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Belfast academic leads online conference in tribute to Charles Dickens

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Queen’s University lecturer Dr Leon Litvack

Queen’s University lecturer Dr Leon Litvack

Queen’s University lecturer Dr Leon Litvack

A Queen's University academic is leading an online transatlantic conference to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens.

Professor Leon Litvack, who specialises in Victorian Studies, is the keynote speaker at the event #Dickens150 which will take place today via the video-conferencing platform, Zoom.

The academic, who is a world-renowned expert on arguably the greatest writer of the Victoria era, said proceeds from the online conference will be donated to the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

Professor Litvack said it was important to mark the anniversary even though the Covid-19 restrictions currently prevent such conferences being held in a venue.

"Today, June 9 will mark the 150th anniversary of the death of globally beloved author Charles Dickens (1812-1870). Unfortunately, many planned celebrations have been cancelled or postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic," he explained.

"To encourage support of research and writing as our world copes with this crisis, and to bring us together for an important anniversary in this time of social distancing, #Dickens150, a virtual transatlantic global gathering, will take place on this date."

More than 50 speakers from across 10 countries will be participating in the conference, which the academic hopes will help boost funds for the Charles Dickens Museum which has lost its income due to pandemic.

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Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

"We have raised over £1,500 for the Dickens Museum so far - join us to commemorate the anniversary and raise money to help this important cultural institution survive," the academic added.

Dickens was buried in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, in 1870.

For details about the conference, visit: dickens150.wordpress.com

Belfast Telegraph