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Dickens: Hard Times

  • About this Course
  • About this Lecturer

About this Course

In this course, Dr Alfie Bown (University of Manchester) explores Dickens’ 1854 novel, Hard Times. As we move through the course, we think about the philosophy of Utilitarianism (thinking in particular about Mr. Gradgrind), about class (thinking in particular about Mr. Bounderby), about regulation and surveillance in Coketown (thinking in particular about Mrs. Sparsit) and, finally, about comedy (thinking in particular about the Circus).

About the Lecturer

Dr Bown obtained his BA, MA and PhD from the University of Manchester before joining the Department of English at Hang Seng Management College in Hong Kong. His research interests include Critical Theory, 19th Century English and American Literature, Popular Culture and Psychoanalysis. His doctoral thesis is on laughter in 19th Century Literature. He is also the editor of Everyday Analysis, a blog and book series available at