May 28, 2023

Lorentzen Presents a Paper at Dickens Society Symposium

Eric Lorentzen, Associate Professor of English

Eric Lorentzen, Professor of English

Eric G Lorentzen, Professor of English, presented a paper as part of the “Dickens and Education” panel of the annual Dickens Society Symposium this week. His talk, “Happy Shepherd-Boys and Closing Prison-Houses: The Importance of Connection in Wordsworth, Dickens, and Tolstoy,” originated in a UMW Faculty Development Summer Grant, and detailed, in part, the creation of a new course that he is planning to offer at UMW during the 2022-2023 academic year. The course will examine a philosophical genealogy of the “continuity of the self” that begins with Wordsworth and other Romantic poets, continues through Dickens and other Victorian novelists, later spreads globally to writers like Tolstoy, extends to contemporary short stories of the late 20th and early 21st century, and finally permeates many forms of popular American culture, from Disney films to teen dramas. The course will also include aspects of popular culture in the form of literary tourism, a component about which Professor Lorentzen plans to continue to research, and about which he will present in a subsequent paper, in England during the summer of 2022.