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24 April 2024 - 24 April 2024

9:00AM - 6:00PM

Durham University

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The Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies (CNCS) at Durham, Newcastle, and Northumbria Universities is pleased to announce its annual Postgraduate Conference, to be held at Durham University on Wednesday, 24 April 2024. Postgraduates from all disciplines are invited to submit proposals for a 15-minute paper.

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Hard Times , Hubert von Herkomer (1849-1914), credit Manchester Art Gallery

170 years after Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, this penetrating exploration of life and labour in nineteenth-century England stimulates consideration of broader challenges across the nineteenth century: industrialisation, class struggle, war and revolution, artistic transformations, international encounters, and cross-cultural exchange. Such trends resonate deeply with 21st-century concerns surrounding cost-of-living crises, environmental emergencies, socio-political upheavals, technological advancements, neoliberalism, and decolonisation.

CNCS invites papers that consider the ‘hard times’ of the long nineteenth century, especially from an interdisciplinary perspective. Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • What challenges confronted the nineteenth century?
  • How did these problems shape the nineteenth century’s intellectual and cultural milieu?
  • How did individuals and/or groups respond to the nineteenth century’s hard times?
  • What problems have the nineteenth century created for contemporary society?
  • How do responses to the nineteenth century’s difficulties shed light on issues facing the world today?

Paper abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length and must be e-mailed to Ardi Echevarria at Please attach a biographical note of no more than 100 words with your abstract. The final deadline for abstracts is Friday 1 March 2024 and successful applicants will be notified by Friday 29 March 2024.