Chatham and Rochester

Childhood, ‘Great Expectations’ and the Idea of ‘the Dickensian’

Co-hosted by Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent on the Universities at Medway Campus (Chatham, Kent)

Monday 6 February

A morning in Dickens’s Rochester and its environs
8.45am – coach pick-up at the Ramada Hotel, Chatham

Welcome and introduction to Dickens’s Rochester and Chatham
9.00 am – Guildhall Museum, Rochester

Cathy Waters – University of Kent, School of English
Peter Merchant – Canterbury Christ Church University

Dickens’s Rochester and Chatham
Jeremy Clarke, Education Officer
Guildhall Museum

Tea and Coffee at the Guildhall Museum; Walking Tour of Rochester, including Restoration (Satis) House: Visit to St Thomas’s at Cooling and St Mary’s at Higham
10.00 am

Buffet Lunch
1.00 pm – Room RWs33 on the Universities at Medway Campus

Parallel Sessions

Panel A: Bleak House and the fictions of childhood
2.00 pm – Room 1

‘In a state of bondage’: the children of Bleak House’
Jennifer Gribble
University of Sydney (Australia)

Dickens, Law and Social Reform
Phoebe Poon
University of New South Wales (Australia)

Panel B: The Afterlife of Dickensian child characters
2.00 pm – Room 2

The Dickensian Child for Children: L.L Weedon’s Child Characters from Dickens and the Edwardian Cult of Childhood
Adrienne Gavin
Canterbury Christ Church University (UK)

Dickens’s Suffering Child and Anstey’s Fabulous Mill
Peter Merchant
Canterbury Christ Church University (UK)

Panel C: Childhood and the family romance
2.00 pm – Room 3

Who Stole the Child?: Swapped Babies and Blank Identities in Early Dickens
Galia Benziman
Open University of Israel

Traumatic Encounters: Parents and Children in Dickens’s Novels
Madeleine Wood
University of Warwick (UK)

Parallel Sessions

Panel A: Childhood and memory
3.00 pm – Room 1

The Adult Narrator’s Memory of Childhood in David’s, Esther’s and Pip’s Autobiographies
Maria Teresa Chialant
University of Salerno (Italy)

‘Let him remember it in that room years to come!’: Myths of Childhood and Memory in Dombey and Son and The Haunted Man
Carolyn Oulton
Canterbury Christ Church University (UK)

Panel B: Autobiography and the places of childhood
3.00 pm – Room 2

‘There was no envy in this’: Fanny Dickens and the Autobiographical Fragment
Lillian Nayder
Bates College (USA)

The River Medway, its Towns and Countryside: the Dickensian ‘arrière-pays’?
Jane Avner
Université de Paris XIII (France)

Afternoon Tea
4.00 pm – Location TBA

Parallel Sessions

Panel A: Childhood, fancy and the wonders of transformation
4.30 pm – Room 1

‘Ten Thousand Million Delights’: Dickens and the Pantomime Clown
Jonathan Buckmaster
Royal Holloway, University of London (UK)

‘As If…’: Dickens and the Private Life of Things
Frances Laskey
Mills College (USA)

Dickens’s Authorial Doll Play
Eugenia Gonzalez
Ohio State University (USA)

Panel B: Childhood and reading
4.30 pm – Room 2

What happens to Pickwick’s ‘Gold Spectacles’: Reading (or not reading) in The Pickwick Papers
Jennifer Croteau
Tufts University (USA)

Dickens’s Childhood Reading of Books of Travel and Voyage
Laura Peters
Roehampton University (UK)

Cervantes and Dickens: Redressing Youth’s Wrongs
Paul Vita
Saint Louis University Madrid (Spain)

Plenary Lecture
6.15 pm – Room 1

Geographies of Childhood
Rosemarie Bodenheimer
Boston College (USA)

200th Birthday Eve Banquet, and Post-Prandial Entertainment
7.30 pm – St George’s Centre

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