Dickens Universe Meeting, 1993
Events, Lectures, and Papers
The Dickens Project (centered at Kresge College, University
of California, Santa Cruz) has just concluded its thirteenth
annual Dickens Universe at the Santa Cruz campus.
"Dickens Universe" is the umbrella term for the cluster of
week-long activities which include a course for teachers and the
general public (each conducted jointly by a faculty member and a
graduate student); seminars for graduate students; formal lec-
tures; small discussion groups and workshops; readings, films and
videos of Dickens's works. It is held every year in conjunction
with a weekend conference--this year on "Victorian Mystery"--the
two groups intersecting with one another and presenting interre-
lated lectures and discussions.
As has become usual, hundreds of people attended, many for
the entire week. Among them were 26 faculty, 21 presenters at
the conference, and 31 graduate students chosen by their partici-
pating universities. Attendees had a choice of 16 formal lec-
tures and, at the conference, 21 papers as well as several film
showings, readings by Philip Collins, entertainment by the Dick-
ens Players, and panel discussions. This is not to omit the
Dickens Book Fair, raffles, afternoon teas, "postprandial pota-
tions" (a phrase from the schedule), mystery games, a dessert
party, endless talk, and general camaraderie. The week, that is
to say, was both serious and light, scholarly and joyously frivo-
Perhaps, my fellow Dickensians, you would like to see a list
of lecturers and their lecture titles? For the most part these
centered on the book being studied for the week, _The Mystery of
Edwin Drood_, but there were also specially solicited talks on
related subjects. Here they are in the order in which they were
given with an occasional word of comment. I shall append a list
of the papers given as part of the "Victorian Mystery" Con-
Robert Tracy, University of California, Berkeley, "Murder in the
Cathedral: Dickens's Book of Uncommon Prayer" (Opening lecture
focussing in part on the cathedral setting and other religious
connections of the novel)
Gordon Philo, "The _Drood_ Debate in the Nineteenth Century and
the 1914 Drood Trials"
Fred Kaplan, City University of New York, Graduate Center, "Con-
ceiving Biographies: Dickens and Twain" (Biographer of Carlyle
and Dickens, Kaplan is now working on Twain.)
Ray Dubberke, "The _Drood_ Literature and Other Matters"
John Glavin, Georgetown University, "Drood: A Winter's Tale by
Dickens" (On the theatricality of _MED_)
Carol MacKay, University of Texas, Austin, "Supraimagery in _The
Mystery of Edwin Drood_" (On "the governing supraimage" which
"permeates the entire work ..., acting as a template on many
Emily Woudenberg, University of California, Santa Cruz, "'And all
should cry, beware! beware!' Late Victorian Opium Dens"
Wendy Jacobson, Rhodes University, "John Jasper and the Mark of
George Newlin, "Windows into Dickens: A New Kind of Anthology"
David Parker, Dickens House Museum, "Drood Redux: Mystery and the
Art of Fiction"
Gordon Philo, "An Ancient English Cathedral Town" (The orders,
groupings, functions and functionaries of an English Cathedral
Philip Collins, University of Leicester, "Dickens as Podsnap"
Gerhard Joseph, Lehman College, CUNY, "Who Cares Who Killed Edwin
Drood?" (Joseph reads the "symmetrical Chapters 1 and 22 ...
as the beginning and conclusion of a _finished_, not an
Lawrence Frank, University of Oklahoma, "_The Mystery of Edwin
Drood_ and the Art of Reconstruction" (On the influence of
the narrative models provided by geology, archaeology, and
evolutionary biology on Dickens in _MED_ and to a degree on
Donald Rumbelow, formerly of the London Metropolitan Police,
"Jack the Ripper" (Repeated for town audience later in week)
Judith Knelman, University of Western Ontario, "Victorian Murder,
Female Motives and Methods" (Keynote address for Conference
and "swing talk" for both groups)
Victorian Mystery Conference
(Organized by John Jordan and Albert Hutter)
Laura Inman, Columbia University, "Gender and Victorian Female
Crime: The Case of Victoria Manning"
Patrick Leary, Indiana University, "The Poisoning of Husbands:
Arsenic and Sexual Politics at Mid-Century"
Anne Humpherys, Lehman College and Graduate Center, CUNY,
"`Police Intelligence': Newgate Narrative and the Construction
Kenneth Thompson, University of Virginia, "Dialectic
Sensationalism and the Newgate Controversy: _Oliver Twist_,
_Jack Sheppard_, and Courvoisier"
Larry Wolff, Boston College, "Juvenile Criminality and Erotic
Sentimentality in _Oliver Twist_"
Thomas Caramagno, University of Nebraska, "Victorian Ideas on the
Dual Brain" (A companion paper to the one following)
Kathleen Spencer, University of Nebraska, "Mysterious Powers of
Mind: Late Victorian Fantastic Fiction"
Peter Dale, University of California, Davis, "Oscar Wilde: Crime
and the `Gracious Shapes of Art'"
Donald Rumbelow, (see above) "The Curs" [of Scotland Yard]
Sara Berman, Columbia University, "The Meaning of Mediumship"
Michael Doylen, University of California, Santa Cruz, "Writing
the Body, Writing the Mind: Phrenology and the Construction of
Diana Basham, University of Warwick, "Grey Ladies: Victorian
Women's Ghost Stories and Victorian Women Ghosts"
Barbara Gottfried, Bentley College, "Figures of Mystery on the
Threshold of the Domestic: Heathcliff and the `Tenant' of
Brian Cheadle, University of Witwatersrand, "The Case of the Dark
Surgeon: Mystification and Mystery in the Later Dickens"
Ian Duncan, Yale University, "The Secret History of the World in
Catherine Hollis, University of California, Berkeley, "`Am I Tied
to a Wheel?' Locomotion in _Lady Audley's Secret_"
Susan David Bernstein, University of Wisconsin, Madison,
"Colonizing Domestic Mysteries: The Discourse of Primitivism
and Collins's Sensation Fiction"
Ronald Thomas, Trinity College, "The Lady Vanishes: The Mystery
of Identity in Victorian Sensation Fiction"
Theresa Mangum, University of Iowa, "Wilkie Collins, Detection,
Susan Katz, New York University, "Dispossession and Self-
Creation: The Case of the Female Sleuth"
Susan Leonardi and Rebecca Pope, University of Maryland and
Georgetown University, "The Return of Irene Adler"
The novel to be studied at next year's Dickens Universe is
_Hard Times_. The Director of the Dickens Project is Profes-
sor John Jordan, Kresge College, UC Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (tel.
Cheers and greetings,
Dept. of English
UC Santa Barbara, CA 93016