Course Registration

Two Novels, Two Cities, Two Centuries: Dickens and McCann

1 PM - 3 PM (AZ Time)
June 3, 10, 17, 24, and July 1, 2021





When Charles Dickens published Bleak House in the early 1850’s, London was the world’s wealthiest and most powerful city. It was also among the most crowded, polluted, and poverty-stricken places on the planet, where rich and poor lived separate but intertwined lives very much next to one another. Bleak House, with its themes of disease, inheritance, and legal entanglement, offers ample evidence for the necessary – and often painful -- interdependence of urban life. Colum McCann’s 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin, makes the same case for twentieth century New York City, with the World Trade Center and its history forming the novels towering central symbol. Both novels use complex narration and plotting to explore the social and institutional relations of a wide array of individuals over time. How the novels treat these relationships, what they seem to conclude, and how they differ as well as how they are similar, will be the subject of this five-week class.

Registration will open online on Monday, April 12, 2021 at 8 AM (AZ Time)

  • Classes will be delivered online via the Zoom video conferencing platform. Course will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.
  • All class sessions will be recorded and made available to enrolled students for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times.
  • Enrolled students may withdraw from a course and receive a tuition refund if the request is received before the second class session. See our FAQ page here for more answers to general program questions.

Watch the video to learn more about this course: 

Required Reading: 

  • Charles Dickens, Bleak House
  • Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

Meet Your Professor

Associate Professor
Department of English, UA Honors College

LAURA C. BERRY is Associate Professor of English at the University of Arizona.  She is the author of The Child, the State and the Victorian Novel, and numerous articles on Dickens, the Brontes, George Eliot, and Victorian literature and culture.  She received her doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1992.  


This course will be offered ONLINE ONLY
Classes will be live streamed during the time and dates specified in the course details section above. Instructions about how to access the course online will be sent to all enrolled students before the course begins.

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