Conference: Dickens and the Visual Imagination

On Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 July, the School of English and Languages at the University of Surrey will co-host a conference on Dickens and the Visual Imagination, in association with Watts Gallery and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. The first day of the conference will take place at the University of Surrey’s campus in Guildford and will conclude with a wine reception and viewing of the Dickens and the Artists exhibition at Watts Gallery, while the second day will be hosted at the Paul Mellon Centre in central London.

2012 marks the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’s birth, and we’re excited to be contributing to the celebrations by hosting an event that explores such a unique and vital aspect of Dickens’s work and cultural legacy.┬áDickens is renowned for the richness of his visual imagination, and his publications encouraged readers to interpret his words with and through their accompanying illustrations. Not only was Dickens deeply engaged with ideas of the visual in his writing, but his work also provoked responses from artists across multiple disciplines within the Victorian period and beyond. We’ve put together a thought-provoking and stimulating programme of papers which showcases the scope of current research into Dickens and the visual, taking in subjects as diverse as architecture, Victorian street art, and twenty-first-century graphic novels.

Dickens and the Visual Imagination is an interdisciplinary and international event, bringing together scholars from a range of subjects, including English literature, art history, and law, and welcoming academics from universities in Australia, France, India, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the USA. The conference will feature keynote addresses from Professor Andrew Sanders (University of Durham), Professor Sambudha Sen (University of Delhi), Professor Lynda Nead (Birkbeck, University of London), and Professor Kate Flint (University of Southern California).

The Surrey English blog will be posting during and after the conference. In the meantime, if you would like additional information about the event, please email