Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lecture on disease in Dickens's works

The Department of English,
Bharati College
invites you
to a lecture titled
‘The Moral as Physical: Disease in Oliver Twist and Bleak House
to be delivered by
Ms. Debolina Dey,
Assistant Professor, Department of English,
Lady Shri Ram College for Women,
University of Delhi
on Tuesday, 3rd February 2015
in the college Seminar Room
from 10:50 AM to 11:45 AM.


My talk proposes to look at “the ubiquity of contagion as a master narrative in Victorian culture” specifically through the novels of Charles Dickens by focusing on Oliver Twist and Bleak House. I argue that significant to this narrative of contagion is not only the ‘miasmic thinking’ through which contagion functions in the novels, but more importantly for the Victorians contagion as a metaphor goes back to the debates about philanthropy and the figure of the circulating vagabond, embodying the contagion both literally and metaphorically.

I propose to look at contagion in two ways: one, the idea of contagion through the debates around the Poor Law represented in Dickens’ Oliver Twist; and two, contagion as disease through Bleak House in the context of the emergence of ‘public health’ in the latter half of nineteenth century.

For more details, feel free to call/text Ms. Neha Garg at 08376018059 or email to