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Prof and a Pint: “Dickens and the Struggles of Marriage”
December 10, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
| Forager, San Jose
Charles Dickens is known for his marriage plots: no matter what kinds of twists and turns threaten the path of true love, in the end David Copperfield gets his Agnes, Esther Summerson gets her Woodcourt, and John Harmon gets his Bella. But was marriage really a happy ending for the women in Dickens’s novels? What happened after the novels ended and the romantic triumph of successfully surviving a 900-page plot began to fade? This talk will trace the pitfalls of getting married in Victorian Britain—the financial threats to women, the uneven standards for husbands and wives, the legal ways marriage compromised individual identity—and will look at how a few famously salacious marital scandals (including Dickens’s own!) succeeded in transforming both law and literature in the 19th century.
Renée Fox is an assistant professor in the Literature department at UC Santa Cruz, where she teaches classes on Victorian literature and culture, Irish literature, gothic fiction, and Harry Potter. She is currently writing a book about reanimated bodies in 19th-century British and Irish literature—like mummies, vampires, and talking corpses—and is co-editing a Routledge Handbook of Irish Studies. She received her BA from Stanford and her Ph.D. from Princeton, and after a few years teaching in the English department at the University of Miami she is thrilled to be back in California at UCSC.
Renée co-directs The Dickens Project, a multi-campus research consortium headquartered at UC Santa Cruz that consists of nearly 50 participating universities from the US and overseas. The Dickens Project engages in and promotes research and graduate student training in Victorian literature and culture, focusing its energies not only on the production of new knowledge about the 19th century but also on the ways this scholarly work can be meaningful, exciting, and useful to wider, non-academic audiences. Every summer The Dickens Project hosts the Dickens Universe, a week-long conference on the UC Santa Cruz campus in which faculty, graduate students, and members of the general public gather together to discuss one novel by Charles Dickens. The Universe is part scholarly conference, part book club, part summer camp, and part Victorian festival: days are filled with lectures, discussion seminars, Victorian teas, and Victorian dance lessons, while evenings include movie screenings, parties, performances, and one final Victorian ball (costumes optional). More information about The Dickens Project can be found at https://dickens.ucsc.edu/index.html.
Prof and A Pint, An Alumni Council Silicon Valley Lecture:
Please join us for A Prof and A Pint, a monthly series of informal discussions, served over dinner and drinks, at Forager Tasting Room and Eatery. Brought to you by UC Santa Cruz Alumni, and helping to celebrate 2018 as the Year of Alumni, each talk will engage a UC Santa Cruz faculty member or grad student in discussion with you, the local community of Silicon Valley. Talks are held on the 2nd Monday of each month. Topics include everything from organic artichokes to endangered zebras. Self-driving cars to Shakespeare. Audience participation is encouraged. Enjoy a great meal and learn something while you eat!
Entry is free, but please consider ordering some food and drinks to support *Forager, our host. Current students and alumni, we encourage you to invite your friends, whether they are Banana Slugs or not, to be a part of the discussion.