At a time when British funders of Higher Education are calling for more social and economic impact of humanities research and U.S. funders for innovation, the California Dickens Project and the Global Circulation Project are exemplary of humanities with a public face. The Dickens Project has recently begun to redeploy the defunct archive of International Dickens, and the British Academy-funded Global Circulation Project has begun a map and dialogue on the circulation of literatures in contact. They revive cross-cultural dialogue on deep notions of freedom and choice that have been obscured for a half-century.
I am grateful for comments on a draft of this essay from Ting Guo and John Jordan, and for discussions on the significance of Dickens’s London to Paul Young.
Regenia Gagnier is President of the British Association for Victorian Studies and author of Idylls of the Marketplace: Oscar Wilde and the Victorian Public (Stanford, 1986), Subjectivities: A History of Self-Representation in Britain 1832-1920 (Oxford, 1991), The Insatiability of Human Wants: Economics and Aesthetics in Market Society (Chicago, 2000), and Individualism, Decadence and Globalization: On the Relationship of Part to Whole 1859-1920 (Palgrave Macmillan 2010). She is Editor in Chief of Literature Compass and Founder of its Global Circulation Project. She is Professor of English at the University of Exeter and Director of Exeter's Interdisciplinary Institute (EII), Director of the Migrations Research Network, and Senior Fellow of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis).
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