Interested in joining the new Aberdeen branch of the Dickens Fellowship? According to the Fellowship, the Aberdeen branch is their first in Scotland. As highlighted in Voice’s previous article: A Tale of Two Centuries, a successful inaugural meeting was held on Tuesday 12th June in the city’s Belmont Theatre. Aberdeen Voice’s Nicola McNally went along to the event to find out what the local branch were planning.
The first meeting was set up following a successful spring programme of Dickens lectures, film showings and readings at the University’s King’s College campus and the Belmont Cinema.
The branch is being hosted and organised by the renowned Dr Paul Schlicke, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and a Trustee of The Charles Dickens Museum.
The local literati who attended the first meeting included students, academics and assorted curious Aberdeen Voice readers who turned out to support this first meeting dedicated to the works of Charles Dickens, journalist and prolific author.
Future activities planned for the Aberdeen group will include films, lectures, readings, parties and some themed evenings such as: Dickens and Film; Dickens and Money; Dickens and Women and Dickens and Social Reform.
Dr Schlicke recommended:
“The Aberdeen group could wait a year before affiliating with Dickens Fellowship headquarters“.
He asked the group to consider: what the Aberdeen Dickens Fellowship branch should be for: (parties/ social events or more formal lectures and readings), how often they would like to meet; and possible venues for the branch meetings. It was decided that monthly meetings would be held with a variety of activities.
The decision was made and the text for summer holiday reading, for those who choose to accept the challenge, is to be the excellent Sketches by Boz.
The group noted that city centre venues are better for some meetings but the University of Aberdeen campus, and in particular, the library, would allow the group to use lecture and film facilities as well as visit the Dickens Special collection in the University library.
The next meeting is being planned for Tuesday 26th June at 7pm in Room 301, MacRobert Building, Aberdeen University. This will feature an introductory lecture on the biography of Dickens by Dr Schlicke, followed by informal discussion. If you’d like to attend, please email Dr Schlicke on firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm a place or for further information on the Fellowship.
New members with an interest in Dickens and his work will be made very welcome and membership is provisionally free so it is hoped that the Aberdeen group will go from strength to strength. While new branches of The Dickens Fellowship are appearing all over the globe from Canada to Cambridge, your local branch can be found no further than King Street!