Dickens in Lowell: Mar. 30 - Oct. 20, 2012

Dickens in Lowell Events

Charles Dickens, one of the world's best-known and best-loved writers, turned 200 in 2012. To mark Dickens's bicentenary and his memorable 1842 visit to Lowell, UMass Lowell, together with Lowell National Historical Park and several community partners, hosted over 60 events; from a major exhibition to community programming, we explored and celebrated Dickens's life, work, and travels in America.
 
Please see our comprehensive list below of the wide range of exciting events that were a part of Dickens in Lowell in 2012.  For more information about any of these events, please contact us at Dickens in Lowell

2012 Event List


2-7-12:  Charles Dickens's 200th Birthday Celebration
Honored guests, community organizations, institutional partners, and contributing scholars gathered together to celebrate the birthday of the Inimitable Boz and the unofficial launch of Dickens in Lowell.  Free event. Place: UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: UMass Lowell: University Relations, Center for Arts & Ideas, English Department


2-7-12:  Steampunk Soirée—Steamer!
An enthusiastic crowd celebrated Dickens's 200th birthday steampunk style with hors d'oeuvres, music/dancing, meet the artists, and cash bar. French and the Punk kept the throng dancing til dawn. Place: Revolving Museum, 290 Jackson Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Revolving Museum, Modvic, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


2-11-12:  Winterfest Dickens Birthday Party
Hundreds of people joined us to celebrate the beloved author Charles Dickens’s birthday with refreshments and free giveaways! We handed out 201 free cupcakes decorated with each year since Dickens was born, and lucky winners received a copy of one of Dickens's major works. Free event. Place: Brush Art Gallery & Studios, 256 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: UMass Lowell, Center for Arts & Ideas, Brush Gallery


3-2-12 through 8-24-12:  Dickens & Victorian Scrapbooks Exhibit
Ever wonder what was considered fashionable in Dickens's time? Located in the Children’s section on the ground floor, the creative drawings of Victorian fashion as envisioned by the charming youth of Girls Inc. were displayed in the fall. This exhibit also contained Manga (anime) illustrations. Free exhibit. Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, 01852
Sponsors: Girls Inc., Pollard Memorial Library, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


3-29-12:  Market Street Market Wine Tasting Celebration of Charles Dickens
Did you know that Charles Dickens was a wine connoisseur? The Market Street Market hosted a free tasting to patrons who enjoyed delicious wines from around the world (including some from vineyards we suspect Dickens himself patronized) and got an early start celebrating Dickens in Lowell!  Free event. Place: Market Street Market, 95 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsor: Market Street Market


3-30-12:  Grand Opening Reception of "Dickens and Massachusetts" Exhibition
Attendees were among the first to view one of the largest Dickens exhibitions on the East Coast. Light refreshments were served, and dignitaries offered speeches. Free event. Place: Lowell National Historical Park, Moody Street Feeder, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Cultural Organization of Lowell, Lowell National Historical Park, and UMass Lowell


3-30-12 through 10-20-12:  "Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation" Exhibition
Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation told the story of a key moment in history, a moment of transformation for a man and for a nation. The exhibit featured a rich collection of rare Dickens artifacts not shown to the public in generations, and interactive, hands-on elements for all ages.  Free exhibition. Place: Lowell National Historical Park, Boott Mill Gallery, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Lowell National Historical Park, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation

A virtual tour of this landmark exhibition is now available on-line.

3-30-12 through 10-20-12:  'Heaven save the ladies': Textiles in Dickens's America, an embedded exhibit
Embedded within the permanent exhibit at the American Textile History Museum during the seven months of Dickens in Lowell was an exhibit within the exhibit.  Visitors used a flip chart and looked for a special Dickens logo to locate special artifacts in the collection that are relevant to Dickens's life and times. Place: American Textile History Museum, 491 Dutton Street, Lowell, MA 01225
Sponsors: American Textile History Museum, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


