Lorentzen Publishes Article on UMW ENGL 251TT: Dickens, Disney, and Popular Culture Course

Portrait of Professor LorentzenEric G. Lorentzen, Professor of English, published “A Wisdom of the Head and a Wisdom of the Heart: Dickens, Disney, and Popular Culture” in the recent “Dickens and His Publics” special issue of Dickens Quarterly.  The article examines the two sections of the Fall 2022 course that Lorentzen taught for the first time at UMW, English 251TT: Dickens, Disney, and Popular Culture, and the cultural studies methodologies that allowed his classes to connect with the ongoing influence that the author has in the twenty-first century, particularly with regard to social justice.

Lorentzen argues that only by recognizing that Dickens’s novels not only teach us a great deal about Victorian England, but also about our lives in the here and now, can we remain vibrantly one of Dickens’s “publics.”  We must transcend the usual “wisdom of the head,” the traditional academic study of his novels, and connect with the “wisdom of the heart” as well, the meaningful student-centered ways that his texts resonate in actual everyday lives – pedagogical advice that Dickens himself famously proffered in Hard Times.

Lorentzen is preparing to teach the course for the second time, with two sections once again being offered for Fall 2024.