Hannah Lewis-Bill

Department: English
Discipline: English
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Victorian Studies

Project Summary

Dickens, Objects and 'Others': Charting the Progress of Commodities from Transnational Locales in the Work of Charles Dickens

My research explores the role of commodities in Dickens's novels from transnational locales. It questions the complex relationship between places such as Africa, India and China and Britain. My research examines the ways in which objects such as tea, coffee and fabrics appear within the space of the novel. I also explore what I perceive to be a Dickensian determination to reflect on Britain’s relationship with abroad. My research concentrates on the novels as opposed to the journalism in a concerted effort to draw out the reflexivity between Britain's trading abroad and an increasingly British dependence on the spaces inhabited by the transnational 'Other'. 

By focusing on the novels as opposed to the journalism I intend to draw out the ways in which within the format of the novel in its complete form Dickens is able to be more outward looking in his approach to transnational spaces. This is in direct contrast to his journalism which takes a far more negative position about the 'Other'.


Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Professor Regenia Gagnier

Second supervisor: Dr John Plunkett


Authored Publications/Reports

Hannah Lewis - Bill, Peter Orford, Laurel Brake, Holly Furneaux, Clare Horrocks, Beryl Gray, Jasper Schelstraete, Hazel McKenzie, Olivia Marfait, Claire Wood and Bethan Carney (May 2013) Book: (Published conference proceedings) 'Charles Dickens and the Mid-Victorian Press, 1850-1870' (Buckingham: University of Buckingham Press, 2013), Contribution entitled: 'From the Great Exhibition to the Little One' to 'China with a Flaw in it': China, Commodities and Conflict in 'Household Words', 417pp

Hannah Lewis - Bill (November 2012) Book Review: Sabine Clemm, 'Dickens, Journalism, and Nationhood: Mapping the World in Household Words' (New York and London: Routledge, 2011), Victoriographies, 2.2, 197

Hannah Lewis - Bill (30th August 2013) 'The World Was Very Busy Now, In Sooth, And Had a Lot To Say': Dickens, China and Chinese Commodities in 'Dombey and Son', Victorian Network , Vol 5 No 1, Abstract: http://www.victoriannetwork.org/index.php/vn/article/view/44 Article Page Numbers: 28-43

Hannah Lewis - Bill (May 2013) Book Review: Julian Wolfrey's ' Dickens's London: Perception, Subjectivity and Phenomenal Urban Multiplicity' (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012), Victoriographies, 3.1, 108-109

Hannah Lewis -Bill, Jude Piesse, Rebecca Welshman, Will Abberley, Ben Carver and Andrew Griffiths (May 2013) Conference Proceedings Introduction from the 'Strange New Today' Conference, Journal of Victorian Culture Online , Edited conference proceedings.