3-30-12 through 10-20-12:  Pickwick Papers Patchwork Fabric Display
Printed patchwork, fabrics printed in imitation of sewn patchwork, has been produced by textile manufacturers since the late-18th century. During the late 19th century, patchwork prints incorporating figurative imagery relating to musicals, novels, nursery rhymes, and other popular culture sources became extremely popular.  Visitors to the NEQM during the seven months of DiL programming, viewed a sample of such fabric along with excerpts from the novel that inspired it, as well as other patchwork fabric samples. Place: New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck Street, Lowell, MA  01852
Sponsors: New England Quilt Museum, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


3-31-12:  Victorian Parlor Games
Have you ever played Courtiers? How about Forfeits? Blindman's Bluff? Attendees played the games Charles Dickens himself played and wrote about. For children grades 1-4. No registration required.  Free event. Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, 01852
Sponsors: Pollard Memorial Library, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


3-31-12 through 9-3-12:  Dickens Walking Tour of Lowell
A National Park Ranger guided visitors through Dickens's 1842 visit to Lowell, MA with stops at several points of interest and ending at the "Dickens and Massachusetts" exhibition at the Boott Gallery. Contact 978-970-5000 for more information and to request this tour. Great event to pair with the Dickens on the Line Workshop at the Tsongas Industrial History Center.  Free event. Starting Place: Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsor: Lowell National Historical Park

The self-guided virtual walking tour is now available online. Self-guided walking tour brochures are also available at the Lowell National Historical Park.

3-31-12, TWO workshops:  Dickens on the Line Interactive Workshop
An interactive learning experience with participants working in a simulated assembly line, learning about labor issues during Dickens’s time and beyond. Great event to pair with the National Park’s Dickens Walking Tour. This workshop was free to the public only on 3-31-12, but is still available on an on-going basis by arrangement and for a fee of $195. Please contact 978-970-5007 for more information or to make a reservation. Place: Tsongas Industrial History Center, Boott Cotton Mills, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA, 01852
Sponsors: Tsongas Industrial History Center, UMass Lowell


3-31-12:  Puppet Show with Marc Napolitano
Costumed West Point professor and Dickens enthusiast, Marc Napolitano, performed an interactive puppet show with characters from Dickens's charming novels -- fun for all ages. Visitors stayed for a chat with the puppeteer afterwards and learned a little about puppet making.  Free event. Place: Whistler House Museum, 243 Worthen Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Whistler House Museum, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


3-31-12:  Film Screening of Oliver!
What's that you say? You want MORE Dickens fun for the whole family? MORE?!? Well, how about taking in the captivating musical Oliver! directed by Carol Reed based on Dickens’s Oliver Twist. This winner of six Academy Awards boasts a superb British cast including Ron Moody, Oliver Reed, and Shani Wallis and an unforgettable musical score. Rated G; 148 minutes; 1968. Free event.  Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, 01852
Sponsor: Pollard Memorial Library Friends of the Library


3-31-12, TWO performances:  Theatre KAPOW's Is She Really His Wife?
Attendees enjoyed Dickens's deliberately loud and hammy (and slightly risqué, by Victorian standards) one-act comedy, performed by a local theatre company. A delightful farce of good-natured coincidences, frivolous misunderstandings, and distinctly Dickensian characters. Talk back with cast was included—with topics ranging from running a theatre company, researching roles, set design, to how to create hand-made, original costumes based on authentic Victorian patterns. (**Funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.) Two performances. Tickets available at the door. Place: Middlesex Community College, Black Box Theatre, 33 Kearney Square, Lowell, Massachusetts 01852
Sponsors: UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College, New England States Touring Program—NEFA


3-31-12:  "Heroes and Bringers of Light: Dickens and the Struggle for International Copyright"
Florian Schweizer, Director of the Charles Dickens Museum of London and Chair of the Dickens 2012 bicentenary committee, explained Dickens’s efforts to gain legal protection for artistic creations. Free event. Place: Lowell National Historical Park, Boott Events Center, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: UMass Lowell: Provost's Office, English Dept.; Lowell National Historical Park


