Whether you have just discovered Jane Austen or are a lifelong aficionado, you are welcome at the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) and our local region of the society, JASNA Southwest.

Our region is the largest and one of the oldest in the national society. We host four regional meetings annually that feature a wide range of speakers and presentations, offer numerous local reading and game groups, sponsor a Young Filmmakers Contest and maintain a comprehensive guide to Austen Adaptations.

Learn more about the benefits of joining JASNA and JASNA Southwest on our membership page.

We hope you enjoy exploring our site and we hope to see you soon!

Left: Lyme Park stood in for Pemberley in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries.

Upcoming Free Zoom Events

We are pausing our in-person events until it is safe for large groups to meet again in person. In the meantime, join our monthly free Zoom presentations by notable scholars, authors and others with an interest in all things Austen-related! 

Sign up for our mailing list for more information. Or visit our YouTube channel to view past presentations.

Saturday, May 15
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time

Register Now!

The Theatrical Jane Austen 

Featured speaker:
Melinda Finberg, a dramaturg and theatre history scholar at the USC School of Dramatic Arts

Finberg is an associate professor of theatre practice in critical studies at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. She is a nationally known dramaturg and scholar of theatre history.

Her illustrated talk on “The Theatrical Jane Austen” will explore Austen’s early exposure to theatre, what theatre was like in Regency England, what Austen would have seen on stage in London and Bath, the family’s home theatricals, Austen’s favorite playwrights and more!

Finberg’s volume Eighteenth-Century Women Dramatists (Oxford University Press, 2001) is now in its third printing and is taught in colleges and universities across the U.S., Canada and Europe. This anthology opened college classrooms to historical women playwrights by giving teachers and students access to authoritative, annotated editions of plays that had previously been available only in rare books libraries. In addition, she has been instrumental in bringing the plays of these women to professional and university stages, receiving the 2006 Elliot Hayes Award for Achievement in Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas for her work on the 2005 Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s critically acclaimed revival of Hannah Cowley’s The Belle’s Stratagem.

Finberg’s scholarly work is widely published and cited in journals, collections of essays and reference books. Her goal is no less than rewriting theatre history by restoring these forgotten geniuses and by establishing their place in our classrooms and on our stages. Without reexamining how minority playwrights have been written out of our history in the past, we will not be able to prevent them from being erased in the future. She also loves to teach production dramaturgy, Shakespeare, Restoration comedy, gender issues in theatre and staging the American experience(s).

Saturday, June 19, 2021
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time

Registration information to be posted by April.

Topic: Costuming Regency-era Adaptations (event title forthcoming)

Featured speakers:
Deborah Nadoolman Landis, founding director and chair of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA

Ellen Mirojnick, Emmy Award-winning costume designer, who oversaw creation of 7,500 pieces for 5,000 costumes for Bridgerton

Registration information for the June 19 event will be available in May.
Emmy Award-winning costumer Ellen Mirojnick, whose talent helped make Bridgerton a global phenomenon, will join moderator Deborah Nadoolman Landis for a conversation about costuming Regency-set adaptations at our June 19 Zoom meeting.
Mirojnick has worked with numerous prominent filmmakers — from Steven Spielberg to Kathryn Bigelow and J.J. Abrams to Tony and Ridley Scott. In 2017 alone, her work could be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky, Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father and the opulent movie musical The Greatest Showman. She studied at the Parsons School of Design and became a sought-after designer before setting her sights on Hollywood, where her career has spanned three decades. She has been nominated twice for BAFTA and Emmy awards, with a win for her work on Behind the Candelabra.
Mirojnick has lectured at UCLA, the Lincoln Center Film Society, the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been profiled in numerous international fashion publications, as well as on AMC’s Hollywood Fashion Machine series The Costume Designer.
She was interviewed by Vogue in December about her work on Bridgerton, which included overseeing the creation of 7,500 pieces for 5,000 costumes.
Deborah Nadoolman Landis, PhD, is a costume designer, historian and endowed chair holder at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, and the founding director of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA. She received an MFA in costume design from UCLA and a PhD in the history of design from the Royal College of Art, London. Her distinguished career includes Animal House (1978); The Blues Brothers (1980); An American Werewolf in London (1981); Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); Trading Places (1983); The Three Amigos (1987); Coming to America (1988), for which she was Academy Award-nominated; and the groundbreaking music video Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983).
A two-term past president of the Costume Designers Guild, Local 892, and a past governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (2013-2018), Landis sits on the board of the National Film Preservation Foundation. She is the author of six books, including Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design, FilmCraft: Costume Design, Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration and the catalogue for her landmark exhibition, Hollywood Costume, which she curated at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2012. Landis is the editor-in-chief of the upcoming three-volume Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Film and Television Costume Design (2021).

