At a time when we are all seeking new ways to escape and to connect, we have launched the ‘BMI lockdown life’ blog series (#BMILockdownlife) to bring together people interested in 19th century literature, culture and history.
With a common interest in the work of Charles Dickens, the University of Birmingham’s CLiC (Corpus Linguistics in Context) project and the Birmingham & Midland Institute (BMI) are coming together to share ideas and insights on both the CLiC blog and the BMI blog.
All of Dickens’s novels, and some of his other writing, can be freely read online through the CLiC web application. CLiC not only makes the texts available to all, but also enables a range of digital searches and analysis methods, and provides resources for teaching and learning. In addition to Dickens, CLiC also hosts texts by a range of other authors mainly from the 19th century.
Dickens was a keen supporter of the BMI’s educational agenda for Birmingham and the Midlands. In 1853, he helped raise money for the BMI by performing public readings in the city’s Town Hall. One of these was A Christmas Carol which started Dickens’s public reading career. Dickens remained supportive of the BMI and was the Institute’s president 1869.
The BMI Lockdown Life blog posts can address any topic that relates to the BMI and/or one of the texts accessible through CLiC. If you’d like to propose a guest post related to the teaching, research, and/or anecdotes of 19th century culture and literature, please contact the series editors Viola Wiegand and Michaela Mahlberg via email or Twitter. You can also leave comments on posts, and follow our hashtag #BMILockdownlife on Twitter.
Confirmed contributors include:
- Samina Ansari, Junior Vice President of the BMI – “How the BMI gave Charles Dickens a new career”
- Dr Pete Orford (University of Buckingham) – “Bitesize Boz: Reading Dickens in instalments online”
- Dr Serena Trowbridge (Birmingham City University), Senior Vice President of the BMI – “Hard Times at the BMI”
- Lydia Craig (Loyola University Chicago), co-organizer of the #Dickens150 virtual conference – “‘Mew says the cat…Bow-wow-wow says the dog’: Which animal did Dickens like most?” (coming soon!)
- Gerald Dickens, actor and great great grandson of Charles Dickens