Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics
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Mixed Methods Approaches to Dickens and Characterization

This symposium illustrated innovative approaches to both Dickens Studies and studies of characterization more generally.

Scholars from both language and literature presented cutting-edge research that suggested a mixed methods approach to the study of characterization in literary texts and specifically the novels by Charles Dickens.

Speakers at the Dickens Symposium

A symposium at the interface of language and literature

The talks addressed the concept of character in the framework of cognitive poetics, Dickens’s characters in the context of popular culture, corpus methods and the tool CLiC for literary texts, psycholinguistic methods to investigate the reading process and the psychological reality of characters, Dickens and book history, and the reading experience in the 19th century.  


Introduction to the Symposium by:

Professor Brean Hammond
Professor of Modern English Literature
University of Nottingham

Dr Kathy Conklin
Lecturer in Psycholinguistics
University of Nottingham

Professor Josephine Guy
Professor of Modern English Literature
University of Nottingham

Professor Juliet John
Professor in Victorian Literature
Royal Holloway University of London 

Dr Michaela Mahlberg
Associate Professor in English
Language and Applied Linguistics
University of Nottingham
Dr Simon Preston
RCUK Research Fellow
School of Mathematical Sciences
University of Nottingham

Dr Catherine Smith
Technical Officer, Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing
Univeristy of Birmingham

Professor Peter Stockwell
Professor of Literary Linguistics
University of Nottingham


9.30     Registration

9.40     Brean Hammond: Introduction to Dickens and Characterization

10.00   Peter Stockwell: "Character and Caricature: Cognition and creativity"

10.50   Juliet John: "Characterising Popularity: Melodrama, Film and Externalised Aesthetics"

11.40   Coffee

12.00   Michaela Mahlberg & Catherine Smith: "CLiC Dickens - studying character with the help of a corpus tool

12.50   Lunch

1.30    Simon Preston & Michaela Mahlberg: "The suspended quotation from a statistical point of view"

2.20    Kathy Conklin: "The eyes as a window to understanding Dickens"

3.10    Coffee

3.40    Josephine Guy: Oliver Twist and Book History: Reading Character in 'Original' Print Contexts

4.30    Round-up and conclusion

5.00    Close

A PDF version of this programme of events is available to download.


  • Trent Building, University Park

Date and Time

  • May 10th 2012
  • 9.30-5.00

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Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics

The University of Nottingham

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924