Dr. Kristen Pond to Deliver 2023 Benefactors Day Lecture on "Enchanting Encounters"

October 12, 2023
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On Friday, October 20, at 3:00 p.m. the Armstrong Browning Library & Museum is honored to host Dr. Kristen Pond, associate professor of English and the Margarett Root Brown Chair in Robert Browning and Victorian Studies, as she presents the 2023 Benefactors Day lecture, “It's Okay to Talk to Strangers: Charles Dickens and Charlotte Brontë on Enchanting Encounters." Dr. Pond’s lecture is available both in person and via Zoom Webinar.

Following the lecture, attendees are invited to participate in a Q&A session and enjoy a reception. This event is free and open to the public, and CAE credit is available to Baylor University undergraduate students who attend in person.

“Strangers bring a sense of wonder into our lives,” said Pond. “In my talk, I will explore the role of strangers, even ourselves as strangers, in the writings of Dickens and Brontë. These authors help us become more aware of how strangers connected us to our communities. Through taking time to reflect on what it means to be a stranger, we can arrive at a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.”

In addition to her professorship and chair, Dr. Pond serves as Interim First-Year Writing Director and Affiliate Faculty to Women’s and Gender Studies at Baylor University. Her research explores Victorian social dynamics and epistemology through novels by Harriet Martineau, George Eliot, Charlotte Bronte, William Thackeray, Elizabeth Gaskell, and others. She has contributed articles for Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary JournalVictorian Literature and CultureNineteenth-Century Literature, and Victorian Review. Her latest publication, Strangers and the Enchantment of Space in Victorian Fiction (1830–1865), is currently available for pre-order from Routledge.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Pond as our Margarett Root Brown Chair in Robert Browning and Victorian Studies and as our Benefactors Day speaker this year,” said Jennifer Borderud, director of the Armstrong Browning Library & Museum. “We also remain grateful to the Brown Foundation for establishing an academic chair to enhance the profile of the Armstrong Browning Library & Museum as a world center for Browning and Victorian scholarship.”

More information about this year’s Benefactors Day lecture is available at library.web.baylor.edu/benefactorsday. Support for this event comes from donations to the Armstrong Browning Library & Museum Guardian Angel Fund.