3-31-12:  Film Screening of The City of Lost Children
An intriguing view of science's role in society, with darker undertones that are reminiscent of Dickens's Oliver Twist. Krank who cannot dream, kidnaps young children to steal their dreams. One, a former whale hunter who is as strong as a horse, sets forth to search for Denree, his little brother who was kidnapped by Krank's men. Helped by young Miette, he soon arrives in La Cite des Enfants Perdus (The City of Lost Children). This event is intended for mature audiences only. 112 minutes. Rated R. Free event. Place: Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Lowell Film Collaborative, UMass Lowell, Lowell National Historical Park, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


3-31-12:  Dickens in Lowell Soirée
Attendees gathered for a formal, Victorian-themed cocktail party celebrating the opening of Dickens in Lowell. Honored guests, music, a special performance by Marc Napolitano and a mini-auction of original art with proceeds benefiting scholarships at UMass Lowell. Admission was by invitation only. Place: Nesmith House, 229 Andover Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Middlesex Community College, UMass Lowell: University Advancement Office and English Dept.


4-1-12:  Serviceable Bonnets and Good, Warm Cloaks:  Observations on American Dress by Charles Dickens, 1842
The audience learned about vintage designs as a local Victorian fashion expert, Lynn Zacek Bassett, explored popular trends that existed when Dickens visited America in 1842 and 1868. Free event. Place: American Textile History Museum, 491 Dutton Street, Lowell, MA 01225
Sponsors: American Textile History Museum, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


4-5-12:  Whose Art Is it Anyway? Performance and Panel Discussion
Andre Dubus III, Arno Minkinnen, and Alan Williams shared their work and grappled with the thorny nexus of art and commerce in a lively, informal discussion. In 1842 Dickens advocated for international copyright—in this Dickens in Lowell event, a contemporary novelist, photographer, and musician shared their insights into the ethics of intellectual property today. Free event.  Place: UMass Lowell, O'Leary Library, Room 222, 61 Wilder Street, Lowell, MA 01854
Sponsors: UMass Lowell: English Dept., Music, Dept., Art Dept., and Media Services

NOW available: view a video of this performance and discussion on-line at http://libweb.uml.edu/media/campusvoices/intellectualproperty.html

4-12-12, TWO lectures:  "Catherine Dickens in 2012"
Catherine Dickens played a crucial role in her famous husband’s tour of North America in 1842, though by the time he made his second tour in 1867, he had separated from her and written her out of his life. In two riveting lectures, Dr. Lillian Nayder acknowledged—and challenged—the power of Charles Dickens's voice, outlining the difficulties she faced as Catherine's biographer and explaining the means by which she overcame those difficulties. Free events. Place #1: UMass Lowell, South Campus, Allen House; Place #2: Lowell National Historical Park, Boott Events Center, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: UMass Lowell: English Dept., Gender Studies Program, and College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Moses Greeley Parker Lecture Series; Lowell Women's Week


4-14-12:  Printed Patchwork: The Pickwick Papers
Fabric expert Diane Fagan Affleck explained the figurative motifs on Victorian fabric, like The Pickwick Papers printed patchwork on display at the NEQM. The fact that The Pickwick Papers printed patchwork was produced in 1880 testifies to the continued popularity of Dickens’s first novel, published in serial form between 1836 and 1837, over 40 years before the fabric was printed. Ms. Affleck discussed possible sources for the illustrations of the various Pickwick Club personalities depicted on the fabric.  Free event.  Place: New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck Street, Lowell, MA  01852
Sponsors: New England Quilt Museum, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation

 
4-14-12:  Tea with Mrs. Dickens
Drink a spot of tea and enjoy authentic recipes by Mrs. Catherine Dickens in the lovely and historic Whistler House Museum of Art. Limited seating available. Please contact 978-452-7641 for information about requesting this special event for your own large party.  Place: Whistler House Museum, 243 Worthen Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Whistler House Museum, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


