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Dickens Universe

July 21 - July 27  |  UC Santa Cruz


The Dickens Universe is a unique cultural event that brings together scholars, teachers, students, and members of the general public for a week of stimulating discussion and festive social activity on the beautiful Santa Cruz campus of the University of California—all focused on one or two Victorian novels, usually one by Charles Dickens. In 2024, the Dickens Universe will feature Great Expectations, which since its publication in 1860-61, has been one of Dickens’s best-loved and most widely read works.

Now in its 44th year of operation, the Dickens Universe combines features of a scholarly conference, a festival, a book club, and summer camp. Participants include people of all ages and walks of life—distinguished scholars, graduate students, undergraduates, retirees, young professionals, high school teachers, anyone who loves to read and who enjoys long Victorian novels.

Here are some of the reasons why the Universe such a special experience:

  • The college lifestyle: participants live on campus, eat together in the student dining hall, have time to meet and come to know each other in different ways.
  • Everyone is reading the same book. We all have this one important thing in common.
  • The range of activities—formal lectures, small discussion groups, films, daily Victorian teas, performances, and Victorian dancing.

The Universe offers a week of total immersion in the world of Victorian fiction with friendly, like-minded colleagues in a beautiful setting. This year’s Dickens Universe will begin on Sunday, July 21, and end on Saturday, July 27.

Registration is now open for the 2024 Dickens Universe featuring Great Expectations. The conference will primarily be an in-person event, with the option to attend virtually from afar.

To register or learn about The Dickens Universe visit:


July 21
July 27