Dickens Project Consortium

What is the Dickens Project consortium?

The Dickens Project is a multi-campus research consortium headquartered at UC Santa Cruz and consisting of over 40 colleges and universities from across the United States and overseas. The chief goal of the Dickens Project is to promote research on the life, work, and times of Charles Dickens and to bring the results of this research before both a scholarly audience and the general public. The Project is also an important center for research on nineteenth-century literary and cultural studies more generally.

One of the special strengths of the Dickens Project is its focus on the professional training of graduate students. Through their participation in the annual Dickens Universe and winter conferences, graduate students are able to meet and develop collegial relations with Victorianists from other universities. Students have found these contacts valuable in developing dissertation topics, in finding jobs, and in preparing and placing manuscripts for publication.

By participating in the Dickens Project, graduate students acquire useful teaching experience as well as the chance to present conference papers and serve as panel moderators and respondents. Graduate student development is one of the chief benefits to be derived from affiliation with the Dickens Project.

The Project frequently sponsors panels at the Modern Language Association meeting in January as well as occasional international and interdisciplinary conferences. Co-sponsored conferences have been held in Israel, France, South Africa, Italy, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Research results from Project-sponsored events appear regularly in the form of essays in Dickens Studies Annual and other scholarly publications, as well as in edited volumes based on our international and interdisciplinary conferences.



The Project affords faculty and graduate students the opportunity to attend its annual weeklong conference, the Dickens Universe, hosted each summer by UCSC.

Often described as an “intellectual summer camp” the Universe creates a diverse space where professors, graduate students, undergraduates, and members of the general public come together to discuss the chosen Victorian novel(s) of the year. The Universe includes a special Road Scholars component (formerly Elder Hostel).

Every winter, the Project holds a weekend conference where graduate students present their research to an audience of other students and Project faculty. This conference rotates annually among different consortium member campuses.



How does a college or university become a consortium member?
Four-year colleges and universities interested in joining the Dickens Project consortium should contact the Director, John O. Jordan. Inquiries from international universities are welcome.