27 November 2019 - Shannon Russell CANCELLED

Published: 19 September 2019

Reimagining Frederick Douglass: Transatlantic Connections and the Case of Dickens’s Dombey and Son

** This seminar has been cancelled due to strike action**


Wednesday 27 November at 2pm. Venue: Room 202, 4 University Gardens, University of Glasgow

Reimagining Frederick Douglass: Transatlantic Connections and the Case of Dickens’s Dombey and Son

Shannon Russell (John Cabot University, Rome)

Frederick Douglass’s 19-month tour of the British Isles from 1845 to 1847 transformed his life. Not only did he arrive a fugitive slave and leave a free man, he also developed the professional confidence that would lead him to become one of the most celebrated American men of the nineteenth century. A gifted and charismatic speaker, he incited a range of controversies while on the lecture circuit in Britain, forged lasting transatlantic relationships, and galvanized the global abolition movement.  Douglass’s emerging fame while abroad also brought him into contact with a range of influential abolitionists, politicians, writers, and artists who heard him speak or who were moved by his wildly popular autobiography.  This talk considers the mutual influence between Douglass and the most popular fiction writer of the day, Charles Dickens.  While these men never met, they were profoundly affected by one another’s work, using each other in creative ways when addressing the question of global and domestic slavery.Reimagining Frederick Douglass

Shannon Russell is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at John Cabot University in Rome. She is currently writing a book on Douglass and Dickens for Routledge Press. She has published on Dickens, George Meredith, Wilkie Collins, Charlotte Bronte, and Elizabeth Gaskell and has edited novels of Thomas Hardy and Elizabeth Hamilton. She is also developing a Digital Humanities project called WROME (Writers in Rome), which is designed to chart the networks of foreign writers – including Frederick Douglass – who came to Italy in the nineteenth century.

Free. All welcome! 

This series is generously funded by the British Association for American Studies / United States Embassy Small Grants Programme.

First published: 19 September 2019