4-14-12:  Jingle: A Staged Reading
James Albery wrote two plays in the 1870s based on Dickens's Pickwick Papers:  "Pickwick" in 1871 and "Jingle" in 1878, both mostly made up of dialogue cut out from the book and put together in a dramatic format. “Jingle,” a “farce in one act,” was presented as a staged dramatic reading, giving those who were recently introduced to Dickens’s Pickwick Papers from the historical printed patchwork display an opportunity to enjoy his characters and some of their dialogue. Talk back with actors from UMass Lowell and director, Colleen Rua, after the performance.  Free event.  Place: New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck Street, Lowell, MA  01852
Sponsors: New England Quilt Museum, UMass Lowell, Center for Arts & Ideas, University Music, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


4-19-12:  A Christmas Carol: A Girls Inc. Interpretation
Audience members joined Girls Inc. for a screening of their first filmed theatrical performance as they retold A Christmas Carol -- Girls Inc. style!  A charming and heartwarming experience for the whole family.  Free event. Place: Girls Inc. Lowell, 220 Worthen Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Girls Inc., UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


4-24-12 and 4-25-12:  Dickens on the Line Assembly Line Workshops for School Groups
The Tsongas Industrial History Center offered a special school-group Dickens on the Line workshop, an inspired adaptation of their Workers on the Line program. This program continues to be available by reservation.  Students will meet costumed staff; take part in a Dickens-themed assembly line activity; discuss child labor issues during Dickens’s time and the present day; and visit worker housing where they will complete a letter home, describing a boardinghouse from the 1840s, as Dickens did in American Notes. The Dickens on the Line workshops connects Lowell’s labor history to Dickens’s world. To reserve a time, call 978-970-5007.  Program fee: $195 per group.  Place: Tsongas Industrial History Center, Boott Cotton Mills, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA, 01852
Sponsors: Tsongas Industrial History Center, UMass Lowell


5-27-12:  "Dickens, the Mill Girls, and the Promise of a Brighter Future: How Lowell Shaped the Greatest Novelist in the English Language"
Ever wonder why Dickens was so fascinated by our mill girls? Or why he felt that his visit to Lowell was one of his happiest days in America? Local expert and Boston University professor Natalie McKnight joined the Lowell Historical Society for their annual meeting to share her expertise in this area. Free event.  Place: Lowell National Historical Park, Boott Events Center, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Lowell Historical Society, UMass Lowell


6-2-12:  Lowell Reads! Great Expectations Kick-Off
To kick off the Lowell Reads “Great Expectations” program, the Pollard Memorial Library teamed up with The Lowell Humane Society for a fun family event! Kids created face-masks of their favorite animals and then watched Disney's "Oliver & Company." The crafts session was followed by hour break. All children and their families were welcome, and no registration was required.  Book group kits (including one for teen readers) were available to check out at the library. Free event. Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, 01852
Sponsors: Pollard Memorial Library, Lowell Humane Society, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


6-28-12:  BBC’s Dickens In America and A&E Biography of Charles Dickens Film Screening
Attendees watched Miriam Margolyes, aka Harry Potter's Professor Sprout, retrace Charles Dickens’s route through America for this showing of a portion of the 10-part BBC documentary chronicling Mr. Dickens’s trip through Boston and up to Lowell.  After this episode, they showed a fascinating A&E Biography episode featuring Charles Dickens.  Free event.  Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, 01852
Sponsor: Pollard Memorial Library


7-7-12 through 7-27-12:  What the Dickens! Manga Art Display
Viewers enjoyed a creative modern day interpretation of Charles Dickens's work while sipping a delicious cup of coffee. These endearing paintings were created by the young girls, aged 5-14, of Girls Inc. Free display. Place: Brew’d Awakening, 61 Market St, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Girls Inc., Brew'd Awakening, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


7-12-12:  Great Expectations Mural Dedication Ceremony
This 140-foot-long mural inspired by Great Expectations was situated on Merrimack Street, the busiest street in downtown Lowell, to be seen by passersby and the countless visitors who come to Lowell for its citywide cultural festivals.  The mural, created by local youth in an after-school program through the Revolving Museum, represented a modern take on the Inimitable's classic works. Free event.  Place: Merrimack St, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors:  Revolving Museum, UMass Lowell, Center for Arts & Ideas, Enterprise Bank, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


