2019 - 2020 Season
All metings this season will be held at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham, MA.
Click here for driving directions and parking information.
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Deidre Shauna Lynch
Stranded in the Present in Persuasion
Jane Austen invokes public history in Persuasion more explicitly than in any of her other works.
She lodges the story of Anne Elliot's achievement of happiness in the interstices of war, carefully
dating events so as to indicate that this story unfolds in that strange interlude of false peace that
occurred between Napoleon's abdication and his escape from Elba. This talk will consider that
dating and what it tells us about Austen's relationship at the end of her career to the historicism
and historical fiction of the early nineteenth century. In Persuasion Austen refashions her
usual marriage plot to make it accommodate reflections on time, bad timing, and
women's experience of historical change.
Deidre Shauna Lynch was educated at the University of British Columbia in Canada and at Stanford University,
where she took her Ph.D. Formerly Chancellor Jackman Professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto,
she joined the faculty of Harvard University in 2014; she is now Ernest Bernbaum Professor of English Literature at
She has published widely on the literature and culture of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain, the
history of women's writing, the theory and history of the novel, and the history of books and reading.
The Economy of Character: Novels, Market Culture and the Business of Inner Meaning won the Modern Language Association
Prize for a First Book in 1999. Early 2015 saw the publication of her Loving Literature: A Cultural History,
finalist in 2016 for the Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism and the Oscar Kenshur Prize in
Lynch is also the editor of Cultural Institutions of the Novel, Janeites:
Austen's Disciples and Devotees, the Oxford World's Classics edition of Austen's Persuasion, the
Norton Critical Edition of Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,
the Romantic Period volume of The Norton Anthology of English Literature,
and an annotated edition of Austen's Mansfield Park for Harvard University Press.
The Unfinished Book, co-edited with Alexandra Gillespie, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2020.
Lynch was a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow and the Benjamin Duke Fellow at the National Humanities Center in 2000-2001.
Sunday, November 3, 2019
JASNA President Liz Philosophos Cooper
Jane Austen: Working Woman
I must keep to my own style & go on in my own Way.
Jane Austen was a working woman and determined professional writer. This illustrated talk will explore Austen's involvement
in the business of publishing novels during a time of rampant financial instability. The Austen family were
active participants in both war and finance and these two sectors intertwined in the story of Jane Austen's writing and publishing.
Liz Philosophos Cooper is the President of JASNA. Liz is a second-generation JASNA member who fell in love with Austen's work
as a high school student. A member of JASNA since 1992, she has actively participated in local JASNA activities and served as JASNA's
Vice-President for Regions from 2013-2018 and Regional Coordinator of Wisconsin prior to that. A popular speaker, she is a contributing
writer to Jane Austen's Regency World and co-edits Wisconsin Region's A Year with Jane Austen calendar. Her talk from the Washington DC
AGM, “The Apothecary and the Physician: Emma's Mr. Perry” was published in Persuasions 38.
She holds a BA (Communication Arts) from the University of Wisconsin. She worked in marketing before taking time off to raise four sons.
Literature has always been a part of Liz's life, as her Mom was an English major. Liz began a Village book group in 1986 that is
still going strong, and organized and implemented a Junior Great Books reading program at the local elementary school. She has
been an active volunteer in the community, including serving as President of the Village of Shorewood Hills Foundation for many years.
Liz and her husband Scott run a marketing consulting firm and enjoy traveling. True fact: they visited Chawton on their honeymoon in 1978!
After having three brothers and four sons, it is a great joy for her to have three new daughters through marriage. Her three granddaughters
and two grandsons are known to host tea parties with Jane Austen, showing that it's never too early to learn about Jane!
Talk funded in part by a grant from the Jane Austen Society of North America.
Photo credit: ssullivanphoto.com
Sunday, December 8, 2019
We celebrate Jane Austen's birthday!
Laura Rocklyn will present "Miss Austen at Home", along with perhaps a song or two and a few tips on etiquette in early 19th century England. Following her talk, we will enjoy an afternoon tea, with cakes, cookies, and other delights. Registration is required for this event.
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Marsha McClintock Folsom
The Final Chapters of Austen's Persuasion
The good luck of a single surviving manuscript of an Austen novel, the cancelled final chapters of Persuasion, offers a glimpse of Austen transforming her own work.
The brilliant revised ending engages the novel's central issues; including the difficulty of expressing emotion, the contrasting experiences
of men and women, and the possibility of telepathic mind-reading.(!)
Marcia McClintock Folsom is a retired Professor of Literature at Wheelock College. She edited Approaches to Teaching Austen's Pride and Prejudice,
Approaches to Teaching Austen's Emma; with John Wiltshire, Approaches to Teaching Mansfield Park (2014), and Approaches to
Teaching Austen's Persuasion (forthcoming). Her most recent Persuasions essay is Emma: Knowing Her Mind (2016).
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Sheryl Craig has been a faculty member in the English Department at the University of Central Missouri for more than twenty years.
She is a popular speaker with both JASNA and JAS audiences, and is frequently published in Persuasions and
Jane Austen Regency World Magazine. Sheryl served as JASNA Traveling Lecturer for 2011-12 and was Editor of the JASNA News.
She is currently writing a book entitled Jane Austen and the Plight of Women.
Sheryl Craig is the Harriet Avery Fund speaker for the 2019-2020 season.