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Carleton Commemorates Charles Dickens’ 200th Birthday with Marathon Reading of "David Copperfield" and Lecture by Dickens Expert James Kincaid

October 12, 2012
By Jacob Cohn '13

Carleton College will celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens with a special appearance by James Kincaid, the Aerol Arnold Professor of English at the University of Southern California, on Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. in the Boliou Hall Auditorium. Kincaid’s lecture, titled “Great Expectations and Death,” will discuss the work of Charles Dickens as part of a series of events commemorating the bicentennial of the author’s birth.

In advance of Kincaid’s appearance, the College will host a marathon public reading of Dickens’ classic novel “David Copperfield” on the north balcony of the Sayles-Hill Great Space. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 and continuing until 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, various Carleton faculty members, administrators (including President Steve Poskanzer), and students will take turns reading the novel aloud, chapter-by-chapter.

Kincaid comes to Carleton as a Schuster Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Literature. Kincaid took an unusual journey for an English professor, first receiving a B.S. in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University before choosing a different career path and returning for a master’s degree in English. He taught at Ohio State University, the University of Colorado and the University of California at Berkeley before coming to the University of Southern California in 1987.

Kincaid’s main research areas include critical theory, American studies and queer studies. His initial focus on Victorian literature and culture eventually led to work geared more toward cultural studies: his recent work has explored the use of children as erotic objects in society, and he regularly teaches courses at USC on such topics as censorship, criminality and age studies. Kincaid has been awarded numerous honors including a General Education teaching award, two Mortar Board Awards and two Guggenheim Fellowships. He has written or edited six books including a collection of the works of Anthony Trollope, most recently authoring “Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child-Molesting” (Duke University Press, 1998).

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of English. For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4322.

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