7-12-12:  Film Screening of Great Expectations
The story of a poor young boy who receives the financial backing of a mysterious benefactor who becomes a man of means and learns the true meaning of life. A classic black and white film that the whole family can enjoy. Free event. Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, 01852
Sponsor: Pollard Memorial Library


7-13-12 through 7-15-12:  International Dickens Society Symposium
At their annual meeting, Dickens scholars from around the world presented papers on all aspects of the life and works of Charles Dickens. The Symposia's sixty attendees hailed from as far away as Japan, Qatar, the UK, and all over North America.  For more information about the Dickens Society and their annual symposia held each year in different cities, please see their website http://dickensquarterly.org/. Place: Lowell National Historical Park, Boott Events Center, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors:  UMass Lowell: College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the English Dept.


7-13-12: Reception for Dickens Symposium
Scholars and visitors from around the world were welcomed to campus at the beautiful historic Allen House for a cocktail reception.  Joined by members of the UMass Lowell community, guests enjoyed stunning views of the Merrimack River and a presentation about Dickens in Lowell.  Place:  UMass Lowell, South Campus, Allen House
Sponsor: UMass Lowell English Dept.


7-14-12: Victorian Picnic & Lawn Games
Channel your inner Victorian self with lunch and lawn games, including Badminton and Croquet. A fun and exciting afternoon for the whole family made even more thrilling with a raffle contest and prizes! This community event was free; however, it is possible to arrange for a private party for your group for a fee. For more information, please contact 978-452-7641. Place: Whistler House Museum, 243 Worthen Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Whistler House Museum, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


7-14-12: Dickens Wine Tasting
While this private wine tasting was offered for Dickens symposium attendees only, the Market Street Market can host another such tasting for other groups upon request.  Cover charge may apply.  Call 978-735-4532 for more information or to request a Dickens tasting for your group.  Place: Market Street Market, 95 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsor: Market Street Market


7-14-12: International Dickens Society "Dickens Dinner"
This event was open to International Dickens Society Symposium attendees only. Every year the Dickens Society toasts the Inimitable Charles Dickens at its annual dinner.  In the summer of 2012, due to the importance of the bicentenary celebration, the Society held two such dinners, one at the conference in Lowell and one at the other conference in England.  For more information about the Dickens Society, please visit their website http://dickensquarterly.org/.  Place: UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, Lower Locks Room, 50 Warren Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsor: UMass Lowell


7-15-12:  “Charles Dickens Travels the Atlantic: The Oceangoing Experience of a Well-Spoken Tourist”
Steamboat historian Christie Jackson, from Old Sturbridge Village, recounted Dickens's notorious voyage over the Atlantic in 1842 with this illustrated talk.  Free event.  Place: Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: UMass Lowell, New England Quilt Museum, Lowell National Historical Park


7-19-12 and 7-20-12:  Lowell Reads! Book Discussion-The First Stage of Pip’s Expectations (Volume 1)
Readers gathered together at the Pollard Memorial Library for a discussion focused on the first volume of Great Expectations. Book group kits were available to check out at the library. For more information about Lowell Reads, please contact 978-970-4120.  On-line forum available for virtual discussion, as well; see the library's website for more information at http://www.pollardml.org/events/lowell-reads/2012. Free event. Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors:  Pollard Memorial Library, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


7-28-12:  Dickens in Lowell at the Folk Festival
Attendees at the city's hugely popular Lowell Folk Festival enjoyed children's craft activities and a trivia contest at our Folk Festival booth on Merrimack Street in downtown Lowell.  Thanks to a donation by WGBH Masterpiece Theatre, we also gave away dozens of free copies of Great Expectations to many who stopped by to say hello. Place: Merrimack Street, Destination Lowell tent site
Sponsor: UMass Lowell, WGBH, Cultural Organization of Lowell


8-10-12:  FreeVerse! Presents "Night of a Thousand Voices: A Charles Dickens Experience"
Local youth presented original poetry inspired by Charles Dickens's characters in this lively performance, part slam part virtuoso display.  Free event. Place: Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: FreeVerse!, UMass Lowell, Center for Arts & Ideas, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


