Nov 05, 2021
Dr. Lauren Matz, professor of English, presented a paper on Oct. 23 at the Semiotic Society of America’s 45th annual conference on the topic of “Addressing Precarity: Semiotics, Semiosis, and Semioethics.”
The conference was hosted by Duquesne University and took place entirely online. Matz’s paper, “Tea, Temperance, and Class Identities in Charles Dickens’ Novel Hard Times (1854),” noted that middle-class tea instead of
working-class beer became the national drink as the anti-alcohol temperance movement gained traction in Victorian England.
Dickens’ novel takes a sympathetic view of working-class characters with alcohol addiction and a critical view of middle-class characters who fail in their duties of tea-time hospitality.