Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest Region
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.
Register now for our next free virtual meeting, Saturday, January 16, from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Pacific time.
Professor Jason Solinger will reprise his breakout talk “Anti-Historical Austen: From ‘The History of England’ to Northanger Abbey” from the 2020 JASNA Virtual Annual General Meeting in a live presentation followed by a Q&A session. The talk will be recorded.
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.
Register now for our virtual meeting from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time on Sunday, January 24, 2021, when we will premiere the winning entries of our fourth annual Young Filmmakers Contest. The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and several of our esteemed judges. Meet the winners and learn how they came up with their original films—and what Jane Austen means to them—while also gaining insights from our judging panel. The event will also mark the official launch of our 2021 contest!
First place (20+)–Jillian Davis and Yolanda Rodriguez, “Jane Austen Virtual Book Club”
First place (under 20)–Thomas Fitzgerald, “Handsome, Clever and Rich”
Second place (20+)–Lydia Smith, “A Letter to Jane”
Second place (under 20)–Elliot Cagle, “A Certain Step Towards Falling in Love”
Third place (20+)–Courtney Birnbaum, “Morland and Mishaps”
Third place (under 20)–Sajween Khan, “Letters to Cassandra”
Winners and contestants entered from all over the United States, including California, Florida, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas. Winners receive cash prizes and a year’s membership in JASNA.
The judges included The Jane Austen Book Club screenwriter/director Robin Swicord; Los Angeles Times (retired) film critic Kenneth Turan; actress and writer Ashley Clements (star of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries); “Black Girl in a Big Dress” actress and writer Aydrea Walden; Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict novelist Laurie Viera Rigler; and Emmy-winning executive producer and director Thomas Rigler.
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.
Melinda Finberg, a dramaturg and theatre history scholar at the USC School of Dramatic Arts
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.
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
Longtime JASNA member Clara Browda died on December 1. Founder of the West Los Angeles Reading Group, Clara was a constant presence at JASNA Southwest events and attended at least 18 JASNA Annual General Meetings. A voracious reader, she kept the West L.A. Reading...
Register now for our virtual meeting from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time on Sunday, January 24, 2021, when we will premiere the winning entries of our fourth annual Young Filmmakers Contest. The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and several...
JASNA Southwest has announced the winners of our fourth annual Young Filmmakers Contest in two age categories: Under 20 and Over 20. Selected from an unprecedented volume of entries, each of the winning entries explored the characters, books, mores and life of Jane...
Register now for our event on Saturday, February 20, from 11-12:15 p.m. Pacific time, for a talk by art historian, curator and author Nancy Mowll Mathews on "Austen and Cassatt: Working From Home." Mathews is the Emerita Eugénie Prendergast Senior Curator of 19th and...
Register now for our next free virtual meeting, Saturday, January 16, from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Pacific time. Professor Jason Solinger will reprise his breakout talk "Anti-Historical Austen: From 'The History of England' to Northanger Abbey" from the 2020 JASNA Virtual...
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...
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...
In honor of the 25th anniversary of BBC’s Pride and Prejudice starring Academy Award winner Colin Firth, enjoy the newly remastered edition exclusively on BritBox premiering on September 25. BritBox is a streaming service from BBC Studios & ITV offering the...
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...
Greet visitors at our Festival of Books booth, organize a new reading group or assist with events and more as a valued volunteer.
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