8-11-12:  “Tastes of Dickens” Reception
Held during Lowell Quilt Festival weekend, this reception featured recipes from historic dinner menus from events held in Papanti's Hall in Boston, as well as in the Huntington and Jackson Halls of the Boston and Lowell Railroad Station on Merrimack Street.  In addition, reproductions of these original menus were republished and made available to attendees, and everyone enjoyed a reading from Dickens's Hard Times.  Free event. Place: Brush Art Gallery & Studios, 256 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Brush Art Gallery, Center for Lowell History, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


8-16-12 and 8-17-12:  Lowell Reads! Book Discussion- Volumes 2 and 3
Readers gathered together at the Pollard Memorial Library for the second Lowell Reads book discussion of the summer, focused on the second and third volumes of Great Expectations. For more information about Lowell Reads, please contact 978-970-4120.  On-line forum available for virtual discussion, as well:  see the library's website: http://www.pollardml.org/events/lowell-reads/2012. Free event. Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors:  Pollard Memorial Library, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


9-12-12:  "Dickens in Lowell"
The Learning in Retirement Association's Fall Convocation keynote speaker, Diana Archibald, discussed the Dickens exhibition and programming celebrating the bicentenary and the continuing appeal of Dickens today. Free event. Place: Alumni Hall, UMass Lowell North Campus
Sponsor: Learning in Retirement Association


9-17-12: "The Role of the Scholar in Public Humanities"
Dickens in Lowell organizer and Associate Professor of Literature, Diana Archibald, presented a talk for the UMass Lowell Honors Program freshman orientation dinner about Dickens in Lowell as a public humanities project. Free event. Place: Alumni Hall, UMass Lowell North Campus
Sponsor: UMass Lowell Honors Program


9-20-12:  Reception for Gerald Charles Dickens
UMass Lowell welcomed Mr. Dickens back to campus before his performance with a reception in the English department. (He had performed here once before in 2002, offering the world premier of his play The Republic of My Imagination.) Students, faculty, and alumni gathered to meet the charming British actor and hear more about his work on the stage. Place: English Dept., O'Leary Library, 61 Wilder St., Lowell, MA 01854
Sponsor: UMass Lowell English Dept.


9-20-12:  Doctor Marigold Performance by Gerald Charles Dickens
This one-man show performed by the great-great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens is based on an original public reading Charles Dickens gave on his 1867-68 reading tour in America.   The performance was interpreted into American Sign Language (ASL), making this an ideal event for Deaf audiences and adding an amazing richness to this moving performance. Book signing followed the show. Place: UMass Lowell, O'Leary Library, Room 222, 61 Wilder Street, Lowell, MA 01854
Sponsors:  UMass Lowell: College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; English Dept.; Honors Program; Office of Student Affairs; the Perkins School for the Blind; and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


10-13-12:  "Steampunk Fashion Day at the American Textile History Museum"
Visitors to the museum were invited to arrive dressed in their favorite Steampunk costume to receive free admission to the museum. Steampunk designers were on hand and gave a talk about their Dickens-inspired Steampunk dresses.  Place: American Textile History Museum, 491 Dutton Street, Lowell, MA 01225
Sponsors: ModVic, American Textile History Museum, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


10-13-12:  "Writers on the Road: Dickens and Kerouac" Panel Discussion
Part of the Annual Jack Kerouac Literary Festival, Kathleen Pierce and Nancy Aycock Metz formed a panel that explored the relationship between travel writing, imagination and preconceptions, or the extent to which the testing, via direct experience, of our imagined or preconceived notions of places or cultures represents one of the central conventions of travel writing. Free event. Place: Lowell National Historical Park, Boott Events Center, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors:  UMass Lowell, Lowell Celebrates Kerouac, and the Lowell National Historical Park


10-13-12 through 12-31-12:  "Dickens Villains Steampunk Heads in Jars" Art Exhibit
Dickens's most memorable villains as interpreted by leading Steampunk artists were on display for two and a half months at the historic Pollard Memorial Library. Yes, this was as weird and wacky as it sounds—a real treat for Dickens in Lowell die-hards!  Free event. Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: ModVic, Pollard Memorial Library, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


10-13-12:  "Wicked Dickens"
While viewing the display of Steampunk heads of Dickens villains, the audience at this performance enjoyed hearing the creepy villains of Dickens's great masterpieces come alive through dramatic readings of various scenes from his works. Free event. Place: Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Pollard Memorial Library, UMass Lowell English Dept.


