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About this Lecture
In this module, we provide a general background to the novel and the socio-political context of the mid-nineteenth century. In particular, we think about the extent to which Hard Times engages with the same kinds of issues as Marx raises in his Communist Manifesto, published just six years before in 1848.
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).
Alfie Bown is Lecturer in Digital Media Culture and Technology at Royal Holloway, University of London. His principle research interests are in psychoanalysis, digital media, critical theory and videogames, though he has also published in nineteenth-century studies, film studies and medieval studies. He is author of The Playstation Dreamworld (2017) and In the Event of Laughter (2018) among other things. His most recent book is an edited collection of essays entitled Post-Memes: Seizing the Memes of Production (2019).
Cite this Lecture
Bown, A. (2018, August 15). Dickens: Hard Times - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/dickens-hard-times-25755294-8d04-48a3-9a77-7f556425ed23/introduction-f88613cb-8230-44c2-88c2-1dd11aa4e153
Bown, A. "Dickens: Hard Times – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/dickens-hard-times-25755294-8d04-48a3-9a77-7f556425ed23/introduction-f88613cb-8230-44c2-88c2-1dd11aa4e153