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Call for Papers: Dickens Day 2024

‘Dickens and the Gothic’

 Conference date: Saturday 12th October 2024, Senate House London


Please send proposals (maximum 500 words) to Pete Orford, Emma Curry, Hadas Elber-Aviram and Claire Wood at dickensdayuk@gmail.com

The deadline for paper proposals is 30st June 2024.



Once, I had been taken to see some ghastly waxwork at the Fair, representing I know not what impossible personage lying in state. Once, I had been taken to one of our old marsh churches to see a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress that had been dug out of a vault under the church pavement. Now, waxwork and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me.

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for this year’s Dickens Day on the topic of ‘Dickens and the Gothic’. Dickens’s works frequently embraced and interrogated the Gothic mode. Within his works we find classic Gothic tropes such as the supernatural, family secrets, grotesque characters, hidden threats, generational mysteries, haunted landscapes and crises of identity. While his shorter fiction frequently encompassed the fantastic within their narrative, his novels also integrated Gothic elements into urban environments. We look forward to exploring Dickens’s use of the Gothic to consider how he was inspired by Gothic works before him, and how he went on to inspire Gothic works after him.  

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on any aspect of the theme and warmly encourage Dickensians and scholars of all backgrounds and career stages to apply. Topics could include but are not limited to:

  • The supernatural – ghosts, goblins and visions
  • Violence and crime – murder, jealousy and schemes
  • Villains and monsters
  • The Gothic landscape – haunted houses, isolated locales and threatening urban spaces
  • The fractured self – doubles, split personalities, twins and the uncanny
  • Dickens’s Gothic influences – Dickens’s reading of Gothic texts, and Gothic echoes in his work
  • Dickens’s Gothic legacy – adaptations, appropriations and new Gothic literature inspired by Dickens
  • Dickens’s Gothic satire – exploring Dickens’s mocking of Gothic tropes and cliché
  • International Gothic – exoticism, xenophobia and foreign threats

Please send proposals (maximum 500 words) to Pete Orford, Emma Curry, Hadas Elber-Aviram and Claire Wood at dickensdayuk@gmail.com

The deadline for paper proposals is 30st June 2024.