Dickens in Lowell

Meet Our Dickens Experts


Dickens in Lowell represents a collaboration between a distinguished team of Dickens scholars, historians, and cultural leaders. They include:

Diana Archibald, co-curator and lead scholar of the exhibition Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation
Associate Professor of English at UMass Lowell, Archibald specializes in the Victorian novel and has written on Dickens and on transatlantic themes. She served as director of the 2002 Dickens and America: Literature, Industry, Culture conference and public events in Lowell, and is a former trustee and member of the International Dickens Society.

David Blackburn, co-curator of the exhibition Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation
Blackburn is Chief of Cultural Resources and Programs at Lowell National Historical Park, where he oversees exhibitions and cultural programming. He is also manager of the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center, an exhibit facility and home to the Center for Lowell History.

Joel J. Brattin, Professor of Humanities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
A leading authority on Dickens, Brattin has served as editor of scholarly editions of  Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend, and as trustee, secretary/treasurer, vice president, and president of the Dickens Society and consulting scholar for the exhibition Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation.

Natalie McKnight,
Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning, and Professor of Humanities at Boston University
The author of several books on Victorian literature, including Idiots, Madmen, and Other Prisoners in Dickens, she is co-editor of the Dickens Studies Annual and served as a consulting scholar for the exhibition Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation

Lillian Nayder, Professor and Chair of English at Bates College
Nayder teaches courses on 19th-century British fiction, including “Dickens Revised.” Her most recent book, The Other Dickens: A Life of Catherine Hogarth, was published in 2011. She served as a consulting scholar for the exhibition Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation

Sheila Kirschbaum, Director of the Tsongas Industrial History Center (TIHC)
A partnership between UMass Lowell’s Graduate School of Education and the Lowell National Historical Park, TIHC offers workshops and field trips for school groups and teacher training focusing on Lowell’s role in the Industrial Revolution.

Paul Marion, Co-Director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Arts & Ideas and Executive Director of Community and Cultural Affairs
Marion is the author of What Is the City?, a collection of poems and essays about Lowell, and editor of Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings by Jack Kerouac from Viking-Penguin.

LZ Nunn, Executive Director of the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) and of the Office of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for the City of Lowell, whose mission is to help foster high quality cultural experiences for the city’s diverse population; to stimulate economic development; and to encourage people to participate in the culture of the community.


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Dickens in Lowell
 was sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, in partnership with the Lowell National Historical Park, the Tsongas Industrial History Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Charles Dickens Museum London, and with generous support from the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation and the University of Massachusetts President’s Office.