and early-20th-century British literature, ecocriticism, gender, and media studies. Her recent book, "Extraction Ecologies and the Literature of the Long Exhaustion," was released by Princeton University Press in October 2021.
Profile Image of Briony Wickes
Briony Wickes View biography
Professor Briony Wickes, a scholar of nineteenth-century literature, the environment, and critical animal studies, explores the intersections of climate change, colonialism, and human-animal relations. The monograph "Animal Material: Ecology, Settler Colonialism, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction" analyzes animals' roles in British colonial migrations, revealing their economic and conceptual impact. Her current project, 'Nuisance Aesthetics,' examines the affective dimensions of nuisance in literature, exploring disruptive nonhuman forces in the long nineteenth century.
Profile Image of Mary Mullen
Mary Mullen View biography
Mary Mullen is an associate professor of English at Villanova University. A scholar of 19th-century English and Irish literature, she explores the intersections of literature, history, and politics. The author of "Novel Institutions," examining anachronisms in Irish novels, she was awarded the Robert Rhodes Prize. She is currently working on "The Colonial Politics of Public Interest" and a hybrid memoir intertwining literary criticism with life's complexities.
Profile Image of Elaine Auyoung
Elaine Auyoung View biography
Elaine Auyoung is an associate professor of English at the University of Minnesota with diverse interests in 19th-century British literature, feminist epistemology, and learning in the humanities. Author of "When Fiction Feels Real," she explores reading experiences dismissed as naïve, drawing on psychological research. Currently working on two projects, she aims to redefine literary learning and explore the trauma-informed nature of aesthetic experiences.
Profile Image of Matthew Sussman
Matthew Sussman View biography
Matthew Sussman, a professor specializing in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, focuses on the ethics and aesthetics of prose. With expertise in literary style, virtue theory, and Victorian cultural criticism, he previously lectured at Harvard, where they earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He also holds an M.Phil in contemporary European studies from Cambridge and has experience as a policy analyst for the Canadian government.
Profile Image of Michael Stern
Michael Stern View biography
Michael Stern, a Dickens Universe attendee since 2012, established the Jordan-Stern Presidential Chair for Dickens and Nineteenth-Century Studies to ensure its growth and prominence in public humanities. A Silicon Valley lawyer until 2018, Stern's storytelling enthusiasm is reflected in the documentary film "General Magic," featuring his experiences as general counsel during the 1990s.
Profile Image of Sara Hackenberg
Sara Hackenberg View biography
Sara Hackenberg is a professor of English at San Francisco State University. She specializes in 19th-century British and American literature, delving into narrative mystery, popular culture, and visual media. Her expertise spans Victorian literature, cultural criticism, and silent film. She offers courses on Victorian culture, women, the novel's history, literary theory, detective fiction, 19th-century mystery, and the vampire tradition in literature.
Profile Image of Rosemarie Bodenheimer
Rosemarie Bodenheimer View biography
Rosemarie Bodenheimer is an emerita professor renowned for significant contributions to Victorian literature. Her publications include "Mendelssohn & Co.: A Fictive Memoir" and "Knowing Dickens." She is a recognized authority on Dickens, Eliot, and Victorian novels, with a notable body of work exploring literature's intricate relationship with history, culture, and identity.
Profile Image of Lura Johnson
Lura Johnson View biography
Lura Johnson, an acclaimed Steinway Artist, captivates audiences and critics with emotionally resonant performances. Recognized for her ensemble and solo prowess, she serves as resident pianist for the Baltimore Symphony and principal pianist for the Delaware Symphony. As a versatile concerto soloist and chamber musician, Lura passionately communicates the essence of her music, leaving an indelible mark on the classical music landscape.
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