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HS From Dickens to Neo-Dickens : Course Description

Course Description ^top


subject area: literature and cultural studies
language: English

2012 is Charles Dickens's year - the celebrations in memory of the writer's bicentenary have once again stressed how important the 'inimitable' still is to the British cultural market. In this course, we will approach the Dickens phenomenon by discussing two of Dickens's most popular novels – Oliver Twist and Great Expectations - and then turn to contemporary re-imaginations of Dickens's Victorian worlds. We will apply a postcolonial angle to the Antipodean (i.e. Australian and New Zealand) legacy of Dickens's Great Expectations in Peter Carey's Jack Maggs and Lloyd Jones's Mister Pip and then turn to the question of Dickens and popular culture. With J. D. Sharpe's Oliver Twisted, we will scrutinise the recent phenomenon of the 'mash-up', and then discuss Oliver! (the musical) and Roman Polanski's film adaptation Oliver Twist (2005).

Please note that attending this course entails a heavy reading load. You should therefore have finished reading at least Dickens's Oliver Twist and Great Expectations by the beginning of winter term. Additionally, all course members are expected to join an expert group that is responsible for the structuring of one session.

Reading List ^top

(1) Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
(2) Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
(3) Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
(4) Peter Carey, Jack Maggs
(5) J. D. Sharpe, Oliver Twisted
A reader with mandatory material and background reading for the expert groups will be available via StudOn.