Conversations at BSC features Charles Dickens program
Posted on 12/5/2012
The Conversations at BSC series at Bismarck State College takes a look at the famous British author of "A Christmas Carol" in the context of "Charles Dickens and America" Sunday, Dec. 16, beginning at 3 p.m. in Sidney J. Lee Auditorium.
Charles Dickens did two lecture tours of America in 1842 and 1867. The first trip resulted in a sarcastic travelogue, "American Notes for General Circulation," criticizing American culture, materialism and the practice of slavery. In the second trip, he began to think more highly of America and tried to set things right with the American people.
Humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson and historian Larry C. Skogen, BSC president, will talk about the genius of Charles Dickens and his complicated relationship with the New World. Questions and comments from the audience will complete the conversation.
Dickens was appalled by American manners and skeptical of the experiment in democracy. He was also annoyed by what he viewed as Americans' gregariousness and crude habits, as he expressed in "American Notes."
His first trip also inspired the 1843-44 novel, "The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit," a story about a man's struggle to survive on the ruthless American frontier. Over the next couple of years, Dickens published two Christmas stories, including the classic "A Christmas Carol."
At one point, Dickens was the most popular writer in the English-speaking world. His lectures in America were so widely attended that ticket scalpers started gathering outside his events. Biographer J.B. Priestly wrote that during the tour, Dickens "had the greatest welcome that probably any visitor to America has ever had."
More Conversations at BSC programs are scheduled Jan. 27, March 24 and May 5. Visit the Conversations at BSC website at bsctalk.com or contact BSC Continuing Education, Training & Innovation at 224-5600 for more information.
About Bismarck State College Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information visit www.bismarckstate.edu.