Upcoming In-Person Events

We are pausing our in-person events until it is safe for large groups to meet again in person. We have moved our events that had to be postponed in 2020 to new dates in 2022. Sign up for our mailing list for more information.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Mission Inn, Riverside
(a block of rooms will be reserved for those wishing to spend Friday and/or Saturday evening)

Miss Austen Goes to Washington

Our event will explore Regency-era politics as well as Austen’s influence today.

Featured speakers:
Congressman Mark Takano (D-Riverside), former English teacher who launched a Jane Austen reading group on Capitol Hill
Austen scholar Sheryl Craig, author of Jane Austen and the State of the Nation

Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Grand, Long Beach

We originally planned for our event on Regency fashion and footwear to be held at The Grand, followed by dance lessons and an English country dance. We have shifted our two stellar speakers for that event to a virtual meeting to be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021. See more information above.

Please save the date for our new event at The Grand in December 22. Details on the topic and speakers will be announced at a later date.

Reading, Film and Game Groups

For the upcoming schedule for each of our reading, film and game groups, visit the groups page.

‘Treasures Afoot’ Video Available Now

‘Treasures Afoot’ Video Available Now

If you missed Kimberly Alexander's wonderful April 24, 2021, talk on "18th Century Shoes and Their Secret Stories," or want to revisit the presentation or share it with a friend, the video is now live on the JASNA Southwest YouTube channel. The chat is also available....

read more
Prof. Jason Solinger Event Video Now Online

Prof. Jason Solinger Event Video Now Online

If you missed our "Anti-Historical Austen" event with Prof. Jason Solinger on Jan. 16—or want to revisit the talk or share it with a friend—the video is now available on the JASNA Southwest YouTube channel. JASNA members and friends from all over North America, as...

read more

Immerse yourself in an Austen novel, participate in a reading or game group or catch up on the latest JASNA Southwest news.

Explore the benefits of becoming a JASNA and JASNA Southwest member, or join or renew your membership now!

Discover our wide range of events or scroll through our archive for recaps, video and audio from past meetings.

Join other Jane Austen fans from around Southern California by attending one of our regional meetings.

Greet visitors at our Festival of Books booth, organize a new reading group or assist with events and more as a valued volunteer.

Support JASNA’s Southwest region with a tax-deductible donation in any amount. Your gift truly makes a meaningful difference in all we do!

Discover a treasure trove of resources, including our comprehensive guide to film adaptations as well as books Austen herself admired.

Email jasnasw or visit our contact page to direct your query on a specific topic or to a board member. We look forward to hearing from you.

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up today to receive our monthly e-newsletter, event invitations and occasional news, such as free Austen-related film screenings. We never (ever) share your information with anyone. Period.

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” —Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” —Jane Austen, Jane Austen’s Letters

“For my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.” —Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

“It is not what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” —Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

“It is such a happiness when good people get together, and they always do.” —Jane Austen, Emma

“I am not a great reader, and I have pleasure in many things.” —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“My idea of good company … is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation.” “That is not good company, that is the best.” —Jane Austen, Persuasion

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” —Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“We all have our best guides within us, if only we would listen.” —Jane Austen, Mansfield Park