Dickens and the Problem of Being Human

Panel Chair: Brent Kinser, Western Carolina University

Certainly no other writer in the nineteenth century, and no other writer apart from Shakespeare has achieved the pervasive cultural presence of Charles Dickens. This cultural relevance serves to keep his work critically visible and relevant as it speaks to the value of continuing to untangle the meanings that he created in his works. On this panel, topics range from genre to morality to corruption to disease to divinity to identity, all qualities and experiences that speak to the continuing relevance of Dickens as an artist who expressed the complexities of being human in ways that made him well-deserving of his nickname, the “Inimitable.”

“A Tale of Two Genres: The Narrators of Dickens’s Bleak House and the Intertwining of Gothic Bildungsroman”
Susannah Murphine, Western Carolina University

“Coquetting with Truth: Earnestness and its Consequences in Dickens’s Bleak House
Tess Purdue, Western Carolina University

“Nineteenth-Century  Systems of Corruption in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House
David Rollick, Western Carolina University

“Assigned Divinity in Dickens’s David Copperfield
McKenzie Twine, Western Carolina University

“Identity and Duality in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House
Haylee Wilkie, Western Carolina University