Welcome

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 Virtual Meetings

Until it’s safe to meet again in person, we are holding virtual meetings with speakers on a wide range of topics. We’ll be posting information on the next set of virtual events soon. Sign up for our mailing list for more information.

Save the date for our next free virtual meeting, Saturday, January 16, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time. Registration information will be posted in December.

Professor Jason Solinger will share an extended version of his breakout talk “Anti-Historical Austen: From ‘The History of England’ to Northanger Abbey” from the 2020 JASNA Virtual Annual General Meeting, followed by a live Q&A session. 

His humorous and enlightening lecture slideshow should put to rest the notion that the text was a mere youthful lark. On the contrary, he will explain how The History of England articulates questions that shaped the adjacent disciplines of literature and history. His talk will address such questions as:

  • How much poetic license are we willing to grant the historian?
  • On what basis did Austen’s predecessors call their own novels “histories”?
  • Who is better at explaining the motivations that drive people, the historian or the novelist?
  • Which discourse—fiction or history—better prepares readers for being in the world?

Solinger is an associate professor of English at the University of Mississippi, where he teaches classes in 18th and 19th century literature. He is the author of Becoming the Gentleman: British Literature and the Invention of Modern Masculinity, 1660-1815, which explains 18th century Britons’ obsession with the figure of the gentleman. He is currently working on a book exploring the ways that Austen’s readers have shaped our ideas about literature.

Upcoming In-Person Events

We are pausing our in-person events until it is safe for large groups to meet again in person. Stay tuned for announcements on upcoming virtual presentations and meetings. Sign up for our mailing list for more information.

POSTPONED: Stay tuned for new date and information

Austen Family Theatricals

A staged reading will follow the presentation.

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

June 19, 2021
NEW DATE

The Grand, Long Beach

Fashion Afoot: Costumes, Shoes and Dancing in the Regency Era

Following the presentations and lunch, we’ll engage in a dance lesson.

Featured speakers:
Deborah Nadoolman Landis, renowned film costumer and director of the Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA
Kimberley Alexander, author of Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era
Annie Laskey, English Country Dance expert

Saturday, November 13, 2021
NEW DATE

Mission Inn, Riverside

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

Reading, Film and Game Groups

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

Jane Boltz Regency Fashion Talk Now Online

Jane Boltz Regency Fashion Talk Now Online

JASNA Southwest board member Jane Boltz' presentation "Exploring Regency-Era Fashions for Women and Men by a Prejudiced and Amateur Seamstress" is now live on our YouTube channel, where you also catch up on past virtual events. In the illustrated talk, she models many...

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Young Filmmakers Contest Trailer

Young Filmmakers Contest Trailer

It's not too late to submit a short film (five minutes or less) to our 2020 Young Filmmakers Contest. Watch the trailer for the competition now! Entries due by Nov. 30. All amateur filmmakers under the age of 30 are eligible. Cash prizes will be awarded! Learn more.

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Karen Joy Fowler Video Live

Karen Joy Fowler Video Live

The video from the September 26 JASNA Southwest meeting featuring author Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club and numerous other titles) is now live on the JASNA SW YouTube page. Her enlightening talk covered Emma and Austen's Hidden Gothics—the untold, highly...

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Young Filmmakers Judges Announced

Young Filmmakers Judges Announced

We are thrilled to announce the judges for our third annual Young Filmmakers Contest: Ashley Clements, star of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and a writer/producer, including an upcoming modern adaptation of Macbeth  Laurie Viera Rigler, author of Confessions of a Jane...

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Take Our Event Survey!

Take Our Event Survey!

During these unprecedented times, we are working hard to remain connected while staying physically distanced. We would love to hear your perspective on what would make you feel comfortable to return to in-person gatherings like our regional meetings after health...

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Vote for Your Favorite Austen Film Portrayals!

Vote for Your Favorite Austen Film Portrayals!

Last month, you told us your favorite Austen novel, heroine, hero and more. This month, in recognition of the landmark anniversary years for so many versions of Pride and Prejudice (1940, 1980, 1995 and 2005), we thought it would be fun to learn who plays your...

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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