Dickens and Language

*Deadline extended to November 5th*

The 23rd Annual Dickens Symposium

July 30 – August 1, 2018

Tübingen, Germany


The Dickens Society is pleased to be holding its annual symposium in Germany for the first time next year. The 2018 Symposium will take place at Tübingen University, founded in 1477 and located in the Neckar Valley, between the Swabian Alb and the Black Forest. Charles DickensThe picturesque old town is intact, with late medieval university buildings and half-timbered houses as well as Hölderlin tower, where the German poet lived, by the Neckar River. The airport nearest to Tübingen is in Stuttgart, the capital of the region of Baden-Württemberg, or Frankfurt International Airport (about 2.5 hours by train from Tübingen).

Details about accommodations, events and excursions, etc. will be posted later on the Dickens Society website. For more information about location and logistics, please contact our hosts, Symposium Organizers Matthias Bauer m.bauer[at]uni-tuebingen.de and Angelika Zirker angelika.zirker[at]uni-tuebingen.de.


The research context at Tübingen links literary studies with linguistics. Hence, for 2018 we invite papers on Dickens and Language, which may include (but is not limited to): Dickens and dialect, Dickens and figurative language, Dickens and body language, Dickens and genre, Dickens and the slipping signifier, Dickens and cultural linguistics, Dickens and foreign language, Dickens and dissonance, Dickens and rhetoric, Dickens in translation, Dickens and onomastics, Dickens and orality, Dickens and the language of emotion. In the traditional spirit of the Symposium, proposals for any topic related to Dickens’s life or work are also welcome.

Please plan to submit a 300-word abstract (for papers deliverable in 20 minutes) between 7 August and 5 November, 2017. To submit an abstract, visit https://dickenssocietyumass.submittable.com/submit, provide a 100-word biographical statement, and upload your abstract as .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. Please let Sean Grass (scgrass[at]iastate.edu) know if you have any trouble with the site. For more information about proposals and the program, please contact Program Committee Chair Sean Grass.


Tübingen, Neckar front. Left: plane trees growing on the Neckarinsel. Photo credit: Berthold Werner: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:T%C3%BCbingen_Neckarfront_BW_2015-04-27_15-31-07.jpg.

Travel Support


The Dickens Society annually provides bursaries for conference travel. In total, we expect to provide $5,000 in support through bursaries for the 2018 Symposium. Our aim is to make it possible for scholars at all stages to participate in the Symposium and the Dickens Society. We will be asking bursary recipients to take over the Dickens Society Twitter account during the symposium, write a report of the papers to be disseminated through the Society’s channels, and contribute a blog post on a topic of their choosing for the Society blog within four months of the end of the event. To apply, graduate students, independent scholars, and untenured faculty whose papers have been accepted should send a one-page CV with a cover letter to diana_archibald[at]uml.edu and emily.bell[at]york.ac.uk by 1 February 2018 that outlines:

  1. The relevance of the symposium for your research and professional development;
  2. Your own ideas for improving the social media presence of the event/any skills and relevant experience you can bring;
  3. A very brief idea for a blog post you might write for the society blog after the event.

The bursary winners will be announced in late February. If you have any queries, please email Communications Committee Chair, Emily Bell emily.bell[at]york.ac.uk.

The Robert B. Partlow, Jr. Prize

Applications are invited for this award, named in honor of the original Secretary-Treasurer and one of the founding members of the Dickens Society. It may be in the form of EITHER one stipend of $500 OR two of $300 (if two recipients are chosen), and is intended to defray costs of attending this Dickens Symposium, in order to deliver a paper on any aspect of Dickens’s life or work. The registration fee and cost of the Dickens Dinner will also be waived. Eligiblity is restricted to graduate students, independent scholars, and non-tenured faculty. Candidates should submit a CV and a completed paper of 20-minutes duration, to the Program Committee Chair, Sean Grass (scgrass[at]iastate.edu) no later than 15 November 20127. Should the paper be of publishable quality, the Dickens Quarterly shall have first right of refusal.