10-14-12: Dickens, Slavery, and Industry Panel Discussion
Charles Dickens was more than just a renowned author—he was also an outspoken social activist. Local experts Joel Brattin and Madelyn Shaw shared their investigations of Dickens’s views on slavery and industry in this panel discussion.  Free event. Place: American Textile History Museum, 491 Dutton Street, Lowell, MA 01225
Sponsors: American Textile History Museum, UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


10-18-12:  Asking for More: Dickens in Nigeria
The Nigerian Association of the Merrimack Valley created and performed an original play exploring education and empire, focusing on their memories of studying Dickens while attending high school in Nigeria. Discussion followed this awe-inspiring and uniquely Lowellian experience! Free event. Place: UMass Lowell, O'Leary 222, 61 Wilder Street, Lowell, MA 01854
Sponsors: Nigerian Association of the Merrimack Valley; UMass Lowell: Office of Multicultural Affairs, English Dept., Center for Arts and Ideas; and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation

A video of this unique performance is now available on-line at http://libweb.uml.edu/media/campusvoices/dickensnigeria.html

10-19-12:  Miriam Margolyes Master Class
Theatre Arts students and faculty at UMass Lowell enjoyed a rare treat when British actress Miriam Margolyes offered a Master Class on campus for several actors in the Theatre Arts Program. Free event. Place: UMass Lowell, O'Leary 222, 61 Wilder Street, Lowell, MA 01854
Sponsor: UMass Lowell Theatre Arts Program


10-19-12:  Dickens’ Women
Bringing to life twenty-three of Charles Dickens's most affecting and colorful female (and male!) characters, Miriam Margolyes, a.k.a. Professor Sprout from Harry Potter, presented her powerful, comprehensive, and at times hilarious exposé of Dickens, his writing, and the real-life women who found themselves immortalized in his books. This was a must see performance for families, Dickens enthusiasts, and Margolyes fans, who were treated to a special, impromptu talk back when the power went out during the storm. Thank you, Miriam, for your generosity!  Place: UMass Lowell, Durgin Hall, 35 Wilder St, Lowell, MA 01854
Sponsors: UMass Lowell: Center for Arts & Ideas, English Dept., Music Dept., Honors Program, Office of Student Affairs, College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


10-20-12: Closing Reception of “Dickens & Massachusetts” Exhibition
Visitors took advantage of one last opportunity to explore and celebrate this landmark exhibition.  Light refreshments and speaking program. Free event. Place: Lowell National Historical Park, Boott Gallery, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: Lowell National Historical Park, UMass Lowell


10-20-12 and 10-21-12, TWO performances:  Silent Film Screening of Oliver Twist
Attendees enjoyed Frank Lloyd's 1922 silent film adaptation of Dickens’s classic, accompanied by live music. Free event.  Place #1: 119 Gallery, 119 Chelmsford St., Lowell, MA 01851; Place #2: Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: 119 Gallery, Lowell Film Collaborative, Lowell National Historical Park,  UMass Lowell, and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation


12-9-12:  A Christmas Carol Times Two
Live show by UMass Lowell alumni Al LePage, a living history performer.  Attendees enjoyed watching his one-man version of Christmas Carol and listening to traditional English carols played on the historic St. Anne's organ throughout the performance. All proceeds from this performance benefitted UMass Lowell’s Charles Dickens scholarship. Place: St. Anne's Episcopal Church, 8 Kirk Street, Lowell, MA 01852
Sponsors: UMass Lowell, St. Anne's Church


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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.